Other Stories

Golden Noms de Plume

June 6, 2019


Classic crime writers made habitual use of pseudonyms. A comprehensive list of pen names would be an impossible task, but a quick tally from Barzun & Taylor’s A Catalogue of Crime (1971) revealed over ninety writers who wrote under a different name. Some had multiple noms de plume and some authors wrote together under one … Continued

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Ruritania

May 1, 2019


Many Golden Age books have a plot (or subplot) involving an imaginary European kingdom, often on the brink of revolution. The inspiration for this subgenre was ‘Ruritania’, the setting for the 1894 best-selling novel, The Prisoner of Zenda.  Author Anthony Hope Hawkins’ ersatz Germanic kingdom is a short train journey from Dresden, diminutive in size, backwards … Continued

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Scene of the Crime

May 1, 2019


Classic crime novelists often used vague fictitious settings for their action, perhaps to avoid any notions of libel. For that reason, it is always a delight when the location is real and specific (or easily discerned from the pseudonym), inviting a comparison of ‘then and now’. Here are a few favourites: Somerville College, Oxford Gaudy … Continued

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Murder among Strangers: The Boarding House

May 1, 2019


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