1944 sign-up page


Having removed their turbans, Muslim and Hindhu Sikh police recruits are instructed in drill at a Frontier Constabulary training establishment, Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, India, 1944

Every month on Past Offences I gather together blog posts about crime fiction written or filmed in a particular year. I’ve called it Crimes of the Century. Brad suggested 1944 or 1948 for July, and I’ve plumped for 1944.

If you want to take part, you can! When you’ve written your post, just let me know below. I’ll gather them all together at the end of the month.

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.
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75 Responses to 1944 sign-up page

  1. oooooh I already have a book from ’44 in my tiny TBR of classics…Australian author A.E. Martin’s Murder in Sideshow Alley.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Don’t have any books in my TBR pile from this year (though plenty from 39 and 58), so I think I will re-read Towards Zero, as this is a Christie I loved when I read it. Here are a few book and film suggestions for anyone needing help deciding what to read or watch:
    Towards Zero and Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie
    Green for Danger by Christianna Brand
    Till Death Do Us Part and He Wouldn’t Kill Patience by John Dickson Carr
    The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin
    Not Quite Dead Enough by Rex Stout
    Dead Ernest by Alice Tilton
    Home Sweet Homicide by Craig Rice
    Secrets Can’t Be Kept by E R Punshon
    My Father Sleeps by Gladys Mitchell
    The Key and The Clock Strikes Twelve by Gladys Mitchell
    The Case of the Crooked Candle and The Case of the Black-Eyed Blonde by Erle Stanley Gardner
    The Secret in the Old Attic by Carolyn Keene
    The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler
    The Mystery of the Disappearing Cat by Enid Blyton (amongst many others)
    The Melted Coins by Franklin W Dixon
    While We Still Live by Helen MacInnes
    Signed, Picpus by Georges Simenon
    Deadline at Dawn by Cornell Woolrich
    The Dark Tunnel by Ross Macdonald

    Films: Arsenic and Old Lace, Double Indemnity, Murder My Sweet, The Lodger and The Mask of Dimitrios.

    Only watched one of these films but I thought Arsenic and Old Lace very good and very funny.

    Unfortunately no Marsh novels for this year so JJ and the Puzzle Doctor will be quite disappointed by that. At least there’s a Gladys Mitchell novel for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh found another few titles:
      Death in White Pyjamas by John Bude
      Greenmask by J Jefferson Farjeon
      The Black Express by Constance and Gwenyth Little


    • Ha. Ha. Well, as with this month, your list makes me oddly determined to find something not on it! Unfortunately the four Rhode/Burton titles are ridiculously expensive (although there is a vaguely affordable – the cheapest is a £27 copy of The Three Corpse Trick described as “Extremely rare as a 1st but the text ends on p190 – not sure how many pages are missing.” But I have got my hands on a copy of the wonderfully titled Slippery Ann by H C Bailey…


      • haha didn’t realise finding a book not on my list was an extra level of challenge for Rich’s monthly challenge. Forgot to look for any Rhode titles. Only read one book by Bailey and didn’t really enjoy so will be interesting to see what you make of Slippery Ann. No doubt the talk at the recent British Library Conference spurred you on…

        Liked by 1 person

    • John says:

      “The Key and The Clock Strikes Twelve by Gladys Mitchell”

      uh… that should be Patricia Wentworth for those two titles.

      Liked by 1 person

      • haha oh my goodness I hadn’t realised I had typed that. I think I was probably typing those Wentworth titles up whilst thinking about Mitchell. I imagine they would have been very different novels if Mitchell had written them.


    • mseurocrime says:

      It’s possible Marsh’s Died in the Wool might qualify as it seems to have a 1944 pub date in NZ though I’m finding it hard to verify that for sure.


  3. Jose Ignacio says:

    Don’t know yet what to read for 1944, but anyway I’m in.


  4. I never know what it’ll be till the right book turns up, but I’m in… .


  5. tracybham says:

    I love it when you announce a year for the next month. Off to look for a book.


  6. I’d like to write on the film The Suspect with Charles Laughton and Ella Raines. You’ll find it on YouTube if you want to watch it. It’s a fabulous Edwardian noir.


  7. Also, btw, Raymond Chandler’s Five Murderers was published in 1944, as was his famous piece “The Simple Art of Murder.”


  8. Bev Hankins says:

    I’m in! Off to check the stacks….


    • Bev Hankins says:

      Okay…Here are my likely suspects (in order of probability) :
      Checkmate to Murder by E.C.R. Lorac
      All Fall Down by L.A.G. Strong
      Fire Will Freeze by Margaret Millar
      Pattern for Murder by Ione Sandberg Shriber
      Avalanche by Kay Boyle
      Too Busy to Die by H. W. Roden
      Murder & the Married Virgin by Brett Halliday
      The Green Turtle Mystery by Ellery Queen, Jr.
      Sailor, Take Warning by Kelley Roos
      Dark Street Murders, Peter Cheyney
      The Opening Door by Helen Reilly
      Puzzle for Puppets by Patrick Quentin
      Give ‘Em the Ax by A.A. Fair
      The Visitor by Carl Randau

      Liked by 1 person

      • The fact you have that many options to pick from in your TBR pile is impressive. I’m chuffed if I have one!


      • John says:

        I would skip the Lorac book, Bev, unless you’re interested in yet another murder that takes advantage of the London Blackout rules. It was my first Lorac and did not encourage me to pursue her books even though I have about ten of them still unread.

