Category: miscellaneous

January 2020 – Monthly Recap

monthly-recap_thumbFor reasons unrelated to this case, in January 2020 I managed to finish reading only two books. Both of which are excellent by the way:

Hag’s Nook, 1933 (Dr Gideon Fell #1) by John Dickson Carr (A)

Death of Jezebel, 1948 (Inspector Cockrill #4) by Christianna Brand (A+)

Besides I’m in process of finishing reading a couple of books, and I do have several other waiting to be read. Stay tuned.

Now, if you excuse me, I need to catch up with my reading plan.

OT: Goya Drawings – Only my strength of will remains

Majo keeping time by clappingThis major exhibition in the Prado Museum, which can be visited up to 16 February 2020, is the result of the work undertaken for the creation of a new catalogue raisonné of Goya’s drawings, made possible through the collaborative agreement signed by the Fundación Botín and the Museo del Prado in 2014.

For the first time and in a unique and unrepeatable occasion, the exhibition brings together more than 300 of Goya’s drawings from both the Prado’s own holdings and from private and public collections world-wide. The result is a chronological survey of the artist’s work that includes drawings from every period of his career, from the Italian Sketchbook to those created in Bordeaux. In addition, the exhibition offers a modern perspective on the ideas that recur throughout Goya’s work, revealing the ongoing relevance and modernity of his thinking.

Co-organised by the Fundación Botín and jointly curated by José Manuel Matilla, Chief Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Museo Nacional del Prado, and Manuela Mena, Chief Curator of 18th-century Painting and Goya at the Prado until January 2019, the exhibition is on display in Rooms A and B of the Jerónimos Building until 16 February 2020.

On 19 November 1819 the new museum opened its doors to the public, at that date still a royal museum and comprising works from the exceptional collections of painting and sculpture assembled by Spain’s monarchs over more than 300 years. While Goya was still living in Madrid, three of his paintings – the two equestrian portraits of Charles IV and María Luisa de Parma and the Horseman with a Pike – were already hanging in the room that led into the Museum’s central gallery. Over the succeeding years the Museum would assemble the finest collection of Goya’s work, comprising around 150 paintings, 500 drawings, all the artist’s print series and a unique body of documentation in the form of his letters to his friend Martín Zapater.

This exhibition, which is the result of the remarkable richness of the Museo del Prado’s collections and of the work undertaken to prepare a new catalogue raisonné of Goya’s drawings in collaboration with the Fundación Botin, aims to reveal the different aspects that determine the meaning of the artist’s sketchbooks and print series.

Read more at Prado Museum Website

Majo keeping time by clapping Francisco de Goya y Lucientes
Copyright ©Museo Nacional del Prado.
Authorized download of the images for no profit publications with no comercial distribution, private websites, private blogs and social media.

2019 A Year in Retrospect (update 11/01/2020)

First and foremost Happy New Year to you all.

2019 was a year of major discoveries at A Crime is Afoot. I finished reading all Agatha Christie books featuring Hercule Poirot with a couple of minor exceptions, namely Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly [2014] and Black Coffee [1998], although there maybe some controversy whether they should be included among Agatha Christie’s books. After all, Black Coffee was adapted from Agatha Christie’s play of the same title, novelised by Charles Osborne and published in 1998. And Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly, although written by Agatha Christie in 1954, was ultimately never published in its original form and, instead, it became the basis for one of her favourite novels, Dead Man’s Folly.

Besides, I’m happy to report a number of new to me authors which I’m convinced I shall read again in a not so distant future. Like, in no particular order, Molly Thynne, Cyril Hare, Michael Gilbert, Anthony Boucher, Christianna Brand, Paul Halter, and Brian Flynn. Without forgetting to mention some Japanese authors and, above all, the list of books published by Locked Room International, here

It would be unfair not to mention some books/authors which I have left out this year due to lack of time. Like for example, The Other End of the Line, 2019 (Inspector Montalbano #24) by Andrea Camilleri, translated by Stephen Sartarelli; This Poison Will Remain, 2019 (Commissaire Adamsberg #9) by Fred Vargas, translated by Siân Reynolds; Metropolis, 2019 (Bernie Gunther #14) by Philip Kerr. (2019); The Night Fire, 2019 (Renee Ballard #2 and Harry Bosch #) by Michael Connelly; Wolves at the Door, 2019 (Varg Veum #22) by Gunnar Staalesen, translated by Don Bartlett; A Long Night in Paris, 2019 by Dov Alfon, translated by Daniella Zamir; El último barco (Inspector Leo Caldas #3) de Domingo Villar. (2019); The Lost Man, 2018 by Jane Harper; and Gallows Court, 2018 by Martin Edwards.

