Thursday, June 30, 2022

Upcoming British Comics' Reference

The A to Z of British Newspaper Strips by Paul Hudson
Book Palace Books ISBN 978-191354824-7, July 2022, 320pp, £55.00. Available via Book Palace.

We are proud to announce the publication of this comprehensive guide to the long and distinguished career of the British Newspaper Strip, listing hundreds of newspaper strips printed in Britain over the last hundred plus years.
    Written by Paul Hudson, former owner of the much-missed London comic shop Comic Showcase, this upcoming title is the product of more than two years of assiduous research and is a wonderful point of reference for a cherished part of British daily life and culture.
    The book has over 680 entries, of which over 650 are illustrated, and features all your favourites such as Andy Capp, Axa, Bristow, Flook, Fred Bassett, Garth, George and Lynne, Jeff Hawke, Modesty Blaise, Pip, Squeak and Wilfred, Rupert Bear, Tamara Drewe, The Perishers, Varoomshka, plus many, many more!
    Each strip is credited with dates, creators and descriptions as well as sample illustrations.

Blazing Battle Action by David Bishop & David McDonald
Hibernia Press, July 2022, 76pp, £10.49. Available via Comicsy.

‘Blazing Battle Action’ is the sixth in Hibernia acclaimed Comic Archive series, exploring comics history through interviews, articles and rare art.
    ‘Blazing Battle Action’ contains a comprehensive history of ‘Battle’ by author and former editor of ‘2000 AD’, David Bishop. Originally serialised in the ‘Judge Dredd Megazine’, this is the first time it has been collected in print.
    Also included is David McDonald’s history of the hugely popular, and divisive, ‘Action Force’ stories that appeared in ‘Battle’, as well at its replacement ‘Storm Force’.
    Along with rare art, collectors checklist and and overview of Rebellions new ‘Battle’ comic, this is the ultimate Battle companion!

I Am the Law: How Judge Dredd Predicted Our Future by Michael Molcher
Rebellion ISBN 978-178618570-9, 27 October 2022, 208pp, £14.99. Available via Amazon.

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the comic strip Judge Dredd, published in 2000 AD, has predicted the changing face of policing in Britain over the last 45 years.
    He is the law - and you better believe it!
    Judge, jury and executioner, Judge Dredd is the brutal comic book cop policing the chaotic future urban jungle of Mega-City One, created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra and launching in the pages of 2000 AD in 1977.
    But what began as a sci-fi action comic quickly evolved into a searing satire on hardline, militarised policing and ‘law and order’ politics, its endless inventiveness and ironic humour acting as a prophetic warning about our world today - and with important lessons for our future.
    Blending comic book history with contemporary radical theories on policing,
I Am The Law takes key Dredd stories from the last 45 years and demonstrates how they provide a unique wake up call about our gradual, and not so gradual, slide towards authoritarian policing.
    From the politicisation of policing to ‘zero tolerance’, from violent suppression of protest to the rise of the surveillance state,
I Am The Law examines how a comic book warned us about the chilling endgame of today's 'law and order' politics.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Rebellion Releases — 29 June 2022

The fourth book of Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Phil Winslade’s (Wonder Woman) action-packed frontier epic Lawless is out now!

This latest collection includes the all singin’, all dancin’ episode – Lawless the Musical – with an easy way to sign-along with this original and hilarious musical at home, and a brilliant rendition of the music free to listen on the 2000 AD Soundcloud!

Having narrowly avoided being wiped from the face of the planet by Munce, Inc., Badrock is now a thriving boom town, predicated on an uneasy peace between the Zhind, the settlers and the Mega-City One Justice Department. Designated a Free Town, the future’s there for taking, and folks from all over the planet 43 Rega are flocking to Badrock to begin anew, all under the watchful, disapproving eye of the SJS.

Many are hardworking, honest folk – but some are parasites, drawn to Badrock to find new ways of making a killing. And when a caravan of settlers is brutally slaughtered, it’ll take all that Colonial Marshal Metta Lawson has to stop an outright war.

And now, this week's releases...

