Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crime Fiction 2

Surprise, surprise! I am again at a loose end this evening before retiring to read more of Neal Stephenson’s latest novel Reamde, which I have been enjoying immensely and trying to eke out as long as I can.

So, to continue with detective fiction, firstly with the novels of Nicholas Blake , the pseudonym under which Cecil Day Lewis penned detective novels. His prime detective is Nigel Strangeways, based originally, according to Wikipedia, on the poet W. H. Auden. He’s rather effete I thought when I recently reread one of the books The Widow’s Cruise it was.  Still the books are civilised and quite readable.

blake_widowscruise blake_snowman
blake_wormofdeath blake_sadvariety


Gore Vidal , author of many mainstream novels, wrote several detective stories under the name of Edgar Box. I appear to have only one of them – Death Likes It Hot with a rather good cover.


Starring Inspector John Coffin, Gwendoline Butler’s mystery novels are first class – suspenseful and gripping page turners. I collected a number of them in various editions, displayed below.

butler_coffinforpandora butler coffinforthecanary
butler_coffin_darknumber butler_coffin_paperman

butler_coffinfrom past

And to finish this post, a stray Raymond Chandler novel – The Lady in the Lake, Pan edition published in 1979.


Coming next – Sherlock Holmes

Monday, October 3, 2011

Crime Fiction 1

How time flies when you’re not doing much in particular. I noticed today that my last post on this blog was back in early September. Tonight finds me at a loose end so I will start posting on my general crime/detective fiction collection.

Alphabetically as usual I will start with the crime novels of Lesley Grant Adamson who has written sixteen novels in this genre, her first being Patterns in the Dust published in 1985 by Faber. I remember her novels as being quite good, so much so that I collected them for a time, but appear to have only three of them on my bookshelf.

adamson_dangerousedge adamson_faceofdeath


Joan Aiken, sadly no longer with us, was well known as a children’s book author, but she also tried her hand at other types of literature, crime fiction being one of them. I have only Blackground, which is characterised by her wonderful quirky style.


Another grand dame of crime fiction was Margery Allingham who wrote many novels, most of them featuring her literary detective Albert Campion of which the following is one.


Next, a curious collection of omnibus editions under the imprint of Black Box Thrillers published by Zomba, quite a rarity these days I assume. They have great faux retro covers.

blackbox_thrillers_behm blackbox_thrillers_boucher
blackbox_thrillers_goodis blackbox_thrillers_thompson

I will continue this thread soon with the crime novels of Nicholas Blake, Edgar Box  and Gwendoline Butler.