And last, but not least, if you wonder which book I’ll be reading first in 2020, I imagine you already know if you have read my latest posts, it can be no other but John Dickson Carr’s Hag’s Nook, 1933.


(Facsimile Dust Jacket, Hag’s Nook by John Dickson Carr, Harper & Brothers (USA), 1933)

Without further ado, below you may find the list of books I read on 2019.

  1. Cat Among the Pigeons, 1959 (Hercule Poirot #28) by Agatha Christie (B)
  2. Maigret Enjoys Himself, 1957 (Inspector Maigret #50) by Georges Simenon (tr. David Watson) (A+)
  3. A Maigret Christmas and other stories by Georges Simenon (tr. David Coward) (A)
  4. Maigret’s Patience, 1965 (Inspector Maigret #64) by Georges Simenon (tr. David Watson) (A+)
  5. Poirot’s Early Cases, 1974 (Hercule Poirot s.s. collection) by Agatha Christie (B)
  6. Murder in the Mews, 1937 (Hercule Poirot s.s. collection) by Agatha Christie (B)
  7. The Mystery of the Spanish Chest, 1960 (A Hercule Poirot Story) by Agatha Christie (B)
  8. The Second Gong, 1932 (A Hercule Poirot Story) by Agatha Christie (B)
  9. Poirot and the Regatta Mystery, 1936 (A Hercule Poirot Story) by Agatha Christie (C)
  10. Yellow Iris, 1937 (A Hercule Poirot Story) by Agatha Christie (B)
  11. Poirot Investigates, 1924 (Hercule Poirot s.s. collection) by Agatha Christie (B)
  12. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and a Selection of Entrées, 1960 (Hercule Poirot s.s.) by Agatha Christie (B)
  13. Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories, 1991 (Agatha Christie s.s. Collection) (D)
  14. Poirot Investigates, 1924 (Hercule Poirot s.s. collection) by Agatha Christie (B)
  15. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and a Selection of Entrées, 1960 (Hercule Poirot s.s.) by Agatha Christie (B)
  16. Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making – Includes Two Unpublished Poirot Stories (2009) by John Curran Since it is not a work of fiction, I will not rate it but I strongly recommend it.
  17. The Labours of Hercules, 1947 (Hercule Poirot s.s.) by Agatha Christie (B)
  18. The Capture of Cerberus & The Incident of the Dog’s Ball (Hercule Poirot s.s.) by Agatha Christie (audiobook) (B)
  19. Artists in Crime, 1938 (Inspector Alleyn #6) by Ngaio Marsh (A+)
  20. The Crime at the ‘Noah’s Ark’, 1931 by Molly Thynne (B)
  21. El clavo (1853) de Pedro Antonio de Alarcón
  22. La berlina de Prim (2012) de Ian Gibson (A)
  23. La muerte y la brújula (1942) de Jorge Luis Borges (A+)
  24. The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction (2003) Edited by Martin Priestman
  25. The Wrong Shape, 1911 (s.s.) by Gilbert K. Chesterton (A)
  26. Maigret Hesitates, 1968 (Inspector Maigret #67) by Georges Simenon (tr. Howard Curtis) (A+)
  27. Big Sister, 2016 (Varg Veum # 19) by Gunnar Staalesen (tr. Don Bartlett) (A+)
  28. Maigret’s Pickpocket, 1967 (Inspector Maigret #66) by Georges Simenon (tr. Siân Reynolds) (B)
  29. Game of Mirrors (Inspector Montalbano #18 ) by Andrea Camilleri (tr. Stephen Sartarelli) (A)
  30. El complot mongol, 1969 de Rafael Bernal (A+)
  31. Maigret in Vichy, 1968 (Inspector Maigret #68) by Georges Simenon (tr. Ros Schwartz) (B)
  32. The Clocks, 1963 (Hercule Poirot #29) by Agatha Christie (B)
  33. Tenant for Death, 1937 (Inspector Mallet #1) by Cyril Hare (A)
  34. Smallbone Deceased, 1950 by Michael Gilbert (A)
  35. Trial and Error, 1937 by Anthony Berkeley (A)
  36. The Moving Toyshop, 1946 (Gervase Fen Mystery #3) by Edmund Crispin (A)
  37. The Overnight Kidnapper, 2014 (An Inspector Montalbano Mystery Book 23) by Andrea Camilleri (trans: Stephen Sartarelli) (A)
  38. Dark Sacred Night, 2018 (Ballard Series #2 and Harry Bosh Series #21) by Michael Connelly (A+)
  39. A Pinch of Snuff, 1978 (Dalziel & Pascoe #5) by Reginald Hill (B)
  40. Verdict of Twelve, 1940 by Raymond Postgate (A)
  41. Third Girl, 1966 (Hercule Poirot #30) by Agatha Christie (C)
  42. Cold Hearts, 2013 (Varg Veum #16) by Gunnar Staalesen (tr. Don Bartlett) (A+)
  43. The Perfect Murder Case, 1929 (Ludovic Travers #2) by Christopher Bush (A)
  44. ”El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan”, 1941 de Jorge Luis Borges (A+)
  45. “Hombre de la esquina rosada” un cuento de 1935 de Jorge Luis Borges (A+)
  46. “Historia de Rosendo Juárez” un cuento de 1970 de Jorge Luis Borges (A+)
  47. “Abenjacán el Bojarí, muerto en su laberinto” un cuento de 1951 de Jorge Luis Borges (A+)
  48. The Murders In The Rue Morgue And Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe (A+)
  49. ”The Oblong Box” (1844), a short story by Edgar Allan Poe (A+)
  50. Tragedy at Law, 1942 (Francis Pettigrew #1 & Inspector Mallet #4) by Cyril Hare (A)
  51. “Arson Plus” (1923) a short story by Dashiell Hammett
  52. The Case of the Crumpled Knave (1939) by Anthony Boucher (B)
  53. Green for Danger, 1944 (Inspector Cockrill #2) by Christianna Brand (A+)
  54. Murder in the Maze, 1927 (Sir Clinton Driffield Mystery book #1) by J. J. Connington (A)
  55. Hallowe’en Party, 1969 (Hercule Poirot #31) by Agatha Christie (A)
  56. Inspector French’s Greatest Case, 1924 (Inspector French #1) by Freeman Wills Crofts (B)
  57. Bats in the Belfry, 1937 (Robert MacDonald #13) by E. R. C. Lorac (B)
  58. The Cask, 1920 by Freeman Wills Crofts (B)
  59. The Moai Island Puzzle, 1989 by Alice Arisugawa (Trans. Ho-Ling Wong) (A)
  60. Rintarō Norizuki “The Lure of the Green Door” s.s. 1991 (Trans. Ho-Ling Wong)
  61. Sōji Shimada “The Locked House of Pythagoras” s.s. 1999 (Trans. Yuko Shimada and John Pugmire)
  62. Edogawa Rampo “The Stalker in the Attic” s.s. 1925 (Trans: Seth Jacobowitz)
  63. El clan Inugami (1951) de Seishi Yokomizo (Tra. Olga Marín Sierra) (A+)
  64. The Seventh Hypothesis (Dr Twist #6), 1991 by Paul Halter (trans. John Pugmire) (A+)
  65. Clouds of Witness, 1926 (Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery # 2) by Dorothy L. Sayers (C)
  66. The Perfect Crime: The Big Bow Mystery (1891) by Israel Zangwill (A)
  67. Elephants Can Remember, 1972 (Hercule Poirot #32) by Agatha Christie (D)
  68. Maigret’s Childhood Friend, 1968 (Inspector Maigret #69) by Georges Simenon (tr. Shaun Whiteside) (A+)
  69. “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” (1892) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (A)
  70. Murder in the Mill-Race: A Devon Mystery,1952 (Robert MacDonald # 37) by E.C.R. Lorac (A)
  71. The Mystery Of The Peacock’s Eye (1928) by Brian Flynn (A)
  72. Curtain. Poirot Last Case, 1975 (Hercule Poirot #33) by Agatha Christie (A+)