2000AD Prog 2288
Cover: Peter Yong

Cadet Dredd: Zootrapolis by Liam Johnson (w) Joel Carpenter (a) John Charles (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Lowborn High: Good Sport by David Barnett (w) Anna Morozova (a) Jim Campbell
Future Shocks: Into The Void by Karl Stock (w) Tom Newell (a) Barbara Nosenzo (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Pandora Perfect: Feed the Bird by Roger Langridge (w) Brett Parson (a) Simon Bowland (l)

Lawless: Boomtown by Dan Abnett & Phil Winslade
Rebellion ISBN 978-178618526-6, 23 June 2022, 128pp, £16.99 / $24.99. Available via Amazon.

Having narrowly avoided being wiped from the face of the planet by Munce, Inc., Badrock is now a thriving boom town, predicated on an uneasy peace between the Zhind, the settlers and the Mega-City One Justice Department. Designated a Free Town, the future’s there for taking, and folks from all over the planet 43 Rega are flocking to Badrock to begin anew, all under the watchful, disapproving eye of the SJS. Many are hardworking, honest folk – but some are parasites, drawn to Badrock to find new ways of making a killing. And when a caravan of settlers is brutally slaughtered, it’ll take all that Colonial Marshal Metta Lawson has to stop an outright war.
    Dan Abnett (Aquaman, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Phil Winslade’s (Howard the Duck, Wonder Woman) frontier epic Lawless continues in this fourth action packed volume, which includes the all singin’, all dancin’, Lawless the Musical!

Friday, June 24, 2022

Comic Cuts — 24 June 2022

What was meant to be a nice relaxing week, working at a nice steady pace, turned into a bit of a mare thanks to a rather poorly printed story that I had to clean up. Pages that I should have been able to rattle through became a bit of a chore that has taken me all week (so far, as I'm writing this on Thursday evening); I should be finished tomorrow, but I have some other strips to scan and clean up before the end of the month... which means that next week is also going to be a mad rush.

I get out for a walk twice a day, which has been for the most part in glorious sunshine, although I haven't benefited from the nice weather as much as I'd like. I slept through the thunderstorm last weekend, and we've only had passing showers where others have had downpours. (I've probably just cursed my walk for tomorrow morning, so... touch wood!) I need to keep up with the walks as I have put on half a stone since this time last summer. Not enough to cause me any great worries, but I could do with losing the additional pounds and a few more besides. I've made a couple of small adjustments to what I'm eating — part of the problem is that, with Mel back at work nowadays, it's so easy just to make a sandwich for lunch, and I'm convinced that one of the reasons I was able to lose weight during the lockdown periods was that I wasn't eating nearly as much bread. It's my kryptonite!

One benefit of the sunshine is that people have started putting out books that they want to get rid of. There isn't a lot of what I want — there's very little science fiction being read here in Wivenhoe and I haven't found a pre-decimal book for ages — but occasionally something turns up. I was surprised to find a couple of 1970s annuals in a box the other day, and I've picked up some odds and ends for cover galleries, usually different editions of books I already have, but welcome finds nonetheless. These include two SF novels (yes, I know I just said they don't turn up very often, but these were the first two in years), Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle and Len Deighton's SSGB... which makes me wonder if there isn't somebody local who is interested in alternate world yarns where Germany defeated the Allies. I shall have to keep my eyes open for others... Jo Walton's Farthing trilogy would be a welcome addition to my shelves, for instance.

I managed to update the British Library Crime Classics listing (scroll down for what is now probably the longest single post on Bear Alley) and also the weird fiction listing. They seem to have given up on science fiction... clearly not enough people in Wivenhoe reading SF and the one person who does is trying to save money by picking up books second hand or for free...

The Crime Classics now runs to over 100 titles, of which I probably have half. I haven't read one in a while, but then I seem to be taking forever to finish a book these days. I'm reading three... I'm slowly working my way through Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel, which is very good (as, I gather, is her new novel); for fun, and while I'm waiting at the bus stop for Mel of an evening, I'm reading Men, Martians and Machines by Eric Frank Russell as the beaten up, old style 'C' format paperback copy I have fits nicely in my back pocket; and I'm also reading through the latest collection of essays by Andrew Nette & Iain McIntyre, Dangerous Visions and New Worlds, which is up to the same standard as their previous two books, which I imagine most paperback collectors will be familiar with (Girl Gangs, Biker Boys and Real Cool Cats and Sticking It to the Man, links to reviews here on BA).

