Category Archives: The Mystery-Investigation Complex

The Simple Art of Melancholy

The question of just what “Film Noir” is has plagued discussions of the genre since its retrospective creation by French critics in the 1950s and 1960s. As the term pertains to “Hard Boiled” detectives, whose presence was a clear signifier … Continue reading

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12 Books of Christmas: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

If the key to understanding a person really is understanding their hobby horses, then understanding me is a matter of understanding the Mystery-Investigation Complex. While I love science fiction and fantasy, my truest love is the detective story, whether playing … Continue reading

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Read Means Run [2012]

I held a little party recently and in attendance was a Raymond Chandler fan other than me – an automatic win, I’d say. We got talking about The Simple Art of Murder, and W.H. Auden’s Guilty Vicarage, with a little detour through … Continue reading

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The Limehouse Golem [2016]

Detective Inspector John Kildare [Bill Nighy] is thrown under the bus by Scotland Yard – assigned an unsolvable serial killing at the last minute to save the reputation of a distinguished colleague. Faced with certain failure, the inspector nevertheless begins … Continue reading

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Goldstone [2016]

This is a tidy little noir set in a gold-mining town in Queensland. It is quite conventional, in that it has most of the classic plot points and character archetypes. It is beautifully shot, well-acted, well-scripted, with an evocative score, … Continue reading

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The Veronica Mars Movie [2014]

The best detective fiction often has a pair of crimes in parallel – one in the present caused by one in the future. To solve the present, you must excavate the past. This can take a range of forms, so … Continue reading

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Spectre [2015]

Over the past decade I’ve gotten used to talking about a post-Bourne bond. The Bourne Identity represented a seismic shift in how “we” thought about the action spy. We moved from the total impervious quipper into something a little more visceral and a lot … Continue reading

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