#1954book sign-up page


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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. Kate from crossexaminingcrime has suggested 1954 for August.

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.
This entry was posted in Crime fiction of the year challenge, Crimes of the Century, Information Received and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to #1954book sign-up page

  1. Well, I’ll plump for Death On The Lawn by (guess who?) John Rhode. Might take a punt at Destination Unknown by Dame Agatha as well, as I haven’t read that before…


  2. Will do my best to review Robert Bloch’s SPIDERWEB sometime next month – consider me signed up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jose Ignacio says:

    My choice will be D’entre les morts English translation: The Living and the Dead aka Vertigo by.Boileau-Narcejac.


  4. JJ says:

    I’ve got Carr’s short story collection The Third Bullet…seems 1954 was a big short story year for him, as his Holmes tales came out then, too.


  5. Thanks for letting me choose the year Rich! Did take a few false starts as I went through my TBR pile and when I had two or even four for a one year it always appeared that that year had already been picked before.
    I’ll hopefully be reading Welcome Death by Glyn Daniels and Sent to his Account by JJ’s new favourite author, Eillis Dillon.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. RogerBW says:

    Nothing’s leaping off the Wikipedia list and telling me to read it, though I have previously reviewed Mary Stewart’s first published novel, Madam, Will You Talk?.



  7. John says:

    Wikipedia list? Is there seriously a list of books published for every year in the twentieth century? Oh my. Some people have LOTS of time on their hands.

    Here’s a list of American & Canadian writers’ books from 1954:

    Michael Avallone – Dead Game
    “Martin Brett”/Douglas Sanderson – Blondes Are My Trouble
    (Reprinted with a foreword by someone who sounds vaguely familiar to me. ;^) The reissue is under the author’s real name: Douglas Sanderson)
    Edgar Box – Death Likes It Hot (must be an eBook by now, all the Edgar Box books were reissued four years ago)
    Jonathan Craig – Alley Girl (aka Renegade Cop)
    Erle Stanley Gardner – TCOT Fugitive Nurse, also …Restless Redhead, also …Runaway Corpse
    Baynard Kendrick – Blind Allies
    Ross Macdonald – Find a Victim
    John D MacDonald – All These Condemned, also Area of Suspicion, also Contrary Pleasure
    Patrick Quentin – My Son, the Murderer (aka the Wife of Ronald Sheldon)
    Ellery Queen – The Glass Village
    Hillary Waugh – A Rag and a Bone, also The Case of the Missing Gardener
    F & R Lockridge – Death and the Gentle Bull

    Charlotte Armstrong – The Better to Eat You (aka Murder’s Nest)
    Ursula Curtiss – The Deadly Climate
    Mildred Davis – Suicide Hour (1954) **Free online** http://www.mildreddavis.com/suicide.html
    Amber Dean – The Devil Threw Dice
    Theodora DuBois – Seeing Red
    Mignon Eberhart – Man Missing
    Patricia Highsmith – The Blunderer
    Dolores Hitchens – Beat Back the Tide (aka The Fatal Flirt)
    Kathleen Moore Knight – High Rendezvous, also Three of Diamonds
    Helen McCloy – Unfinished Crime (aka He Never Came Back)
    Helen Nielsen – The Woman on the Roof
    Helen Reilly – Tell Her It’s Murder

    That’s a good mix, I think, of rather obscure titles and classic titles. Over half of them will be easy to find. Some of these writers are very good and too often overlooked in crime fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian Busby says:

      Those are strong lists, John. I’d like to add:

      E. Louise Cushing – Murder Without Regret
      Bernard Mara [Brian Moore] – French for Murder
      Ken McLeod [Kimball McIlroy] – A Body for a Blonde
      Margaret Millar – Beast in View


      Douglas Sanderson’s Hot Freeze, which as published mere months before Blondes Are My Trouble. (Both reprinted with forewords by people who sound vaguely familiar to me!)


      • John says:

        I didn’t include Millar because Beast in View was published in 1955 in the US. That’s the first book publication date. Did it show up in Canada in 1954?
        How did I forget HOT FREEZE? A very good private eye novel and of course available from the wonderful Vehicule Press. Bug most of the people who participate in this blog meme don’t read private eye books (from any country) so they’ll miss out.


      • Brian Busby says:

        Of course, you’re right about Beast in View, John. How did I mess that up? It most certainly didn’t appear in Canada at an earlier date. As I like to point out, Millar has never been published in Canada! Strange, but true… though you know I tried. Can’t begin to tell you how much I’m looking forward to the forthcoming Syndicate omnibus editions.


  8. Brad says:

    Well, I do own a copy of My Son, the Murderer, and since I’m hot to re-read Patrick Quentin, I’ll see if I have time to do this before school starts.


    • JJ says:

      Is this a good place to start with Quentin, Brad? I just found a copy today, and am mighty curious given he reputation he/they enjoys. If it’s a good one, I might try this, too.