I'll end with some random scans of recent finds, a throwback to the old days of this blog when I was trawling through the charity shops of Colchester every Saturday.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Commando 5551-5554

Air, land and sea dramas, duels and death-defiance in the next four splendid issues of Commando!
Issues 5551-5554 are in shops and online from Thursday 23rd June, 2022.

5551: Thunderfish!

Commander Ralph Hunter and Lieutenant Jimmy Hart are some of the few survivors of the sinking of the USS Pike. Now they’re assigned to a new Tambor Class submarine and have the opportunity to strike back against the enemy. But with Hunter quaking in his boots and rumours of cowardice abound, can Hart hold the loyalty of the crew long enough to even the score?

A tense underwater adventure in the Pacific from Brent Towns with expressive interiors from Khato and a clean-cut cover from Mark Harris.

Story | Brent Towns
Art| Khato
Cover | Mark Harris

5552: The Sword Shall Decide

Sergeant Bill Bradley has his work cut out for him when the Nazis come spoiling for a fight in the heat of the desert. But the enemy has the upper hand, as their informants are perfectly placed to lead the good-natured sergeant astray. There’s only one way to settle this kind of honour dispute — by the sword!

Secrets, lies and desert spies feature in this heated drama from Welsh, with Aguilar’s distinctive interior artwork and a classic Penalva cover.

Story | Welsh
Art | Aguilar
Cover | Penalva
Originally Commando No. 452 (1970)

5553: Bazooka Billy

The life of a spotter pilot is hardly glitz and glamour, and all Billy Joyner wants to do is take a pop at the enemy before he’s reported back and they’ve moved on. His Grasshopper might not have a radio, but those bazookas look pretty neat and pack a powerful punch to boot!

An action-packed adventure from Ferg Handley, with dynamic interiors from Paolo Ongaro and another exciting cover from Mark Harris.

Story | Ferg Handley
Art | Paolo Ongaro
Cover | Mark Harris

5554: Hard to Kill!

First, it was the jungles of Burma, then a term in Korea. Now, Fred Gates is stationed in Malaya and knows these jungles like the back of his hand. But the pace of war and tactics have changed and Fred will have to learn to adapt — and trust — if he wants to continue being so hard to kill!

An unusual cold-war story from Mike Knowles, featuring earlier interior and cover artwork from well-loved veteran Commando artist Manuel Benet.

Story | Mike Knowles
Art | Manuel Benet
Cover | Manuel Benet
Originally Commando No. 2704 (1993).

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Rebellion Releases — 22 June 2022

The latest in the Essential Judge Dredd series of collections, featuring the greatest stories of the lawman of the future in full colour, is out now!

Mega-City One is under siege from the Dark Judges! Judge Dredd has been exiled to the harsh wastelands of the Cursed Earth and time is running out for the citizens he once swore to protect – with the body-count rising and hope running out, Dredd must reclaim his badge from the imposter Judge Kraken and retake Mega-City One from the grip of the Dark Judges; Death, Fear, Fire and Mortis!

Essential Judge Dredd: Necropolis is the ultimate Judge Dredd vs The Dark Judges storyline, a comic book blockbuster written and drawn by Dredd’s co-creators John Wagner (A History of Violence) and Carlos Ezquerra (Strontium Dog).

Out now, this is the fifth volume in the critically-acclaimed Essential Judge Dredd collections, which are the perfect jumping on point for new readers!

And now, this week's release...

2000AD Prog 2287
Cover: Andy Clarke.

Judge Dredd: Grinder by Ken Niemand (w) Nick Dyer (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Hope: In The Shadows by Guy Adams (w) Jimmy Broxton (a) Jim Campbell (l)
Skip Tracer: Valhalla by James Peaty (w) Paul Marshall (a) Dylan Teague (c) Simon  Bowland (l)
Terror Tales: Music of the Spheres by Kek-W (w) Warren Pleece (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Brink: Mercury Retrograde by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)

Saturday, June 18, 2022

British Library Crime Classics

The British Library has been publishing a seriefs of classic crime novels since 2012 which have proven surprisingly popular. Paul Gallagher highlighted the series in an article in The Independent back in December 2014, describing J. Jefferson Farjeon's Mystery In White: A Christmas Crime Story as a "Festive sleeper hit" that was selling in "astonishing numbers". According to Waterstones, it had outsold Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and Amazon had temporarily run out of stock the previous week due to surging demand.

