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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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Wings Above the Diamantina

Arthur W. Upfield (1890-1964) was an English-born Australian writer of detective fiction who enjoyed great international success with his Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte mysteries. The first of these appeared in the late 1920s and the last was published posthumously in 1966. Wings Above the Diamantina, published in 1936, is one of the better known titles.

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Rim of the Pit

I’m not by any means obsessed with locked room or impossible crime stories but it’s a sub-genre I do enjoy when it’s done well, and Hake Talbot’s Rim of the Pit has the reputation of being one of the very best examples.

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A Silent Witness

A Silent Witness is an early detective novel by R. Austin Freeman (it was published in 1914) and it contains most of the features that characterise his work.

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The Sussex Downs Murder

The Sussex Downs Murder was the third of John Bude’s mystery novels and appeared in 1936. John Bude was a pseudonym used by Ernest Elmore (1901-1957). He was evidently popular enough in his day to publish around thirty detective novels over a period of just over twenty years. His work was subsequently almost completely forgotten until the recent British Library re-issue of several of his early mysteries.

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murder in the castle

As you may or may not know I’m quite a fan of R.A.J. Walling. I particularly enjoyed The Corpse in the Green Pyjamas because it’s set in a castle. A real medieval castle. While it’s basically a country house mystery the castle setting does add to the fun.

I know there have been a few detective stories set in fake castles, often in the United States, but what other mysteries have had genuine medieval castles as a setting?

The Crime Doctor

The Crime Doctor is a 1914 collection of linked short stories by E.W. Hornung, a writer best known for his very successful stories of the gentleman-thief Raffles. The crime doctor is a Doctor John Dollar and he has come up with a theory that all crime is a form of madness and can therefore be treated the way madness would be treated.

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The House of the Arrow

The varied and prolific literary output of London-born A.E.W. Mason (1865-1948) included five detective novels featuring Inspector Hanaud. The House of the Arrow was the second Hanaud novel, appearing in 1924 (14 years after the character made his debut in At the Villa Rose).

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