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John Rhode’s The Motor Rally Mystery

Major Cecil John Charles Street (1884-1964) was the author of around 140 detective novels, including more than 70 published under the pseudonym John Rhode and featuring his best-known detective, Dr Priestley. The Motor Rally Mystery, which appeared in 1933, was the 14th of the Dr Priestley mysteries. It was published in the US as Dr Priestley Lays a Trap.

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A bit of an odd question, but ...

I'm wondering if Leslie Charteris ever allowed Simon Templar to be injured in his novels? I heard that one of his stipulations for the TV series was that Simon could never be badly hurt. I ran across a typical detective-show knockout in The Inescapable Word episode (the kind where the worst aftereffect is a bit of a headache for a while) and became curious over whether Mr. Charteris ever included such things or other injuries in the books.

Meet the Baron

In the mid-1930s a British publisher offered a substantial prize to any author who could produce a fictional hero of the gentleman-thief variety who would be a worthy successor to the famous Raffles. The prize was won by John Creasey, with a book called Meet the Baron which appeared in 1937. This marked the beginning of the career of The Baron who would go on to figure in several dozen novels and would become one of Creasey’s most popular heroes. The Baron novels were originally published under the name Anthony Morton, one of Creasey’s many pseudonyms.

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Murder in the Maze

Alfred Walter Stewart (1880-1947) was an eminent British chemist who had, under the name J. J. Connington, achieved considerable success as a writer with his 1923 science fiction novel Nordenholt's Million before turning to detective fiction. Murder in the Maze, published in 1927, was the first of his Sir Clinton Driffield mysteries.

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Murder in the Maze
I greatly enjoy Roger Moore's interpretation of The Saint. Naturally, it follows that I'm curious about the books. While realizing that there are differences between the two versions (as there generally are in such cases), I'm wondering what might be some volumes that a fan of the TV version might particularly enjoy to start out with? The books are all being re-released, which is awesome, so it seems like the perfect time to try some.

Donald Hamilton's The Wrecking Crew

The Wrecking Crew was the second of Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm novels. Matt Helm is a US spy, he works for an ultra-secret intelligence agency, his boss is named Mac and he uses his work as a photographer as a cover. Those are the only real resemblances between the novel and the movie of the same name, in fact they’re the only resemblances between the Matt Helm novels as a whole and the Matt Helm movies.

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The Five Suspects

English newspaperman R. A. J. Walling (1869-1949) took to crime writing very late, being nearly sixty when his first mystery was published. For the next twenty years he averaged better than a book a year. As a crime writer his reputation rests mainly on his twenty-two Philip Tolefree novels. The Five Suspects was the sixth of the Tolefree books, appearing in 1935.

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Blood Royal

Dornford Yates (1885-1960) was one of the thriller writers singled out by Alan Bennett as belonging to the English Snobbery with Violence school. That in itself is enough to recommend his work as far as I’m concerned. Yates (whose real name was Cecil William Mercer) was actually an odd recruit to the thriller genre - he’d made his reputation as the writer of the celebrated Berry humorous stories. His popularity as a comic writer rivalled that of P. G. Wodehouse.

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Blood royal

The Chief Witness

Herbert Adams (1874-1958) was an English writer of detective stories during the so-called golden age. He was successful enough to have had around fifty titles published but is nowadays all but forgotten. He has fallen into such obscurity that I have been able to find out almost nothing about him.

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Stamboul Train

Stamboul Train was one of the books Graham Greene himself classed as “entertainments” as distinct from his serious novels. The intention of the 28-year-old Greene with this novel was to write something successful enough to put his literary career on a firm footing, and it did just that.

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crime and spy fiction from Poe up to 1950

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