The book had sold some 60,000 copies, accounting for 40 percent of sales for the whole series which, at that time, had reached 155,000. "Publishing Mystery In White was a game-changer for us," said Robert Davies of British Library Publishing "It gave everyone at the Library the confidence to increase our print runs from 2,000 to 15,000 – a real luxury in these days of constant nervousness among publishers about what the future might hold. The sales figures (and the press coverage we received) also made us more noticeable to the book trade in general, and increased the flow of submissions from literary agents, enquiries from readers and tips about the books to read next – all of which are vitally important in making new discoveries and engaging with the remarkably devoted and vocal community of golden-age crime fans."

The books continued to fly off the shelves of bookshops: in 2015, three John Bude titles (Cornish Coast Murder, Lake District Murder and Sussex Downs Murder) collectively sold 101,000 copies and earned Bude's estate £45,000 and interest was shown in developing adaptations for television.

According to Joseph Knobbs of Waterstones, sales might reflect readers' yearning for genuine mysteries rather than darker, modern thrillers. "The Crime Classics stand out against the darker crop of contemporary crime fiction and offer something a bit different. A lot of modern stuff skews closer to thriller than mystery."

Responsible for the series is Martin Edwards, who put together a list of what he thought were unfairly forgotten crime novels after being contacted by Rob Davies, the British Library's managing editor. Edwards told The Times (26 December 2015): "They're often described as cosy and bloodless, but we have to rememberthat the people who wrote them had often lived through the First World War. They didn't need to write about graphic violence because they'd lived through it. This was escapism."

The series is now over a decade old, with no end in sight as the British Library surged past 100 titles in November 2021 and is now well into its second century. The selection remains delightfully old-fashioned with its railway poster covers, and with no new Poirot or Marple on the TV at the moment, readers who enjoy a cosy murder mystery are looking elsewhere for their devilishly clever locked-room killings and drawing room revelations. The current popularity of writers like Richard Osman and Rev. Richard Coles and the astonishing sales "cosy crime" has achieved in recent years (Osman's books have global sales of over 10 million in 2020-23), has led the Crime Writers' Association to add a 'Whodunnit Dagger' to their awards for best cosy crime novel.

I hope the series continues for a long time to come.

Confidence in the books is clearly still high, as there have now been three spin-off series. The series British Library Classic Thrillers has published only the occasional title, but recently added new lines, the British Library Science Fiction Classics and Tales of the Weird, have a busy schedule ahead of them.

The Notting Hill Mystery by Charles Warren Adams
British Library 978-0712-25859-0, February 2012, 312pp, £8.99.
British Library 978-0712-35626-8, May 2015, 256pp, £8.99.
Detective fiction at its best, The Notting Hill Mystery was first published as an eight part serial between 1862 and 1863 in the magazine Once a Week, written under the pseudonym Charles Felix. It has been widely described as the first detective fiction novel, pre-dating as it does other novels such as Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone (1868) and Emile Gaboriau’s first Monsieur Lecoq novel (1869) that have previously claimed that accolade.
    The story is told by insurance investigator Ralph Henderson, who is building a case against the sinister Baron ‘R___’, suspected of murdering his wife in order to obtain significant life insurance payments. Henderson descends into a maze of intrigue including a diabolical mesmerist, kidnapping by gypsies, slow-poisoners, a rich uncle’s will and three murders. Presented in the form of diary entries, family letters, chemical analysis reports, interviews with witnesses and a crime scene map, the novel displays innovative techniques that would not become common features of detective fiction until the 1920s.
    Now made available again, with George du Maurier’s original illustrations included for the first time since the original serial publication, this new edition of The Notting Hill Mystery will be welcomed by all fans of detective fiction.

