RUTH [AUGUSTA] ADAM
of socially conscious novels
including I'm Not Complaining (1938,
reprinted by Virago in the 1980s), the humorous novel A House in the Country (1957), about a group of friends living
together in a former manor house, and the important historical survey A Woman’s Place, 1910-1975 (1975,
reprinted by Persephone). Among Adam's early novels is her one
experimentation with a murder mystery, Murder
in the Home Guard (1942). This tale, which I discussed here,
is set in an English village which has faced its first bombing raid and the
murder of a Home Guardsman all in one night.
(married names Brown and
Although best known for her children's fiction—particularly her series
beginning with The Wolves of Willoughby
Chase (1962), set in an alternate historical version of England—and for
tales of the supernatural, such as The Shadow Guests (1980) and The Haunting of Lamb House (1991), Aiken
also wrote a number of mysteries and thrillers, including such titles as The Fortune Hunters (1965), Night Fall (1969), Died on a Rainy Sunday (1972), and Voices in an Empty House (1975).
(pseudonym of Doris
More research needed; mystery novelist about whose books I've been able
to find almost no information; she published at least 8 novels 1945-1956,
including Masked Murder (1945, aka Dark Prophecy), Murder in November (1946, aka Rue
the Day), Murder Next Door
(1950), Murder at Puck's Cottage
(1951), The Ivory Locket (1951), Dark Legacy (1953), Murder Looks Back (1955), and Murder in a Maze (1956).
(aka Jean Estoril, aka
Priscilla Hagon, aka Anne Pilgrim)
Best known as a prolific children’s author—among whose works are some
light mystery and suspense fiction for children—Allan also published one
adult mystery in her lifetime, Murder
at the Flood (1957). Two additional
mysteries for adults, Death Goes to
Italy and Death Goes Dancing, were
written but remained unpublished due to her publisher going out of
business. All three of Allan's
mysteries have been published by Greyladies Books in recent years.
MARGERY ALLINGHAM (1904-1966)
(aka Maxwell March, née Hughes)
One of the most
prominent of "Golden Age" mystery writers, best known for her
series featuring detective
Albert Campion, which inspired a popular television series. Allingham published more than two dozen
novels, of which The Tiger in the Smoke
(1952), with its gritty setting among gangs in postwar London, is often considered
her best. Allingham's own favorite was
reportedly The Beckoning Lady
(1955), which may have been partially autobiographical. Other popular works include Police at the Funeral (1931), Death of a Ghost (1934), The Fashion in Shrouds (1938), Traitor's Purse (1941), which
incorporated wartime concerns, and More
Work for the Undertaker (1949), which features humor in the classic
middlebrow form of an eccentric family.
(née Gertrude Margaret
Author of eight novels of the 1940s and 1950s, the first two of which,
at least—Canter's Chase (1945) and Gull Yard (1947)—are mysteries; others
include Flowers for Teacher (1948),
The Silent Sisters (1950), Jonathan Guest (1952), The Gentle Rain (1952), and See a Fine Lady (1955).
MRS. J. O.
(pseudonym of Adelaide Victoria Arnold, née England [listed in British
Library catalogue as "Mrs. A. V. Arnold"])
Author of ten
novels, including Fire i' the Flint
(1911), which some sources call a feminist novel, the bleak Megan of the Dark Isle (1914) , and later
titles which seem to combine mystery and crime with suggestions of the
supernatural, including The Woman in
Blue (1922) and The Merlewood
Granddaughter of Jane Austen's favorite nephew, Austen-Leigh published
four crime or mystery novels in the 1930s, about which little information
seems to be available. The novels are The Incredible Crime (1931), The Haunted Farm (1932), Rude Justice (1936), and The Gobblecock Mystery (1938). The
British Library is apparently reprinting The
Incredible Crime in the next year or so.
