Re: RARA-AVIS: Critics Again

Bill Hagen (
Mon, 5 Apr 1999 21:42:30 -0500 (CDT) Mark asks about Will Cuppy.

Don't believe he wrote any serious mystery or crime fiction; he's most
famous for the humor, including a nice piece called "How to Read a
Whodunit," reprinted in the Haycraft edited _The Art of the Mystery Story_
(a treasure trove of authors and articles circa 1946). I've read some of
his reviews, which seemed pretty good--he regularly reviewed crime and
adventure fiction for the New York Herald Tribune.

I'm really impressed that Bill Crider has read all of Anthony Boucher's
reviews, but I have to ask, "What for?" Sounds like a grad school project
to me! [Actually, I'm jealous. I was reading all about Aldous Huxley. I
think you got the better deal.]

Thanks to everyone for the reviewer recommendations. Jean, are your
reviews online? Will look up Deadly Pleasures and Mystery News, and pay
more attention to the WPost. Interesting that no one, so far, has
mentioned any of the "major" weekly or monthly news or opinion/cultural
magazines as having regular reviewers of mystery fiction that you would

I asked the question about "big name reviewers," in part, to get a sense of
the "status" of mystery/crime fiction VIZ the 1940s. Although no one wants
to go back to the days when a few name reviewers could break a title, have
things leveled out so much that we can't depend on any name's ability to
"make" a title?

Bill Hagen

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