May’s reading covered five decades of crime fiction, starting more than a century ago with Frank Froest’s The Grell Mystery (1913), a bit of a hymn to Scotland Yard. Robert Grell, ‘social idol, millionaire and diplomat, and winner of the greatest matrimonial prize in London’ is killed – but is it him? Trust the Yard to get to the bottom of things.
Ianthe Jerrold’s The Studio Crime is a 1929 classic by an early member of the Detection Club, brought back into print by Dean Street Press. Affable and optimistic sleuth John Christmas unravels the mysterious death of a wannabe Renaissance man in St John’s Wood.
Ianthe Jerrold’s Dead Man’s Quarry is the 1930 follow-up, set in the Welsh Marches. A young nobleman is murdered during a cycling holiday. Golden Age mystery with just a touch of the Enid Blyton style.
Ethel Lina White’s Some Must Watch (1933) is a claustrophobic suspense novel. A young servant inexplicably stays in a spooky mansion as everyone else is picked off one by one.
John and Emery Bonett’s Dead Lion was my #1949book and sees two amateur detectives, one of whom is more interested in a beautiful suspect, tackling the murder of an unpleasant literary critic.
Nicolas Freeling’s Double-Barrel (1964) takes his pontificating Dutch detective Van Der Valk to a small-minded provincial town to locate the author of a series of poison-pen letters.
Len Deighton’s 1978 thriller SS-GB is an alternative history set in Nazi-occupied London in 1941. Archer of the Yard gets far too involved in German politics in his investigation into the death of a scientist.
My pick of the month? I’m going with Dead Man’s Quarry. A fantastic light read. Review to follow…
You can read other bloggers’ picks at Mysteries in Paradise.