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The Silent Bullet

American mystery fiction author Arthur B. Reeve (1880-1936) is sometimes regarded as the creator of the first scientific detective, Craig Kennedy. He wasn’t really the first but he was a pioneer of that sub-genre. The Silent Bullet was his first short story collection, published in 1911.

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Midsummer Malice

Midsummer Malice was Nigel Fitzgerald’s first foray into the field of detective fiction. First published in 1953 it’s actually a bit of a hybrid albeit an interesting one.

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The Shrieking Pit

Arthur J. Rees (1872-1942) was an Australian crime author who enjoyed considerable success in the years between the wars, winning the approval of such luminaries as Dorothy L. Sayers. The Shrieking Pit is one of his early mystery novels, appearing in 1919.

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Dead Man Twice

Dead Man Twice, published in 1930, was one of the very earliest of Christopher Bush’s Ludovic Travers mysteries. Intriguingly in these early books Travers plays second fiddle to a detective named John Franklin.

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Skeleton in the Clock by Carter Dickson

Skeleton in the Clock was one of the crime novels written by John Dickson Carr under the name Carter Dickson. Carr’s specialty was of course the locked room mystery, and while this one doesn’t quite have a locked room, it does have an apparently impossible murder with most of the features of a classic locked room mystery.

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The Loss of the Jane Vosper

The Loss of the Jane Vosper is one of the Inspector French mysteries written by Freeman Wills Crofts and was published in 1936. It’s one of several Crofts novels that deals with the sea.

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The Chinese Orange Mystery

The Chinese Orange Mystery appeared in 1934. It was the eighth of the Ellery Queen mysteries written by Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee (not counting the Drury Lane books published under the Barnaby Ross pseudonym). And it has a wonderful setup.

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The Incredulity of Father Brown

The Incredulity of Father Brown was the third of G.K. Chesterton’s collections of Father Brown detective stories, appearing in 1926. Like most short story collections it’s a mixed bag but the good stories are very good indeed.

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best vintage crime reads of 2016

These were the best vintage detective novels I read in 2016:

Freeman Wills Crofts, Mystery in the Channel (1931)

J.J. Connington, The Boat-House Riddle (1931)

Anthony Abbot, About the Murder of Geraldine Foster (1931)

John Rhode, Dead Men at the Folly (1932)

Christopher Bush, The Body in the Bonfire (1936)

Carter Dickson, The Judas Window (1938)

Miles Burton, Death at Low Tide (1938)

Rex Stout, Some Buried Caesar (1939)

Clayton Rawson, The Headless Lady (1940)

Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Baited Hook (1940)

Hake Talbot, Rim of the Pit (1944)

The Corpse with the Dirty Face

The Corpse with the Dirty Face was the eighth of Englishman R.A.J. Walling’s Philip Tolefree mysteries. This 1936 novel was also published under the title The Crime in Cumberland Court.

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