The #1958book sign-up

Some real-life police work in 1958: A policeman searches a teddy boy during the Notting Hill riots.

Some real-life police work in 1958: A policeman searches a teddy boy (who must be all of 12) during London’s Notting Hill riots.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to #1952book, which I rounded up last night. For those who still want to play, we are skipping on just a few years to 1958, as suggested by Sorcha at Writing About Books.

In 1958 the Cold War was in full swing. Sputnik reentered the atmosphere in January and the first US satellite was launched in the following month. Nuclear tests were rife, and in the UK the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament began.

Some cultural milestones: The first Carry On movie (Carry On Sergeant, with music composed by Bruce Montgomery aka crime writer Edmund Crispin), the first transmission of Blue Peter, and the first performance of My Fair Lady. Elvis broke a lot of hearts by joining the army.

So what was crime fiction like in 1958? You tell me…

Small print

  • Books, comics, films, plays and TV also welcome.
  • If you want to play but you haven’t got a blog, I’m happy to have you as a guest poster, or to link to Goodreads or Amazon.
  • Comment below to join in, or tweet me @westwoodrich.
  • Sorry if I miss you out…

About pastoffences

Past Offences exists to review classic crime and mystery books, with ‘classic’ meaning books originally published before 1987.
This entry was posted in Crime fiction of the year challenge, Information Received and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to The #1958book sign-up

  1. Count me in! I’ve no idea what book it will be, but I’ll find one. Thanks as ever for hosting this Rich.


  2. MarinaSofia says:

    Can it be a foreign book? I was thinking of The Pledge by Durrenmatt (a.k.a. Requiem for the Detective Novel, so how could I resist such a title?).


  3. Sounds great Rich – count me in!


  4. Nordie says:

    lovely, ta! I’ll shift my post up in order to take part (for anyone who needs a suggestion – it’s “Borderline” by Lawrence Block – not for the easily offended for the depiction of sex and drugs and general violence but……)


  5. Jose Ignacio says:

    Perfect fit Rich since I was planning to read next Playback (1958) but have at least a few more nooks in store


  6. John says:

    I was hoping for a 60s book this round. Oh well… Maybe next time? I’ll be able to find something for 1958 with no problem. Taking a cue form your Cold War note above maybe I’ll dig up a spy thriller for a change.


  7. realthog says:

    Sounds fun! I’ll not have as much time in September as I had in August, but for the moment I’m looking at Killer’s Choice by Ed McBain and the movie I Bury the Living.


  8. TracyK says:

    Definitely in. I have several books I would like to read but not sure. I have only checked my own books but not lists on the internet. I will see what others suggest.


  9. Rebecca says:

    I’m in, and my pick is Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver.


  10. realthog says:

    Hm. I’ve just discovered that the first of Colin Watson’s Flaxborough novels, Coffin, Scarcely Used, was a 1958 item. A bit tempting.

    And another is Ellery Queen’s The Finishing Stroke.


  11. realthog says:

    And a conundrum. (I’ll shut up soon, honest.) John D MacDonald’s The Executioners, which became Cape Fear, bears a dual copyright date: 1957, 1958. I dug into this and found that, unusually, it was published first as a mass-market paperback, by Dell (1957), and then as a hardback, by S&S (1958); the latter is, as it were, yer canonical version. BUT did John D actually revise the book for the 1958 edition or did he merely correct a few of the inevitable Dell typos and take the opportunity to extend his period of copyright by a year? Unless someone has actually sat down and compared the two, which is of course possible, I imagine there’s no way of knowing.


  12. I am in! Not entirely sure which book I’ll pick yet, I will have a little look at my (unorganised!) bookshelves 🙂


  13. richmonde says:

    Can I have Ngaio Marsh’s Singing in the Shrouds?


  14. Pingback: Book Review: Borderline by Lawrence Block | Writing about books

  15. Pingback: Review: Playback by Raymond Chandler | The Game's Afoot

  16. realthog says:

    As an opening offering, I’ve just been writing at Goodreads about Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novel Killer’s Choice (1958).


  17. Pingback: THE SCENT OF NEW-MOWN HAY (1958) by John Blackburn | Tipping My Fedora

  18. And so to 1958 with John Blackburn’s A Scent of New Mown-Hay – which reminds me, time to get out int he garden:)


  19. realthog says:

    My notes on Colin Watson’s Coffin, Scarcely Used (1958), the first of his Flaxborough novels, have just gone up at Goodreads.


  20. Pingback: Dødes Tjern, De (1958) | Noirish

  21. realthog says:

    Probably the only movie I’ll be able to contribute this month to the Challenge: De Dødes Tjern (1958; vt Lake of the Dead; vt The Lake of the Damned), a classic Norwegian ghostly/noirish item.


  22. Pingback: SHOOTING STAR (1958) by Robert Bloch | Tipping My Fedora

  23. My review of Robert Bloch’s one and only private eye novel, Shooting Star, is now up:


  24. Pingback: Review: Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene | The Game's Afoot

  25. Rebecca says:

    And I reviewed a huge bestseller from 1958, Anatomy of a Murder:


  26. I’m going to link back to my old piece on John Rhode’s Licensed for Murder, where I did get into the period aspect and compared with Ruth Rendell’s Not in the Flesh as an agrarian English mystery.


  27. Pingback: Margery Allingham’s Hide My Eyes | Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

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