Other Stories

The Inspiration for ‘In Muffled Night’….The Sandyford Place Murder

April 26, 2022


On July 4th 1862, 33-year-old servant Jess McPherson was discovered dead at her master’s home at 17 Sandyford Place, Glasgow, the victim of forty blows to her head, face and body, which had been administered with an iron cleaver. There was blood all over the bedroom, lobby and kitchen, and some of the victims’s clothing … Continued

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The Inspiration for ‘Five to Five’…..The Case of Oscar Slater

March 22, 2022


  On the evening of December 21st, 1908 around 7pm,  maidservant Helen Lambie was sent out to fetch the evening paper by her employer Miss Marion Gilchrist, a wealthy 82-yr-old woman who lived at 15 Queen’s Terrace, West Princes Street, Glasgow.  She was gone for 10 minutes. A downstairs neighbour, Arthur Adams, on hearing a … Continued

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Bibliomysteries

September 3, 2021


One of the lovely thing about murder mysteries is that sub-genres abound that cater to every taste.  Bibliomysteries are a category of crime novel concerned with the world of authors, manuscripts, rare and deadly books, bookshops, libraries, etc., and always involve some sort of bookish skull-duggery.  One of the pleasures of republishing Bruce Graeme is … Continued

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Favourite Vintage Mystery Blogs

September 1, 2021


Pretty Sinister The Passing Tramp Do you Write under Your own Name? In Search of the Classic Mystery Blog Crossing Examining Crime Beneath the Stains of Time Mystery*File Ah Sweet Mystery Blog The Invisible Event The Green Capsule  

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Dorothy Bowers and Women’s Worlds

March 15, 2020


We are delighted to see not just one, but TWO reviews of Dorothy Bowers’ work by golden age crime fiction historian Curtis Evans on his blog The Passing Tramp, for Fear for Miss Betony, and The Bells at Old Bailey.  Both offer the interesting, entertaining and educational read that is stock and trade at The … Continued

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The Criminal Hand

January 16, 2020


The use of the fingerprint as a unique identifier can be traced to ancient Babylon, but it wasn’t till the 19th century that serious scientific attention turned to the study of “skin-furrows”, when anatomists Purkyne (1823) and Von Meissner (1853) published papers on finger patterns and ridges.   In the 1850s, Wiliam Hershel began to experiment … Continued

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Before Cluedo: The Crime Dossiers of Dennis Wheatley and J.G. Links

December 2, 2019


We have Martin Edwards’ excellent blog to thank for introducing us to Wheatley and Links’ murder dossiers. These dossiers dispensed with the trappings of a novel and just presented a puzzle for the reader to solve.  Facts and clues were presented through police reports, interviews, telegrams, photographs, floor plans, handwritten notes, fingerprints and even physical … Continued

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Knock Knock Knock…. Golden Age Crime novels have ghosts aplenty

October 30, 2019


If you are looking for Halloween reading that includes hauntings, disturbing unexplained events and the occasional atmospheric séance, detective novels from the 1920s and 30s will not disappoint.   After the apocalyptic tolls of the Great War and the Spanish Flu pandemic, interest in spiritualism soared as a cultural response to mass bereavement; families and communities … Continued

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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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