OT: Ceija Stojka This Has Happened

The National Museum Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, in collaboration with La maison rouge – Fondation Antoine de Galbert (Paris), presents the exhibition ‘This Has Happened’. The first retrospective in Spain of the late Austrian-Romani artist Ceija Stojka (1933–2013). The exhibition will be open from 22 November, 2019 to 23 March, 2020 at the Sabatini Building, Floor 3, Santa Isabel 52, 28012 Madrid.

03-ceija_stojka-e1573737550523The work of the Austrian-Romani artist Ceija Stojka (Kraubath, Austria, 1933 – Vienna, Austria, 2013) is an exceptional testimony, both because of it rarity and because of its artistic quality, to the Porrajmos, the persecution and genocide of the Gypsy community at the hands of Nazi Germany. Deported at the age of ten along with her family, Stojka survived three concentration camps during the Second World War. She divulged her experiences forty years later, from 1988 to 2012, when she undertook an intense exercise in memory through writing, drawing, and painting. This exhibition presents a survey of this prolific self-taught artist, organized in a series of thematic sections that help to reconstruct the different situations she confronted. ( Source: Exhibition brochure)

Untitled (n.d.), Ceija Stojka. Courtesy Hojda and Nuna Stojka Collection, Vienna

Additional information:

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

Ceija Stojka International Fund