Tuesday, August 13, 2019

QPQ Micro reviews

QPQ is my name for the ever shifting team of mystery writers behind the names Q. Patrick, Patrick Quentin, and Jonathan Stagge. I will collect here some brief reviews of mysteries by QPQ under various names.  Ratings like grades, A to D.

S.S. Murder Q. Patrick. An amusing tale on board ship in the form of a diary. A-

Puzzle For Fools Patrick Quentin. The first Peter Duluth. Takes place in a psychiatric ward. The weakest book so far. C

Puzzle For Puppets A later Duluth, like a screwball comedy. The solution is obvious but it’s the most fun of the books so far. A-

Puzzle for Pilgrims A very strange Duluth, more a chronicle of characters in an emotional pressure cooker than a mystery. Takes place in Mexico. A-

The Grindle Nightmare Another Q. Patrick, again very strange. Reactions vary; I liked it but thought the solution a let down. B

Return To The Scene Q. Patrick. A florid melodrama with a good mystery B+

My Son The Murderer Patrick Quentin. This is a re write of Return to the Scene! B+

Death's Old Sweet Song Stagge.  A variation on the nursery rhyme series of murders. A different feel than either QP or PQ. B+

Puzzle For Fiends Patrick Quentin. Peter Duluth has amnesia. Beautiful women tell him he is really Gordy Friend.  More thriller than mystery. A bit over the top but very vividly told. B+ 

Family Secrets Patrick Quentin. QPQ are always doing something different. In some of the Duluth books for instance the person who solves the murder is a surprise. Here they — actually he, it’s by Wheeler alone — give us a 50s noir pulp pot-boiler transferred to the Manhattan elite. Not the most satisfactory of their books to me, but it has its points and as ever the construction is skillful and the writing a cut above most mysteries. B-

1 comment:

  1. Very useful. I have not read any of those, but have read three other. I very much liked The Scarlet Circle by Stagge. A straight A for me. Death and the Sweet Girls (Stagge) and Death and the Maiden (Q. Patrick) were definitely not perfect, but very good on balance. A- for me.