Now up for order: THE INTRUDER (1959) by the brilliant Charles Beaumont (best known for his scripts for The Twilight Zone). In this suspenseful novel, handsome and smooth-talking Adam Cramer has just arrived in the small town of Caxton, where tensions are running high over court-ordered racial integration of the public schools. Cramer begins to stoke the flames of racial prejudice, with violent and deadly results: but who is he really, and what is the sinister truth behind his actual agenda? Features a new introduction by film legend Roger Corman, who directed the movie adaptation starring William Shatner, and the original jacket art by Ronald Clyne.
The Supreme Court has ordered an end to racially segregated schools, and folks in the predominantly white Southern town of Caxton are prepared grudgingly to comply with the ruling. But when Adam Cramer, a handsome and smooth-talking young man, arrives in town and begins to make incendiary speeches and stoke the flames of racial prejudice, the situation quickly turns deadly. Who is Cramer, and what is the sinister truth behind his real agenda? As tensions build and violence flares, it all leads to an explosive and surprising conclusion!
As compelling and relevant today as when first published, Charles Beaumont’s The Intruder (1959) has lost none of its power to shock, and modern readers will find Cramer’s bigoted rhetoric eerily familiar in light of today’s civil rights debates. Beaumont (1929-1967), better known for his Twilight Zone scripts and his weird and brilliant short fiction, earned widespread acclaim for this novel, which was adapted for a controversial 1962 film by director Roger Corman, who contributes a new introduction to this edition.
Reviews and more at the link:
Yeah, you Game of Thrones watchers know what this is all about.
At Bertram's Hotel: a hotel that basically exists as a convincing reproduction of an Edwardian watering hole.
The Blue Train: the line between Calais and the South of France.
At Bertram's Hotel: London
The Blue Train: primarily France, although the book begins in London
At Bertram's Hotel: blackmail.
The Blue Train: avarice
At Bertram's Hotel: Jane Marple
The Blue Train: Hercule Poirot
At Bertram's Hotel: 1965
The Blue Train: 1928
I spent the weekend immersed in murder. It was gorgeous here, and I had been planning on going camping, but that didn't work out because, as it turns out, our camp trailer needed new tires. My fabulous daughter took the train home from college to hang out with us before dead week. Something about picking up a family member at the train station demands that I read Agatha Christie. Especially an Agatha Christie that takes place at least partially on the train.
So, I read these two, Crooked House, and started The Moving Finger. Crooked House was by far the best of the three, although they each had their charms. I prefer Poirot to Marple, usually, although I really think I liked At Bertram's Hotel a bit better than The Mystery of the Blue Train. Perhaps this is because the victim in Blue Train is more sympathetic than the victim in At Bertram's Hotel - Ruth Kettering is a wealthy American girl who, for all of her faults, was relatively blameless. The victim in At Bertram's Hotel is really just a petty criminal.
At Bertram's Hotel is tea and crumpets, a full English breakfast with kippers, tomatoes, perfectly poached eggs and toast fingers wearing sturdy tweeds and reading the Times. The Mystery of the Blue Train is champagne at midnight on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean wrapped in a silk robe and dripping with jewels. Take your pick.