        But by all means dig right into ALL FALL DOWN. Excellent! I think Strong’s detective character is a real winner. A good plot and very engaging. He only wrote a handful of mystery novels, but his mainstream novels I think you would enjoy even more. SAILOR, TAKE WARNING! is very, very good, too.

        Shriber is was so heavily influenced by Eberhart her books might easily serve as a textbook examples of a formulaic HIBK mystery. I started but could never finish HEAD OVER HEELS IN MURDER, her first prize winning mystery. The heroine is terrified of everything and the book is seriously over laden with “eerie” atmosphere.


  9. Bev Hankins says:

    Kate–it only means that my reading eyes are bigger than my bookshelves and there are WAY too many books waiting on the TBR stacks. I buy much faster than I can read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lesblatt says:

    Just finishing “Toward Zero,” and will be posting my review of that one on-or-about July 10. Hmf. That’s the year I was born. Anybody makes any snide comments, I’ll throw my walker at them.


  11. John says:

    OK, this may once again be a marathon for me. I have loads of books that were published in 1944. I have almost every title in Bev’s list! Some of them I’ve already read and some will have to remain unread so that I don’t duplicate any of her choices. I’ll shoot for American writers as I usually do. I’m sort of on a Leslie Ford kick and I happen to have ALL FOR THE LOVE OF A LADY. That’s at least one I’ll be writing up. Probably two or three more as I did this month.


  12. Pingback: THIS WAY LIES MADNESS: The 1944 Novels of Agatha Christie | ahsweetmysteryblog

  13. Brad says:

    Okay, nothing rare or unique here! Just starting things off with a couple of Christies! Happy July, everyone!


  14. Pingback: Books of the month: June 2016 | Reactions to Reading

  15. anotheriain says:

    Here is the Wikipedia list of fiction published in 1944 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1944_in_literature#Fiction
    – which is reliable and relevant up to a point.
    Having discovered your website, I might have a go at this, and it’ll probably be Towards Zero…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Film Notes: Gaslight (1944) directed by George Cukor – A Crime is Afoot

  17. Jose Ignacio says:

    I’ve ordered three Maigrets, Signed, Picpus (tr. David Coward) Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (23); Inspector Cadaver (tr. William Hobson) Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (24) and Félicie (tr. David Coward) Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (25). Besides I have seen again Gaslight (1944) directed by George Cukor. I need that at least one of the books can arrive on time.


  18. RogerBW says:

    New to this community, so I hope I’m doing this right: here‘s my review of Green for Danger, Christianna Brand.


  19. Bev Hankins says:

    Here’s my first one: All Fall Down by L. A. G. Strong


  20. lesblatt says:

    Here’s my take on Agatha Christie’s “Towards Zero.” Did I mention that 1944 also produced…me? No reviews, please, and if you can’t resist a snide comment, be prepared for me to throw my walker at you…sigh… 🙂 Thanks, Rich (et. al.).

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Bev Hankins says:

    Here’s my second review (despite John’s efforts to get me to steer clear of it): Checkmate to Murder by E. C. R. Lorac


  22. Pingback: Review: Signed, Picpus, 1944 (Inspector Maigret #23) by Georges Simenon. Trans: David Coward – A Crime is Afoot

  23. Pingback: Rogues Gallery (1944) | Noirish

  24. realthog says:

    Here’s a piece on the movie Rogues Gallery (1944).

    Pedants please note: There ain’t no apostrophe in the movie’s title, as given in the opening credits, so . . .


  25. Pingback: Towards Zero (1944) by Agatha Christie | crossexaminingcrime

  26. John says:

    Because I had a boxful of 1944 titles to choose from (just like 1929 I kept running across books from this month’s year) and so many of them had tempting plot blurbs I ended up reading two others before I got to Leslie Ford. So here’s #1:

    Death Looks Down by Amelia Reynolds Long. Probably the best written and plotted of her books I’ve read. But good luck finding a copy. Don’t I always say that?


  27. Pingback: #114: Till Death Do Us Part (1944) by John Dickson Carr | The Invisible Event

  28. John says:

    Second book read and reviewed: Puzzle for Puppets by Patrick Quentin

    Loved it! Like Craig Rice, Harry Stephen Keeler and Dorothy B Hughes all wrapped in one package. Could easily be the best of the Peter & Iris Duluth books.


  29. Pingback: Review: Towards Zero (1944) by Agatha Christie – A Crime is Afoot

  30. Pingback: Slippery Ann by H C Bailey – In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel

  31. Good news: I’ve posted possibly the internet’s only review of Slippery Ann by H.C. Bailey.
    Bad news: The book is dreadful…

    Liked by 1 person

  32. tracybham says:

    When I saw your post for books of 1954, it reminded me I had not notified you of my book for 1944. It is Fire Will Freeze, and I posted it on July 13, at Bitter Tea and Mystery.


  33. John says:

    I got one more done in the nick of time! All for the Love of a Lady by Leslie Ford. A very good mystery and a very good novel, too. It encourages me to read the entire series featuring Colonel Primrose and Grace Latham.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Managed to just sneak in a review of Vegetable Duck by John Rhode. But what is the mysterious vegetable duck? Read the review and find out… https://classicmystery.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/vegetable-duck-by-john-rhode/


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