BARBARA BALFOUR (1899-1990)
(aka Hearnden Balfour,
combined pseudonym with Beryl Hearnden)
A pioneer of the organic farming movement, Balfour is best remembered
for The Living Soil (1943),
considered a classic environmentalist text, but she also published three
mystery novels written with her common law husband Beryl Hearnden. These are The Paper Chase (1927, aka A
Gentleman from Texas), The
Enterprising Burglar (1928), and Anything
Might Happen (1931, aka Murder and
the Red-Haired Girl). An Abe Books
listing of The Enterprising Burglar
offers this description: "A burglar, who robs from the rich and
distributes to the poor, escapes from a train wreck with the brief case of a
dangerous enemy agent."
information about her work is available, but Barlow appears to have published
two mystery novels—The Sentence of the
Judge (1912) and The Mystery of Jeanne Marie (1913)—as well as one children's book, "Waldmann": The Autobiography of
a Dachsund (1910).
(pseudonym of Muriel Vere
Barling, née Mant, aka Charles Barling)
Author of more than two dozen mystery novels featuring series
detectives Inspector George Marshall, Inspector George Travers, and Inspector
Henderson. Titles include White Pierrot (1936), Saga of a Scoundrel (1947), 43
Candles for Mr. Beamish (1950), The
Rest Is Silence (1951), The Fourth
Victim (1958), Motive for Murder
(1963), and Cage Without Bars
BEATRICE [CATHERINE] BASKERVILLE (1878-1955)
Journalist and novelist
whose fiction often focused on Jewish life in Poland and Russia. Her later work includes three novels with
Elliot Monk which may be mysteries: By
Whose Hand (1922), The Amethyst
Button (1926), and The St. Cloud
[ALICIA] BAYNE-POWELL (1879-1960)
(née Bayne, married name
Author of several popular historical works on 18th century England,
including The English Child in the
Eighteenth Century (1939), Powell also published two crime novels, The Crime at Cloysters (1947) and The Crime at Porches Hill (1950).
(pseudonym of Doris Bell
Ball, née Collier)
Author of more than 40 mysteries from the 1930s to 1980s. Bell was herself a doctor for more than 30
years, including at the University College Hospital in London (the same
hospital at which Agatha Christie volunteered during the war—did the two
puzzlers have any interactions, one wonders?), and her novels, known for the
leisurely pace, realistic characters, and clever puzzles, are often set in
hospitals. Titles include Murder in Hospital (1937), Death at Half-Term (1938), Death at the Medical Board (1944), The Summer School Mystery (1950), Death in Retirement (1956), and Fiasco in Fulham (1963).
Much-acclaimed but lesser-known author of mystery novels. Despite the acclaim, Bennett only published
five mysteries—Time to Change Hats
(1945), Away Went the Little Fish
(1946), The Widow of Bath (1952), The
Man Who Didn't Fly (1955), and Farewell
Crown and Good-Bye King (1961). The Widow of Bath was singled out for
praise by no less an expert than Julian Symons, and The Man Who Didn’t Fly is described as follows: "four men
were supposed to travel on a flight, but when the plane crashed, only three
had boarded it. Who was the fourth man—who has also vanished—and why didn’t
he take the flight?" Along with
two science fiction novels—The Long Way
Back (1954), about an England
colonized by Africa, and The Furious Masters (1968)—and various
television scripts, these represent all of Bennett's published work.
(full name Clara Winifred
Best known in
mystery trivia as a close friend and sometime roommate of Gladys Mitchell, Blazey
also wrote four novels in her own right.
The Spectator compared her rather dark debut, Dora Beddoe (1936),
to Francis Iles' Malice Aforethought (not entirely favorably). Her fourth and final novel, Grace Before
Meat (1942), sounds more cheerful: described as "a cheerful period
piece with a murder thrown in for good measure," it's about a young
woman taking charge of a village school.
