Other Stories

Booksellers and Rental Libraries

August 5, 2022


‘I must try not read this one too quickly otherwise I shall be compelled to pay a second visit to [you] today, just to borrow another book.’ — Customer to bookseller in Seven Clues in Search of a Crime (1941) For most people this statement seems nonsensical – surely you buy books from a bookseller, … Continued

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From Classicist to Crime Writer: the novels of Mary Fitt (Kathleen Freeman)

August 1, 2022


Kathleen Freeman (1897-1959) was a Greek classicist who had already published scholarly work before her first crime novel appeared in 1936 under the pseudonym Mary Fitt.   Her intellectual background produced elegantly written crime fiction with a strong sense of the literary and the overtones of Greek tragedy – dealing with love, loss, pride, the abuse … Continued

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Dry Wit and Dry Sherry in ‘Murder at Liberty Hall’

July 14, 2022


“If you really think they want for a detective a man who has had such a cloistered existence as I have, why then I had better go.” Murder at Liberty Hall (1941) follows social scientist James Hardwicke’s attempts to investigate apparent pyromania among the student body at the progressive co-educational Scrope House School (‘Liberty Hall’). … Continued

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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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