#1955book sign-up page


This is just the sort of thing James Ellroy is always writing about – the May 1955 issue of the Police Gazette.


Every month on Past Offences, we profile a particular year in crime fiction. Steve and Sergio picked 1955 for this month’s focus.

This was the year rock and roll began to go mainstream and an interesting cross-over between crime fiction and broader popular culture took place. When the movie version of Blackboard Jungle by Evan Hunter (Ed McBain) premiered in the US, teenagers started dancing in cinemas to the soundtrack featuring ‘Rock Around the Clock’, by Bill Haley & His Comets.

In the real world, the Cold War was in full swing. The Warsaw Pact was signed, and the Vietnam War began a few months after the first US advisors were sent over in a purely advisory capacity. Did all that paranoia and anxiety spill over into the crime fiction that was first published in 1955? You tell me.

Anyone can play, so over to you…

Small print

  • Don’t be shy!
  • Just comment below to link to your blog post.
  • 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.
  • Books, comics, films, plays and TV also welcome.
  • Sorry in advance if I miss you in the round-up, although I am getting better at that bit.


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, Crimes of the Century, Information Received and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to #1955book sign-up page

  1. cassincork says:

    “Scales of Justice” by Ngaio Marsh was published in 1955. Not at all rock and roll, set in a small village where class is a big influence on most people’s lives.


  2. Col says:

    Logging that library has helped – got my 1955 book in my hands already! Chester Himes – The End of a Primitive


  3. Bev Hankins says:

    I’m in with One Touch of Blood by Samm Sinclair Baker (I’ll also throw Death of a Dwarf by Harold Kemp at you…if you’ll take one that I read last month–it’s a good one.)


  4. KerrieS says:

    Mine is going to be BEAST IN VIEW, Margaret Millar, listed in 1995 by the Mystery Writers of America on a list entitled The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time, at number 79.


  5. westwoodrich says:

    Some good stuff already, keep ’em coming.


  6. As I say every month – I will definitely do one, just no idea what it will be yet…


  7. Bev Hankins says:

    The only reason I’m in with the first review is that Rich has been intrigued enough by the title Death of a Dwarf (by Harold Kemp) to let me bring in a book from January. I originally chose it for my Vintage Mystery Bingo Challenge–1955 happens to be the birth year of a very dear friend of mine. I’ll have another review–read in February–soon.


  8. Count me in Rich – and as a preview, I’ll be starting with THE DEADLY CLIMATE by Ursula Curtiss 🙂


  9. I’m in but don’t know what I’ll read yet. Nothing in my personal collection from that year (I was going to try to make a case that THE QUIET AMERICAN is a crime novel but it’s stretching the point a bit too far I think) so I shall have to see what the library can do for me. Perhaps Patricia Wentworth’s VANISHING POINT as they seem to have a copy of that but I’ll have a longer investigation of the catalogue tonight.


  10. Jose Ignacio says:

    As already mentioned, I’m in.


  11. John says:

    Way too much to choose from for this year. Definitely in. It’ll be a toss up between Joan Fleming and Charlotte Armstrong, I think. Maybe both! (And I see Mr. Angelini is planning to read yet another Pretty Sinister Books recommended title. Bravo!)


  12. Rebecca says:

    I have The Talented Mr. Ripley on my shelves ready for this challenge.


  13. Pingback: Margaret Millar 100th Anniversary | The Game's Afoot

  14. Bev Hankins says:

    My second entry: One Touch of Blood by Samm Sinclair Baker


  15. richmonde says:

    I’ll do Hickory Dickory Dock (Agatha Christie) if nobody stops me.


  16. Pingback: #1955Book – Alan Hunter’s GENTLY DOES IT | Reactions to Reading

  17. Keishon says:

    I’m reading The Talented Mr. Ripley. Another book I started and stopped but this time I’m enjoying it.


  18. Pingback: Film Notes: Death of a Cyclist (Original title: Muerte de un ciclista, 1955) directed by Juan Antonio Bardem | The Game's Afoot

  19. Pingback: The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith | Yet Another Crime Fiction Blog

  20. Pingback: Review: Beast in View by Margaret Millar | The Game's Afoot

  21. John says:

    I’ve read two books and the first review is up now: The Tall Dark Man by Anne Chamberlain. Slightly disappointed in this because this book is lauded by so many. Not a crime novel at all, IMO, but one of those mainstream novels that just happens to have a crime in it.
    The second 1955 book review will be posted on Sunday.


  22. How about I review World’s Finest Comics #79 from Nov/Dec 1959? Detectives and crime-fighters include Batman, Green Arrow, Superman and Tomahawk. Plus a brief appearance by Fearless Fosdick.


  23. Pingback: CLEAN BREAK (1955) by Lionel White | Tipping My Fedora

  24. richmonde says:

    Agatha Christie’s Hickory Dickory Dock: http://wordcount-richmonde.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/agatha-christies-hickory-dickory-dock.html About students in a mixed hostel. Not all 50s teens rocked – many studied hard and worried about the future, like this lot. Not as dull as they sound.


  25. Pingback: Broadway Jungle (1955) | Noirish

  26. Pingback: Escapade (1955) | Noirish

  27. realthog says:

    An opening salvo of two 1955 movies to throw into the pot: Broadway Jungle and Escapade. I’m hoping for two more by the end of the month.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Pingback: Shrike, The (1955) | Noirish

  29. Pingback: My #1955book: The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith | Ms. Wordopolis Reads

  30. Pingback: Wiretapper (1955) | Noirish

  31. Pingback: Review: The Beckoning Lady by Margery Allingham | The Game's Afoot

  32. realthog says:

    And, just to show that I can read as well as watch movies, here are some notes on Scales of Justice (1955) by Ngaio Marsh.


  33. Pingback: Winston Graham: The Little Walls | Past Offences Classic Crime Fiction

  34. tracybham says:

    I did a post for a 1955 book, Murder in the Raw, by William Campbell Gault, on Feb. 18th. I haven’t been successful at leaving a link, I hope this comment gets through.

    I loved the book, by the way.


  35. Pingback: Captain Cut-Throat by John Dickson Carr | In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel

  36. My review is up of Captain Cut-Throat by John Dickson Carr is up now.


  37. Pingback: THE QUIET AMERICAN (1955) by Graham Greene | Tipping My Fedora

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