Blazey's other novels were Indian
Rain (1938) and The Crouching Hill
WINIFRED BOGGS (1874-1931)
(full name Mary Winifred Boggs, aka Edward Burke,
aka Gloria Manning)
Author of more
than a dozen novels 1907-1930, under her own name and two pseudonyms, many
with intriguing titles, such as Bachelors'
Buttons: The Candid Confessions of a Shy Bachelor (1912), The Sale of Lady Daventry (1914), Sally on the Rocks (1915), and The Indignant Spinsters (1921). I
would speculate that Murder on the
Underground (1929), her penultimate novel, is a mystery, but I haven't
been able to locate any details or reviews of it.
focused on social or political issues, including Old Wine (1924), set in post-WWI
Austria, The Mortal Storm (1937),
which warned against the Nazis, and the "blitz novels" London Pride (1941) and Without the Cup (1943, aka Survival). It's perhaps a stretch
including her on this list, but her 1924 novel, The Depths of Prosperity, written with American author Dorothy
Thompson and set in the U.S., has been described as a mystery about a women violently
jealous of her own daughter. Her later novel, Level Crossing (1936), also contains thriller elements, dealing
with a kidnapped woman and the complex relationship that develops between her
and her kidnapper's girlfriend.
(pseudonym of Margaret
Campbell, married names Constanzo and Long, aka Joseph Shearing, aka George
An enormously prolific author of historical romances, tales of the
supernatural, and mainstream novels as well as popular crime novels—many of
them reconstructions of real-life cases.
The last were largely written using her Joseph Shearing pseudonym, and
include such titles as Forget-Me-Not
(1932), Dark Rosaleen (1933), The Poisoners (1936), and Airing in a Closed Carriage (1943).
Author of five
mysteries, including Fear and Miss
Betony (1941), about a retired schoolmistress who investigates
wrongdoings at a girls' school, which was named by James Sandoe as one of the best
"Golden Age" mystery novels.
The others are Postscript to
Poison (1938), Shadows Before
(1939), Deed Without a Name (1940),
and The Bells at Old Bailey (1947). All five have been reprinted in recent
years by Rue Morgue Press.
(full name Constance
Suffragist, journalist, welfare worker, and campaigner for women's
rights, Boyle also wrote a dozen or so mystery and adventure novels, often featuring
strong female protagonists. Titles
include Out of the Frying Pan (1920),
What Became of Mr. Desmond (1922), Nor All Thy Tears (1923), Anna's
(1925), The Stranger within the Gates (1926), Moteley's Concession
(1926), The Rights of Mallaroche (1927), Treading on Eggs
(1929), The Late Unlamented (1931), My Lady's Bath (1931),
Could They? (1932), and Good Old Potts! (1934).
ANNIE BRADSHAW (1859-1938)
works sound like thrillers and/or melodramas, with titles like A Crimson Stain (1885), Wife or Slave? (1890), The Gates of Temptation (1898), The Rags of Morality (1911), Her Ordeal (1922), and Chained to the Wheel (1934); one of
her final works, Murder at the Boarding
House (1936), might be a more straightforward mystery, but I've found no
details about it.
(pseudonym of Doris
Along with S.
J. Simon, author of a series of four humorous mysteries set at the fictional
Stroganoff Ballet Company, beginning with A
Bullet in the Ballet (1937) and continuing with Casino for Sale (1938, aka Murder a La Stroganoff), Envoy on Excursion (1940), and Six Curtains for Stroganova (1945, aka
Six Curtains for Natasha). Brahms and Simon also wrote historical
humor such as Don't, Mr Disraeli!
(1940), and Brahms later wrote several solo novels.
[JEAN] BRANCH (1920-1967)
(née Byatt, other married
names Faulker and Stuart-Lyon)
Author of four widely-acclaimed humorous mysteries variously compared
to the likes of the Marx Brothers and Evelyn Waugh and now published by Rue Morgue Press, including The Wooden Overcoat (1951), The Lion in the Cellar (1951), Murder Every Monday (1954), and Murder's Little Sister (1958), the
last named by Carolyn Hart as one of her five favorite mysteries of all time.
(pseudonym of Mary
Christianna Milne, married name Lewis, aka Mary Ann Ashe, aka Annabel Jones,
aka Mary Roland, aka China
Author of nearly a dozen mystery novels featuring three different
detectives, the most famous of which, Inspector Cockrill, features in her classic
Green for Danger (1944), set in a
hospital during World War II; others include Heads You Lose (1941), Suddenly
at His Residence (1946), Death of
Jezebel (1948), London Particular
(1952), Tour De Force (1955), and The Three Cornered Halo (1957). Her second detective, Inspector
Charlesworth, figures in Death in High
Heels (1941) and The Rose in
Darkness (1979), while Inspector Chuckie appears in Cat and Mouse (1950) and A
Ring of Roses (1977). Brand also
published romance novels under her pseudonyms and, rather interestingly,
authored the Nurse Matilda children's books upon which Emma Thompson based
her film character Nanny McPhee.
