Log in

the Henri Bencolin mysteries

John Dickson Carr’s The Waxworks Murder might not be his best book but it is a personal favourite of mine.

I believe Carr wrote four other books featuring his detective Henri Bencolin. So the obvious question is - which of these four should I read next?

The Adventures of Jimmie Dale

Frank L. Packard (1877-1942) was a Canadian who wrote crime and adventure fiction but gained his greatest fame with his Jimmie Dale stories. Jimmie Dale, alias the Grey Seal, is a very very early example of both the masked avenger type of hero and the hero with a secret identity.

read moreCollapse )

Paul Temple, yay or nay?

Martin Edwards recently had some rather positive things to say on his blog about Francis Durbridge's 1938 Send for Paul Temple. Does anyone here recommend this book? Or any of Durbridge's novels?

Best Martin Hewitt Detective Stories

Arthur Morrison (1863-1945) is generally considered to be the best of the Victorian writers of detective fiction with the single exception of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Morrison wrote a total of eighteen short stories recounting the cases of private detective Martin Hewitt. Dover’s paperback collection The Best Martin Hewitt Detective Stories includes nine of these marvelous stories.

read moreCollapse )

The Baron Returns

The Baron Returns was the second of forty-seven novels in the Baron series written by the unbelievably prolific John Creasey (1908-1973) under the pseudonym Anthony Morton. The Baron Returns was published in Britain 1937 (and appeared in the US under the title The Return of Blue Mask).

read moreCollapse )

Head of a Traveller

Head of a Traveller, published in 1949, was the ninth of Nicholas Blake’s Nigel Strangeways mysteries. It’s a good example of the strengths and the weaknesses of his writing.

read moreCollapse )

crime imitates art

I watched a 1950s British crime B-movie the other night in which the central character is a writer of detective fiction and he becomes involved in a murder that follows the plot of one of his own novels. And I watched an early episode of Columbo recently which used the same idea. This technique (which I guess could be considered somewhat self-referential) has of course been used many times.

What I’m interested in finding out is - what was the first detective story to make use of this trope?

And what would you consider to be the best detective story to utilise this idea?

Miss Dynamite

Miss Dynamite was one of the early Norman Conquest thrillers by Berkeley Gray, appearing in 1939. The last of the more than fifty Norman Conquest novels was published in 1969.

read moreCollapse )

At the Green Dragon

J. Jefferson Farjeon (1883-1955) was an English writer of mysteries and thrillers who claimed descent from Thomas Jefferson. Farjeon wrote more than eighty novels and was much admired by Dorothy L. Sayers. At the Green Dragon was a fairly early work, appearing in 1926.

read moreCollapse )

The Dollar Chasers

Earl Derr Biggers (1884-1933) is of course best-known for the rather wonderful Charlie Chan detective stories. Before the Charlie Chan books he’d already had considerable success as a mystery writer, his 1913 novel Seven Keys to Baldpate having done particularly well. The novella The Dollar Chasers was published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1924, a year before the first of the Charlie Chan novels.

read moreCollapse )


crime and spy fiction from Poe up to 1950

Latest Month

September 2015


RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow