Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is what do you want Santa to leave under your Christmas tree this year?
1. The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks by James Anderson: Who ever tires of the zany British country house murder? Lord Burford, for one. When his wife wants to allow nine guests to stay at their country home ("just for the night"). Lord Burford protests that the last time they had a large number of guests stay there had been unfortunate incidents. Lord Burford's misgivings were understandable. After all, the "unfortunate incidents" had been murders. But these people were travelling a long way for the funeral of an elderly relative. There was nowhere else for them to stay in the village, so the Earl really had to offer them accommodations at Alderley, the Burfords' Carolean mansion. Things started to go wrong when one of guests claimed she had knowledge that would ruin the others' reputations. But nobody took that seriously. Until, that is, she was found murdered... The Affair of the 39 Cuff Links, lighthearted sequel to The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy and The Affair of the Mutilated Mink, delighfully captures the atmosphere of the 1930s country-house mystery. I absolutely adored the Egg Cosy and Mutilated Mink stories. I would love to get my hands on this one.
2. Dorothy L. Sayer's Love All/Busman's Honeymoon by Alzina S Dale (ed) : (synopsis from Amazon review by "A Customer"): fans of Dorothy L Sayers' Vane-Wimsey novels will fine Love All a delightful change of pace. The companion play to the dramatic version of the novel Busman's Honeymoon in this edition, Love All takes a very different approach to male-female relations. While she creates for Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey a fulfilling personal and professional relationship in Busman's Honeymoon, Sayers suggests in Love All that women can find emotional fulfillment, financial security, and artistic challenges all on their own.
Why I want it: I love the writing of Sayers. So far, I have not found anything by her that I do not like. I've read all the Wimsey novels, including Busman's Honeymoon and I'm very curious to see/read the play version. I understand that there are some differences. I am also intrigued by the description of Love All and would like to check it out.
3. Any of the Phryne Fisher mystery series by Kerry Greenwood. This is an absolutely marvelous series set in 1920s Australia. And I think of Phryne Fisher as the the grownup's Nancy Drew. I've read most of the series, but own none and would love to start collecting them.
4.This one may be a little hard for Santa to find (at least in hard copy--which is what I want, no e-books for me). But, after all, he's Santa so he's got plenty of magic at his disposal, right? I have long wanted to get my hands on Fergus Hume's 1893 mystery story The Mystery of a Hansom Cab. It's been on my list of gotta-haves almost as long as I've liked mysteries (and that's a long time!). Here's the synopsis: On the twenty-seventh day of July at the hour of twenty minutes to two o'clock in the morning a hansom cab drove up to the police station in Grey Street St. Kilda and the driver made the startling statement that his cab contained the body of a man who he had reason to believe had been murdered.
5. The Unfinished Clue by Georgette Heyer...one of the last Heyer mysteries needed to complete my reading of her work. Synopsis (from Amazon): Sir Arthur Billington-Smith is not a nice person: he is arrogant, opinionated, and abusive. His verbal abuse makes life a constant misery for his hapless wife, Fay. One truly awful weekend when Fay is trying to host a house party, Arthur's son and heir, Geoffrey, brings home Lola de Silva, a Mexican cabaret dancer who is wonderfully obtuse, vastly colorful, and totally unsuitable as a future Lady Billington-Smith. Arthur is absolutely incensed and takes his rage out on everyone. Therefore, when he is found stabbed to death in his study later in the day, all those in the house become suspects.
6. Angel With Two Faces by Nicola Upson: Summer, 1935. Inspector Archie Penrose has invited Josephine Tey to his family home in Cornwall, a struggling but beautiful country estate on a magnificent stretch of coastline. Disillusioned with the London stage, Josephine is ready to begin work on her second mystery novel and finds much to inspire her in the landscape and its legends - in particular, a lake on the estate which is said to claim a life every seven years, and the nearby Minack Theatre, an open-air auditorium which overlooks the sea.
But death clouds the holiday from the outset: Josephine's arrival coincides with the funeral of a young estate worker, killed in a mysterious riding accident, and another local boy disappears shortly afterwards. When the Minack proves to be a stage for real-life tragedy and an audacious murder, Archie's loyalties are divided between his friends and his job, and he and Josephine must confront the violent reality which lies beneath a seemingly idyllic community - a community with one face turned towards the present, and another looking back to the crimes of the past.
7. The Garden Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine: I only need two more of the Philo Vance mysteries by Van Dine and I will have the complete collection. Here's the synopsis for this one: Professor Garden has a New York penthouse with a rooftop garden, and his son Floyd is accustomed to gather a group of socialite friends together in the Garden garden to listen to the results of horse-races over a built-in loudspeaker system. Philo Vance receives an anonymous telephone message that leads him to one such gathering, on a day when Floyd's best friend has placed an enormous bet on a horse named Equanimity. Equanimity loses, and a gunshot takes the life of the friend, but Vance determines that it is murder and not suicide. Some more suspicious events occur, including the attempted poisoning of Floyd's mother's private nurse, and the murder of his mother. Finally Vance solves the crime and arranges an opportunity for the murderer to be photographed attempting Vance's own life by pushing him off the garden balcony.
8. The Puzzle of the Silver Persian by Stuart Palmer: (In case you haven't noticed, my wishlist tends to run to mysteries....). Synopsis from the Rue Morgue Press site: Hildegarde Withers, the angular schoolteacher with a talent for solving homicides, thought she was off on a vacation when she set sail for England aboard the S.S. American Diplomat. But she’s no sooner found her sea legs than her fellow passengers start getting murdered, and the killings continue after the ship has docked in London. Hildy offers her services to a singularly unimpressed Chief Inspector Cannon of Scotland Yard, but his well-bred young sergeant, John Secker, is more than willing to listen to her. She accepts an invitation to visit the Cornwall home of a fellow passenger, the Honorable Emily Pendavid, who lives in the oldest inhabited castle in England along with her nephew and a handsome silver Persian cat, and it’s there that the pieces finally fall into place for Hildy. First published in 1934, it’s the fifth case for everybody’s favorite meddlesome schoolmarm.
9. On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts by Thomas de Quincey. The titular essay in this volume of work by Thomas De Quincey centers on the notorious career of the murderer John Williams, who in 1811 brutally killed seven people in London's East End. De Quincey's response to Williams's attacks turns morality on its head, celebrating and coolly dissecting the art of murder and its perfections. This volume also contains De Quincey's best-known piece of literary criticism, "On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth," and his finest tale of terror, "The Avenger," a disturbing exploration of violence, vigilantism, and religious persecution. Ranging from gruesomely vivid reportage and brilliantly funny satiric high jinks to penetrating literary and aesthetic criticism, these essays had a remarkable impact on crime, terror, and detective fiction. They are also a key contribution to the satiric tradition, as well as on the rise of nineteenth-century decadence. The bibliography is the most extensive available on critical responses to De Quincey's essays on murder and violence, and the essays included here have never been annotated so thoroughly before. They reveal--often for the first time--De Quincey's debts, remarkable erudition, and encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary crime.
10. Takeoff! and Takeoff Too!! by Randall Garrett **Science Fiction, short stories. Composed of tongue-in-cheek imitations of a number of other authors. I read the first one long ago and far away and would love to own these.