Well, I haven’t managed many book reviews this month (big fat zero), but fortunately the rest of the internet has picked up my slack. There are some great posts out there in the blogosphere; here are just a few of them.
Andrew Nette of Pulpcurry wrote a fascinating piece on June Wright, author of Murder in the Telephone Exchange and apparently a refreshingly wry figure.
Responding to one reporter who quizzed her on how a mother could use Who Would Murder a Baby? as the title for her second book, she quipped, ‘Obviously, you know nothing of the homicidal instincts sometimes aroused in a mother by her children. After a particularly exasperating day, it’s a relief to murder a few characters in your books instead.’
Andrew goes on to consider how Wright came to slip into obscurity in the context of the Australian crime fiction scene.
Staying down under, Pretty Sinister Books talked about another forgotten Australian writer.
Sometimes the discovery of a forgotten writer yields such a surprising variety of interesting work it’s both a blessing and a curse. Exhibit A: Sidney Hobson Courtier who later was published more simply as S.H. Courtier. With the exception of two books reissued by the independent Australian publisher Wakefield Press none of his books are in print and many of them are near impossible to get a hold of.
The Glass Spear is apparently both an effective mystery and an examination of the relationship between Aboriginal and European Australians.
Finnish pulp specialist Pulpetti continues to profile some equally obscure British crime writers, this month looking at Sean Gregory …
…he wrote some short paperbacks for the Tit-Bits Books paperback series in the early 1950s. (At least I think they were paperbacks, but I’m not 100 % certain. Hope someone can confirm this. I believe the books accompanied the issues of the Tit-Bits magazine.)
and Kenneth Royce.
He writes in clear prose that keeps the story moving, he creates interesting characters with just a few lines, they are likable even though they are not heroes, his plots are unpredictable and original. Too bad he’s not very well known these days.
Finally, new reviews site Shiny New Books profiled Celia Fremlin.
Why on earth have we not heard of Celia Fremlin? Well, I certainly hadn’t until recently, and having discovered her brilliant ‘novels of domestic suspense’ through Faber Finds, I am genuinely amazed that she somehow dropped out of sight after her final novel was published in 1994. Born in 1914, in middle-class Middlesex, Fremlin was a bright girl who studied Classics at Oxford and worked during World War Two on the famous Mass Observation social anthropology project… The Hours Before Dawn (1959), won the American Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Crime Novel. She went on to write another eighteen novels and short story collections, all of which Faber is now bringing out.
The 1963 challenge
Next month… I thought I’d try something different, if people are up for a challenge. I’ve picked a year at random and will focus on that year in my June round-up. The year, selected by one of the Minor Offences, will be 1963. Let me know if you’re going to play, I’d hate to miss anyone.
See also… (and do give me a shout if I’ve missed something)
Battered, Tattered, Yellowed and Creased
- Richard S. Prather’s Kill the Clown (1963)
Beneath the Stains of Time
- Baynard Kendrick’s Hot Red Money (1959)
- Franklyn Pell’s Hangman’s Hill (1946)
- Carl Wilhelm Wormser’s The Secret of the Temple Ruin (1946)
- Erle Stanley Gardner’s The Case of the Baited Hook (1940)
Bitter Tea and Mystery
- Elizabeth Ferrars’ Skeleton in Search of a Cupboard (1982)
- Dorothy L. Sayers’ Strong Poison (1930)
The Broken Bullhorn
- John Bude’s The Cornish Coast Murder (1935) and The Lake District Murder (1935)
- Wilson Tucker’s The Man in my Grave (1956)
- Brett Halliday’s Blue Murder (1973)
- Elizabeth Daly’s The Wrong Way Down (1946)
- John Dickson Carr’s Death-Watch (1935)
- Gladys Mitchell’s The Devil at Saxon Wall (1935)
Clothes in Books
Do You Write Under Your Own Name?
Fleur in her World
- Mary Stewart’s Nine Coaches Waiting (1958)
- Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn (19366)
The History Girls
- Adèle Geras on Agatha Christie’s home, Greenway
- Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö’s Cop Killer (1974)
Ms Wordopolis Reads
- Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö’s The Man on the Balcony (1968)
My Reader’s Block
- Candlelight in Algeria (film, 1944)
- A. E. W. Mason’s At the Villa Rose (1910)
- June Wright’s Murder in the Telephone Exchange (1948)
The Passing Tramp
A Penguin a Week
- Josephine Tey’s The Franchise Affair (1948)
Pretty Sinister Books
- S. H. Courtier’s The Glass Spear (1950)
- Charity Backstock’s Miss Fenny (1957)
- Peter Dickinson’s The Glass-Sided Ants’ Nest (1968)
- The Burglar (film, 1957)
Riding the High Country
- Charade (film, 1963)
Savvy Verse and Wit
- Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca (1938)
Shiny New Books
In So Many Words
- The Nine Tailors (TV, 1974)
Tipping my Fedora
Vintage Pop Fictions
- Ian Fleming’s Diamonds Are Forever (1956)
- John Creasey’s The Toff Goes To Market (1946)
- Agatha Christie’s Lord Edgware Dies (1933)
- Patricia Wentworth’s Dead or Alive (1936)
What Are You Reading For?
- James Ellroy’s Brown’s Requiem (1981)
Past Offences by Rich Westwood is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.