      • Brad says:

        It most definitely is NOT a good place to start, JJ. If there is any series of classic mysteries meant to be read in order, it’s the Peter Duluth series, as they chronicle the ups and downs of his marriage to Iris. This is a late entry, although Peter is barely in it.


      • JJ says:

        Ah, shall avoid for the time being, then. Many thanks.


  9. As ever, I will definitely be participating, but I have no idea what yet….


  10. Bev Hankins says:

    I’m also in, but will need to see what’s hanging out on the TBR pile….


    • Bev Hankins says:

      Okay, I’ve looked over the piles and, after removing those already mentioned, here are my possibilities:

      Death Against Venus – Dana Chambers
      Death of a Lake OR Sinister Stones by Arthur W. Upfield
      The Riddle of Samson by Andrew Garve
      Murder on Trial – Michael Underwood
      I’ll Kill You Next – Adam Knight
      Murder Every Monday – Pamela Branch
      The Body in the Basket – George Bagby
      The Evil of Time – Evelyn Berckman
      Invitation to Murder by Leslie Ford


  11. bother…I thought I was all set with Cake in a Hatbox by Arthur Upfield – but that was published in 55. Will try to track down a copy of Death of a Lake/Sinister Stones


  12. Pingback: ‘Stop reading NOW’: The #1944book reviews | Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

  13. Brad says:

    Happy August, everyone! This is one of the first blog posts I ever did, but any chance I can get to showcase and promote Hitchcock’s best film and one of the best films of all time, I’m gonna take! https://ahsweetmysteryblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/worst-question-ever-what-is-your-favorite-anything/


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

  15. Pingback: Welcome Death (1954) by Glyn Daniel | crossexaminingcrime

  16. Jason Half says:

    Hello everyone —
    I’m very happy to have recently found the Past Offences site through links from other readers. The Crimes of the Century project is a great idea, and because of it, I dusted off a book that had been waiting patiently on my shelf: the copyright page had the magic number 1954. Thanks for a great website and for offering this challenge!

    Here’s a link to my review of SHARK AMONG HERRINGS by George Milner:

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Bev Hankins says:

    First one: Murder on Trial by Michael Underwood


  18. tracybham says:

    My submission for 1954 is The Case of the Restless Redhead by Erle Stanley Gardner. At Bitter Tea and Mystery on August 10, 2016.


  19. Pingback: #127: ‘The Third Bullet’ and Other Stories [ss] (1954) by John Dickson Carr | The Invisible Event

  20. JJ says:

    Here is The Third Bullet and Other Stories by John Dickson Carr. Totally counts for 1954 even though all the stories are actually from before then…


  21. Bev Hankins says:

    Here’s my second one: Invitation to Murder by Leslie Ford


  22. Bev Hankins says:

    And a third installment: Murder Every Monday by Pamela Branch


  23. Scott says:

    Gong to do either Venus Unarmed or Murder Is My Mistress by Carter Brown


  24. John says:

    Here’s the first. I veered away temporarily from the US writers I prefer to read/write about.

    The Cat and Fiddle Murders by E.B. Ronald


  25. Carol says:

    So glad I found this. I do love mysteries. I read Death Likes It Hot by Edgar Box. It seemed perfect for summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. John says:

    Here’s number 2: The Woman on the Roof by Helen Nielsen. Excellent detective novel with a compassionate portrait of a mentally ill woman who sees too much and doesn’t know how to deal with it all.


  27. Jason Half says:

    My review of GOLD WAS OUR GRAVE by Henry Wade — the first title of this author that I have read — is posted. Thanks again for providing this great incentive to discover neglected books!


    Liked by 1 person

  28. Jose Ignacio says:

    My review of Vertigo (1954) by Pierre Boileau & Thomas Narcejac (Trans. by Geoffrey Sainsbury) is available at


  29. John says:

    #3 is a brief overview of the November 1954 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Among the many reprinted stories it includes the first short story by Levinson & Link who later created the Columbo TV series.


  30. Pingback: DESTINATION UNKNOWN (a.k.a. “Taking a Bullet for Rich”) | ahsweetmysteryblog

  31. Brad says:

    I wanted to make sure that Destination Unknown got covered. Maybe it should have been covered UP!!! https://ahsweetmysteryblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/destination-unknown-a-k-a-taking-a-bullet-for-rich/


  32. John says:

    Am I allowed one more? As Old As Cain by M.E. Chaber I read six books (including the EQMM issue) from 1954, but I’ll stop with this fourth one. This is a very good detective novel with an insurance investigator as the lead. It aspires to be hardboiled but comes off more of a traditional mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Pingback: #135: Something About The Nothing Man (1954) by Jim Thompson | The Invisible Event

  34. JJ says:

    Another from me: The Nothing Man by Jim Thompson as I’ve neglected him despite claiming he’s one of the four most important male crime writers to emerge in the 1930s/1940s.


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