(née Mills, aka Rose
A well-known singer under her stage name Rose D'Evelyn, Broemel
published one thriller, The Elusive
Criminal: A London Mystery (1930), about which little information is
(pseudonym of Edith Mary
John, married names Broade and Hunt Lewis, aka H. H. Lewis)
Another rather enigmatic author of at least four mystery novels, two of
which feature the same police detectives.
I could find no significant information about them, however, except
their titles—Her Hour of Temptation
(1937), Murder at Maison Manche
(1948), Pearls and Perjury (1950),
and By Whose Hand? (1956).
[EDITH] BURR (1909-2002)
best known for Life With Lisa
(1958), the fictional diary of a 12-year-old girl, reprinted in 1979 as a
Puffin and dramatized for Radio 4 in 2003.
Her debut novel, however, was Lantern
of the North (1954, aka Night Train
to Scotland), described by Kirkus
Reviews as "a delightful Scottish mystery" with a 15-year-old
heroine. Likely not for hardcore
mystery fans, but still technically appropriate for this list.
(née Williams, aka Jennie
Acclaimed author of more than 70 books in all, most of them mysteries
but with some gothic romance mixed in, under both her real name and her
pseudonym, spanning more than five decades from the 1950s to the 2000s. She published police procedurals in two
series, one featuring Detective Inspector John Coffin, the other featuring a
policewoman, Chief Superintendent Charmian Daniels. She also published historical mysteries set
in Victorian or Edwardian England.
Some of her many titles include Receipt
for Murder (1956), Dead in a Row
(1957), The Dull Dead (1958), Death Lives Next Door (1960), Come Home and Be Killed (1962), A Nameless Coffin (1966), A Coffin for Pandora (1973), The Red Staircase (1980), Windsor Red (1988), The Morbid Kitchen (1995), Coffin's Game (1997), Dead Again (2000), and Dread Murder (2007). Few of Butler's novels are in print in the
U.S., but it looks like many titles are due for reprinting in the U.K. in
2014. An author who may be ripe for
[VIOLET] CADELL (1903-1989)
(née Vandyke, aka Harriet
Author of numerous light novels of humorous romance and/or suspense,
including Iris in Winter (1949), The Cuckoo in Spring (1954), The Lark Shall Sing (1955), I Love a Lass (1956), The Yellow Brick Road (1960), Six Impossible Things (1961), and Mixed Marriage (1963). Several of her
novels—particularly in the late 1950s and early 1960s—include an element of
mystery, but Death and Miss Dane,
reportedy written in 1959 and finally published in the past few years by Lady
Grantly Publishing (see here), seems to be quite
definitely a mystery.
FAITH] CAMPBELL (1891-????)
Author of five novels about which information is sparse; The Servants of the Goddess (1928) is
described as a "lost race" novel, The Secret Brotherhood (1929) as a "mystic novel of India;
the final three—The Burqa: A Detective
Story (1930), The Makra Mystery
(1931), and Olga Knaresbrook—Detective
(1933)—appear to be mysteries or thrillers.
(pseudonym of Barbara Alison Neville, née Boodson)
Medical professional for some years before retiring to raise her
family, and author of 12 novels, three of them mysteries; Which Doctor (1953), set in a
children’s hospital, and Bones of
Contention, set at the Royal
College of Paediatricians, both feature Professor Fabian Honeychurch assisting
Inspector Burnivel from Scotland Yard in solving crimes which make use of
Neville's medical background; her third mystery, Words for Murder Perhaps, which didn’t appear until 1971, also
features a university professor and Burnivel.
