Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


Episode 122: Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None

One of the most popular mysteries by one of the world’s most popular mystery writers. What could possibly go wrong? Aside from the book’s weird racism, that is: while the title of this Agatha Christie novel has always been And Then There Were None, in Great Britain the original title included the n-word. So, that’s weird. Otherwise, it’s a pretty good locked-room mystery, in which ten strangers are trapped on an island and they keep getting murdered. But the racism: it’s pretty hard to look past it.


In addition to the book, we talk about Agatha Christie’s odd, and still-unexplained, disappearance, in 1926. Here’s a link to the story from The Independent that provides some theories.

We’ve also got a new installment of Fan Fiction Corner, which at least some of you must be excited about. This week: political fanfic! Including some steamy Marco Rubio stuff!

As always, you can stream the show right here on our site, or download the mp3 file. You can also find us in the iTunes store, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks for listening!


Download Episode 122 (right-click, save-as)

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Episode 117: Winter of Wayback, 1935 (John Dickson Carr)

This week we set our literary time machine to 1935, a year that’s considered part of the “Golden Age of Detective Fiction.” That led us to author John Dickson Carr, who became famous as a writer of mystery and detective novels, particularly what’s now known as “locked room” mysteries.

Here’s a picture of him looking all mid-30’s dapper.


Other stuff happened in 1935, too. Some weird-sounding Australian animal went extinct. Philadelphia politics got real ugly. And monkeys ran amok in the streets of New York City, leading to headlines like this one.

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A real wacky year. And a very entertaining episode! Which we would say more about here, except a) you should just click on the player thingy below and listen to it, and b) one of us went out last night, ostensibly to “have a couple beers” and watch a televised college basketball game with a few friends, and was then talked into more beers, and even more beers, and two changes of venue, the second of which found your correspondent dancing to club remixes–“bangers,” we think the kids call them–at a Philadelphia gay bar. It was a good time, and yet also a reminder of why we rarely stay out till last call these days. Anyway: enjoy the episode!

Stream Episode 117:

Download Episode 117 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening! Come back next week, and tell your literature-loving friends!