Death of the Reader

Death of the Reader

Join Flex and Herds as they take you on a Murder Mystery World Tour in Death of the Reader. From classic British puzzles in the Golden Age of Detective Fiction to the weirdest of foreign detective fiction, explore everything in the grizzly world of the 'locked room'. Each week we'll feature academics, authors and more as we trace the influences of the genre around the world.... Show More

Episodes

Hear our full chat with Dr. Mike Grost on S.S. Van Dine, and a spoiler discussion on both the Benson and Kennel Murder Cases. Our talk with Dr. Grost didn't all make it to air, and on this bonus feature you'll get the chance to hear more about Van Dine's prior career as an art critic, including his partnership with his brother, Stanton McDonald-Wright. After Dr. Grost, you can catch our spoilers-on-the-table discussion of both Phil... Read more

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We discuss the 1933 film adaptation of S.S. Van Dine's Kennel Murder Case. Said by some to be one of the best detective fiction adaptations for the silver screen of all time, we talk about all the charms that help this film hold ground over 85 years after it was released. We also speak with Dr. Mike Grost, a murder mystery enthusiast who maintains one of the best online databases of detective fiction on his personal website.

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We discuss chapters 19-25 of The Benson Murder Case, by S.S. Van Dine. Our culprit is found, our detective is some kind of super-ninja socialite god, and we prepare for a special twist on the next episode. We also speak with Dr. Chris Coady from the University of Sydney about the Jazz age and the similarities between the styles of music and literature in the early 20th century.

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We discuss chapters 9-18 of The Benson Murder Case, by S. S. Van Dine. With a signed confession from a suspect, is there any more room for reasoning, or is it time to turn in for the night? We also speak with Daniel McMahon, writer and voice actor for L.A. Noire, about adapting murder mystery for interactive mediums, and the experiences he had in turning true crimes into mystery crime fiction.

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What are these “Twenty Rules” Flex and Herds keep referring to on Death of the Reader? S.S. Van Dine was known originally as a zealous literary critic by the name of Willard Huntington Wright. After adopting the Van Dine pseudonym, he made sure that the game of detective fiction was played his way, and by his rules, with none of those damned tropes he saw other authors using. Listen in to hear us break down the full set of rules he... Read more

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We discuss chapters 1-8 of The Benson Murder Case, by S. S. Van Dine. An overzealous art critic turns his detest of detective fiction into a series of its own, but does it hold up on its own? Flex is up against the infallible (and insufferable) Philo Vance to solve this crime before the culprit escapes. We also speak with 2SER News Director Geoff Field about the salacious life and history of S. S. Van Dine, AKA Willard Huntington W... Read more

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We discuss The Hermit of Street, and Chapters 3 and 4 of The House in the Mist, by Anna Katharine Green. How do these two stories, which have neither a detective, nor a murder to solve, fit within the genre of detective fiction? Were their mysteries "fair"? We also speak with Dr. Stephanie Russo about the origins of detective fiction through the gothic, and the way the genres critique the worlds we live in.

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We discuss The Ruby and the Caldron, and Chapter 2 of The House in the Mist, by Anna Katharine Green. Both stories provide drastically different atmospheres; while House in the Mist continues to be creepy and not like your typical detective story, Ruby and the Caldron feels much more like a classic detective story, with a very silly attitude. We also sat down with acclaimed children's author and recent OAM inductee Anna Fienberg to... Read more

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We discuss chapter 1 of House in the Mist by Anna Katharine Green, a short mystery horror story where a lost traveller finds himself embroiled in the family affairs of some unsavoury figures. We also chat with Dr. Jack Abacassis about why you should read books and the origins of the name "Death of the Reader".

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We discuss chapters 15-20 of The Lerouge Case by Émile Gaboriau, and this week is all about romance. Hear about our perspective on the wild, cruel romances of 19th century France, and then hear from an actual expert on romantics, Associate Professor Hsu Ming Teo. Was the Lerouge Case a fair puzzle? Was it even a puzzle at all?

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We discuss chapters 8-14 of The Lerouge Case by Émile Gaboriau, continuing our escapade into the strange romances of 19th century France. As the Viscount Albert de Commarin seems to have all the evidence on display, do we condemn him to the gallows, or is there something more at hand? We also have independent playwright Andrew Fallon in to talk about adapting Murder Mysteries for the stage, as well as his production The Last Tempta... Read more

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We discuss chapters 1-7 of The Lerouge Case by Émile Gaboriau, as we take our first steps outside of England in to the wide world of detective fiction. An obvious crime with no obvious culprit and no impossible alibi sees the gendarme call on our detective, Tabaret, to solve the murder of the Widow Lerouge. Can Flex cut through the seemingly endless coincidences that drive the story? Can Herds pronounce a single French word correct... Read more

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We discuss chapters 9-12 of "The Floating Admiral" by The Detection Club. Special guest Sean E. Britten is in as we discuss if the story had a plan, Agatha Christie's solution and unveil the next book. We also speak to Sean about his own books and how he approaches fitting character in to a story that doesn't lend itself to anything more than spectacle.

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We discuss chapters 5-8 of "The Floating Admiral" by The Detection Club. How successful were the many authors at creating a tenable game? We also spoke with Dr. Malcolm Ryan from Macquarie University about Game Design and its relation to detective fiction.

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We discuss chapters 1-4 of "The Floating Admiral" by The Detection Club. In this challenging puzzle with 14 authors, each bringing their own solution to the table, can Herds work his way to a truth in time? We also speak with the former president of the Detection Club, Simon Brett, about his own detective, Charles Parish, and his time as the chairman.

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We discuss chapters 18-25 of The Three Taps by Ronald A. Knox. With the culprit revealed it's time to reflect back on how we got here and if the path we took was a fair way to uncover the puzzle. We also chat with Krissy Kneen about creating villains in the shadows and her book "The Wintering".

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You might have heard Flex and Herds discussing Ronald Knox's "Decalogue" on Death of the Reader - but what the heck is that anyway? In this bonus episode, we take you through the rules and what you need to know about them to prepare you for your new career as an amateur literature detective.

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We discuss chapters 8-17 of The Three Taps by Ronald A. Knox. Can Flex solve the mystery in time? How does morality affect our perception of crime fiction? ft. Catharine Lumby, Professor of Media at Macquarie University.

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Flex and Herds discuss chapters 1-7 of The Three Taps by Ronald A. Knox. Can Flex solve the mystery in time? How do structures affect our storytelling? ft. Andrew Pople of 2SER's Final Draft.

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