This time the professor is teaching a course on crime fiction for
adult students, but finds the topic becoming quite real when a fellow staff
member is poisoned. These three novels
were apparently reprinted by Hogarth Crime in the 1980s. Of Neville's other novels, The Graver Tribe (1958), A Lady's Hand (1959) and Doctor Amadeus (1967) make use of her
medical experience, while Parents' Day
(1967) takes place in a coed school in Pembrokeshire. Check here for discussion of several other novels.
Starting her career with mainstream novels such as The Misty Valley (1922) and Sheila
Both-Ways (1928), both of which deal with unhappy marriages, and High Table (1931), a melodrama set at
Oxford (and one of the few Cannan novels to have been reprinted), by the
1930s Cannan had crime on her mind. No Walls of Jasper (1930), Ithuriel's Hour (1931), and Frightened Angels (1936) are
psychological studies of murder, while The
Hills Sleep On (1935) and A Hand To
Burn (1936) are more along the lines of "thrillers." Princes
in the Land (1938), a novel about motherhood reprinted in recent years by
Persephone, also appeared at this time.
Only at the advent of World War II did Cannan try her hand at more
traditional whodunits. They Rang Up the Police (1939) and Death at the Dog (1940) introduce Guy
Northeast as their detective, a discontented and unremarkable man whose
abilities are therefore often underrated.
They are both set in villages and make humorous use of the setting and
its characters. Later in the 1940s
Cannan focused on the girls' pony book series she had begun with much success
with A Pony for Jean (1936), and on
a family saga, Little I Understood
(1948), and its sequel, And All I
Learned (1951). In 1950, she
returned to mysteries, introducing a new detective, Ronald Price, in Murder Included (1950, aka Poisonous Relations and The Taste of Murder). This was followed by Body in the Beck (1952), acclaimed by Barzun and Taylor as one of
their 100 best mysteries. Cannan's
later mysteries include Long Shadows
(1955), And Be a Villain (1958),
and All Is Discovered (1962). Some of Cannan's mysteries were reprinted
by Rue Morgue Press, but appear to be out of
print again now. Cannan was also the mother of children's authors Josephine,
Diana, and Christine Pullein-Thompson and the sister of poet and novelist May
Poet and author
of three early novels—The Meadow Beyond
(1910), A Soul in Shadow (1913),
which appears to be a crime novel, and The
King's Token (1914), about Henry II; Carrier then went on to publish
several significant works about the geology of England and Europe.
M[ARY]. CHANNON (1875-1941)
Author of melodramatic adult fiction and several well-received school
stories, such as Expelled from St.
Madern's (1928) and The Honour of
the House (1931), and other children's fiction such as the humorous
family story The Surprising Holidays
(1926), about an inept family surviving without domestic help. In the late
1920s and early 1930s, Channon wrote several mysteries, described by Hilary
Clare as "too short, too straightforward and too sensational." Two
of these, The Chimney Murder (1929)
and Twice Dead (1930), were
reprinted by Greyladies in recent years. The
Chimney Murder deals humorously with the gruesome murder of an
"unsatisfactory husband," while Twice
Dead deals with village murder apparently predicted by a
fortune-teller. Channon's other works
in the genre are The House with No
Address (1931), described as a thriller rather than a whodunit, and The Gilt-Edged Mystery (1932).
(née Miller, other married
name Mallowan, aka Mary Westmacott)
What can I add to all that's been written about the bestselling
novelist of all time? Check out the official website for sure, but otherwise I can only list the
Christies I would personally recommend as essential, which include the
controversial (did Christie "cheat" or didn't she?) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), the
iconic Murder on the Orient Express (1934),
the justly famous The ABC Murders (1936),
the ultimate puzzle, And Then There
Were None (1939), N or M? (1941)—Christie's
only mystery written during World War II that doesn't take place in a warless
alternate universe—The Body in the
Library (1942), a particularly clever and entertaining Miss Marple
mystery, the brilliant Crooked House
(1949), and Curtain (1975, though
written much earlier), Poirot's final case. Those sum up Christie's talents
well, but for pure entertainment value, also check out The Murder at the Vicarage (1930), a wonderfully characterized
village novel disguised as a mystery, The
Sittaford Mystery (1932), a lesser-known work that makes the most of a
blizzard setting, The Hollow
(1946), singled out by Nicola Humble for its middlebrow concerns but also
featuring a clever twist, A Murder Is
Announced (1950), also strong on character and featuring a striking
portrayal of what is surely a lesbian couple, and the charming Cat Among the Pigeons (1959), set in a girls'
school. Christie's best-known plays also provide brilliant twists, especially
The Mousetrap (1952) and Witness for the Prosecution (1953).
The film version of the latter is particularly good. Trust me, you'll want to
watch it twice.
HELEN MARY ELIZABETH
(married name Overall, aka
Irina Karlova, aka Olivia Leigh, aka H. M. E. Clamp)
A remarkably prolific and versatile author of romance, adventure,
historical, and supernatural fiction; as Irina Karlova, she wrote many gothic
novels, at least one of which, Dreadful
Hollow (1942), seems to contain some elements of a detective novel (John
at Pretty Sinister discussed it last year),
which is slight enough justification for including her here, but it does
sound interesting! Clamp's other
titles as Karlova were The Empty House
(1944) and Broomstick (1946).
Author of nearly two dozen spy and mystery thrillers from just before
WWII until the 1960s. Be sure and
check out Spy Guys and Gals for more information and
some charming covers. I'm particularly
intrigued by Cherry Harvest (1943),
which takes place in and around an evacuated girls' school during World War
II, whose inhabitants and guests must deal with murder and intrigue. Other titles include Let Him Die (1939), Perhaps
a Little Danger (1942), Weathercock
(1949), Over and Done With (1952), Discord in the Air (1955), Uncommon Cold (1958), and Honey for the Marshall (1960).
(pseudonym of Edith Joan Macintosh)
diplomat, educational writer, and author of three well-received detective
novels—Curiosity Killed the Cat
(1947), Villainy at Vespers (1949),
and Deadly Earnest (1952)—all
featuring series character Inspector Cam.
Author of six girls' school books starting with Betty of Turner House (1935), an apparently forgotten early
novel, And Why Not Knowing? (1929),
and four humorous mysteries all featuring Lady Lupin, "the
scatterbrained wife of the vicar of Glanville," as their usually
inadvertent detective: Who Killed the
Curate? (1944), Penelope Passes, or
Why Did She Die? (1946), The
Mystery at Orchard House (1946), and Dancing
with Death (1947). Rue Morgue has
reprinted all four, and their site contains a wonderful discussion of Coggin and
(née Allen, aka M. I.
Politician, education advocate, and author of more
than 30 mystery novels with her husband George (G. D. H.) Cole. The Coles' novels are known for strong
characterization and clever methods of murder (see the informative discussion
at GA Detection). Their titles include The Death of a Millionaire (1925), The Murder at Crome House (1927), Poison in the Garden Suburb (1929), Corpse in Canonicals (1930), Death
of a Star (1932), Scandal at School
(1935), Disgrace to the College
(1937), Mrs Warrender's Profession
(1938), Murder at the Munition Works
(1940), Knife in the Dark (1941), Toper's End (1942), and Birthday Gifts (1946).
AGNES ROSEMARY COOPER (1911-1989)
(married name Gould, aka Ramsay Bell [with Mary
Mary Weller, of four pseudonymous novels—Dragon
Under Ground (1937), To Joanna
(1938), Dangerous Promise (1939),
and The Lake of Ghosts (1940)—which
appear to be mysteries or thrillers. Dragon
Under Ground is described as “a pleasantly told yet thrilling tale of
Christmas adventure," while The
Lake of Ghosts is set in the Apennines and has an archaeologist as
MRS. GEORGE CORBETT (1846-1930)
(pseudonym of Elizabeth Burgoyne Corbett)
needed; novelist and crime writer, many of whose works appeared in
periodicals and have not been fully documented; known works include the
utopic New Amazonia: A Foretaste of the
Future (1890), The Marriage Market
(1905), and An Unwilling Husband
(1922). Although several sources
mention that she wrote crime or mystery novels, the only one I've been able
to positively identify as such is When
the Sea Gives Up Its Dead: A Thrilling Detective Story (1894).
A[LICE]. COWDROY (1884-1946)
Author of at least 20 mysteries from the 1920s to 1940s, including Brothers-In-Love (1922), The Inscrutable Secretary (1924), Mask (1928), The Mystery of Sett (1930), Watch
Mr Moh! (1931), Murder of Lydia
(1933), Murder Unsuspected (1936), Framed Evidence (1936), Death Has No Tongue (1938), Nine Green Bottles (1939), Merry-Go-Round (1940), Murder Out of Court (1944), and Morris Dance (1946).
(married name Munthe, aka
Author of children’s fiction from the 1920s to 1960s, such as The Milhurst Mystery (1933), Clover Cottage (1958), and The Secret of Grange Farm (1961),
Cowen then switched to historical romance and suspense, including such titles
as Scented Danger (1966) and The Hounds of Carvello (1970). Most of her work for adults seems to be
romantic suspense, but there are also references to mystery novels. Under her Eleanor Hyde pseudonym, Cowen
published a series of historical novels in the 1970s, some with titles that
suggest they could be mysteries, such as Tudor
Mayhem (1973), Tudor Mystery
(1974), and Tudor Murder
(1977). If anyone is more familiar
with Cowen's work than I am, please share your knowledge and I'll update this
GUY CULLINGFORD (1907-2000)
(pseudonym of Alice Constance Lindsay Taylor, née
Author of about
a dozen humorous mystery novels, all but the first, Murder with Relish (1948), under her pseudonym. The others are If Wishes were Hearses (1952), Post Mortem (1953), Conjurer's Coffin (1954), Framed for Hanging (1959), A Touch of Drama (1960), Third Party Risk (1962), The Whipping Boys (1964), Brink of Disaster (1964), The Stylist (1968), The Bread and Butter Miss (1979), and Bother at the Barbican (1991).
Happily, Orion's "Murder Room" series has now released all of her
mysteries as e-books (though there appears to be some doubt about how long
Murder Room titles will continue to be available now that the imprint is closing down).
A secretary to Rumer Godden early in her career, Dale became a
successful crime novelist who specialized in character development and whose focus
was often on lonely or desperate characters.
She perhaps has more in common with Ruth Rendell than with Agatha
Christie, and in fact Rendell called Dale's work "quiet, clever,
subtle—and terrifying. I can’t think of anyone whose stories of suspense I
appreciate more." She published
13 novels in all, including The Least Of These (1943), To Hold the Mirror (1946), The Dry Land
(1952), The Wooden (1953), Trial of Strength (1955), A
Spring of Love (1960), Other People (1964), A Helping Hand
(1966), Act of Love (1969), A Dark Corner (1971), The
Innocent Party (1973), Helping with Inquiries (1979, aka Deception),
and Sheep's Clothing (1988).
Several of Dale's titles have now been reprinted by Faber
Playwright and novelist
known for A Bill of Divorcement
(1921), a successful play about changing divorce laws, Regiment of Woman (1917), a controversial novel about lesbianism
in a girls' school, and Broome Stages
(1931), about several generations of a theatre family. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Dane
teamed with Australian novelist Helen Simpson for three mystery novels set in
the world of provincial theatre and featuring Sir John Saumarez as their lead
character. The first, Enter Sir John (1928), was the source
for Alfred Hitchcock's early film Murder!
(1930) and reportedly also an inspiration for Dorothy L. Sayers' Strong Poison. Their other collaborations are Printer's Devil (1930) and Re-enter Sir John (1932).
CHAMPION DE CRESPIGNY (1860-1935)
(pseudonym of Rose Key
Champion de Crespigny, née Key)
Painter, mystery writer, and novelist; early
novels like The Mischief of a Glove
(1903) featured spunky girls in historical situations, but later work such as
The Mark (1912) and The Dark Sea (1927) deal with
supernatural and spiritualist themes, as does her memoir This World and Beyond (1934).
Little is known about de Crespigny, but according to detective-fiction.com, she published 20 mystery novels as well, including
Tangled Evidence (1924), The Missing Piece (1927), The Riddle of the Emeralds (1929), and
The Eye of Nemesis (1931).
(pseudonym of Winifred Selina Garrett, married name
author of only two novels, both published in 1937—Ask No Questions and The
Rope Waits—which seem to be mysteries, but little information is available
DANVERS DEARDEN (1892-1981)
Founder of a dance school in London and author of at least nine novels
of the 1930s which appear to be adventure, mystery, and/or spy stories,
including "This Road Is
Dangerous!" (1930), The
Mystery at the Skating Rink (1931), The
Blonde Madonna (1933), Strange
Rendezvous (1934), The Trappings
Are Gorgeous (1937), and Dust in
Her Eyes (1940).
GORDON DEMAREST (1908-1969)
A somewhat mysterious author (see here), Demarest published several novels in the 1930,
including Lady Gone Wild (1933), The Past Is Ours (1934), and This Strange Love (1939), as well as several
later ones, of which Crime Fiction IV classifies two
(apparently posthumous?)—What Happened
on the 'Melisande' (1971) and The
House on Washington Place (1974)—as mysteries.
ALEXANDRA DICK-ERIKSON (1906-1989)
(née Dick, aka Alexandra
Dick, aka Frances Hay)
Author, under her pseudonyms, of numerous mysteries and historical
novels from the 1930s to 1960s. Most
of her mystery titles seem to have been under her Alexandra Dick pseudonym,
and include The Curate's Crime
(1945), MacAlastair Looks On
(1947), The Innocence of Rosamond Prior
(1953), and Crime in the Close
(married names O
Cuilleanain and Mercier)
Known for children's
fiction such as The Lost Island
(1952), Dillon wrote three mysteries with Irish settings—Death at Crane's Court (1953), Sent to His Account (1954), and Death in the Quadrangle (1956)—and mainstream novels including The Bitter Glass (1958) and Citizen Burke (1984). There's an excellent article on Dillon and
on her mysteries at Rue Morgue Press.
[WILSON] DONALD (1917-1999)
Author of five girls' mystery tales with some school content, including
Linda—the Schoolgirl Detective
(1949), Linda in Lucerne (1950), Linda and the Silver Greyhounds
(1952), Linda in Cambridge (1955),
and Linda in New York; reportedly,
she also wrote adult mysteries, but these have not been identified and might
have been under an as-yet-unidentified pseudonym or might have appeared only
MARGARET DOUGLAS (dates unknown)
romantic novels for J. Leng 1922-1941, and perhaps at least one mystery, Murder at the "Mike" (1936);
other titles include Diana Dean
(1922), Love's Sunlit Way (1924), The Loom of Love (1925), Denholm's Daughter (1929), Nancy Pretty (1931), Riding for a Fall (1935), Though Seas Divide (1937), and For Love of Linda (1941).
Author of three mystery/thrillers set in exotic locales, including The Pointing Man: A Burmese Mystery
(1917, now available from Google Books), The Man from Trinidad (1918), and The Man Who Tried Everything (1919).
Intriguing Scottish author of numerous crime novels often focused on
the psychology of crime rather than on the solving of a puzzle. Bastard
Verdict (1934), compared to Elizabeth Jenkins' Harriet, focused on a uniquely Scottish concern—the ability of
juries under Scottish law to return a verdict of "Not Proven,"
meaning that suspicion remains although the crime can't be proven. This possibility resurfaces in Duke's next
novel, Skin for Skin (1935), and in
her fascinating final novel, The Dancing of the Fox (1956), which I reviewed
here a while back. Other works include
The Stroke of Murder (1937), Death and His Sweetheart (1938), Unjust Jury (1941), Funeral March of a Marionette (1945), Blind Geese (1946), Winter Pride (1952), and My Grim Chamberlain (1955).
Author of at least nine mystery novels, some or all featuring series
character Inspector York, but little else is known of her; titles include Why Pick on Pickles? (1945), Keeps Death His Court (1946), Cornish Mystery (1946), Murder Has Charms (1948), and Castle Mandragora (1950).