The Female Detective
British Library, 978-0712-35878-1, October 2012, 328pp, £8.99.
British Library 978-0712-35759-3, August 2014, 328pp, £8.99.
The Female Detective is the first novel in British fiction to feature a professional female detective. Written by Andrew Forrester, it was originally published in 1864. The protagonist is Miss Gladden, or 'G' as she is also known - the precursor to Miss Marple, Mma Ramotswe and Lisbeth Salander.
    Miss Gladden's deductive methods and energetic approach anticipate those of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and she can be seen as beginning a powerful tradition of female detectives in these 7 short stories. 'G' uses similar methods to her male counterparts – she enters scenes of crime incognito, tracking down killers while trying to conceal her own tracks and her identity from others
    'G', the first female detective, does much physical detective work, examining crime scenes, looking for clues and employing all manner of skill, subterfuge, observation and charm solve crimes. Like Holmes, 'G' regards the regular constabulary with disdain. For all the intrigue and interest of the stories, little is ever revealed about 'G' herself, and her personal circumstances remain a mystery throughout. But it is her ability to apply her considerable energy and intelligence to solve crimes that is her greatest appeal, and the reappearance of the original lady detective will be welcomed by fans of crime fiction.

Revelations of a Lady Detective by William Stephens Hayward
British Library 978-0712-35896-5, February 2013, 320pp, £8.99.
`owing to frequent acquaintance with peril, I had become unusually hardened for a woman`
    Mrs Paschal is only the second ever professional female detective to feature in a work of fiction, pipped to the post by just 6 months by Andrew Forrester’s The Lady Detective (republished by The British Library in 2012). Both were published in 1864 and are of historical significance because for over 20 years they remained the only books to feature a female detective as the protagonist.
    Mrs Paschal, the heroine of Revelations of a Lady Detective, is regularly consulted by the police and serves as an undercover agent as well as investigating her own cases. She throws herself into cases with verve and gusto and has no hesitation in infiltrating a deadly society or casting off her crinolines in order to plummet into a sewer on the trail of a criminal.

Mr Bazalgette's Agent by Leonard Merrick
British Library 978-0712- 9, September 2013, 144pp, £6.99.
‘Here is a business where breeding must be a recommendation .... Here is a work where beauty is a passport’
    When Miriam Lea falls on hard times, an advertisement for private agents catches her eye, and within weeks she finds herself in Mr Bazalgette’s employ as a private detective, travelling on a train to Hamburg in pursuit of an audacious fraudster. What follows is a journey through some of the great cities of Europe – and eventually to South Africa - as Miss Lea attempts to find her man.
    Miriam Lea is only the third ever professional female detective to appear in a work of crime fiction. Originally published in 1888, Mr Bazalgette’s Agent presents a determined and resourceful heroine in the figure of Miss Lea, who grapples with some very modern dilemmas of female virtue and vice.
    Leonard Merrick said of the book, his first: ‘It’s a terrible book. It’s the worst thing I ever wrote. I bought them all up and destroyed them. You can’t find any.’ It seems Merrick was true to his word since copies of the book can now only be found in private collections and in a handful of university and national libraries throughout the world. This new edition offers the modern crime fiction fan an opportunity to rediscover an enticing and rare detective story.

The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay
British Library 978-0712-35712-8, November 2013, 288pp, £8.99.
British Library 978-0712-35630-5, October 2015, 288pp, £8.99. Cover by Seymour Snyder (Better Home & Gardens, December 1930)
Aunt Mildred declared that no good could come of the Melbury family Christmas gatherings at their country residence Flaxmere. So when Sir Osmond Melbury, the family patriarch, is discovered – by a guest dressed as Santa Klaus - with a bullet in his head on Christmas Day, the festivities are plunged into chaos. Nearly every member of the party stands to reap some sort of benefit from Sir Osmond’s death, but Santa Klaus, the one person who seems to have every opportunity to fire the shot, has no apparent motive.
    Various members of the family have their private suspicions about the identity of the murderer, and the Chief Constable of Haulmshire, who begins his investigations by saying that he knows the family too well and that is his difficulty, wishes before long that he understood them better. In the midst of mistrust, suspicion and hatred, it emerges that there was not one Santa Klaus, but two.

The Lake District Murder by John Bude
British Library 978-0712-35716-6, March 2014, 288pp, £8.99. Cover extract from L.N.E.R. poster (Ullswater) by John Littlejohns
Luke flung the light of his torch full onto the face of the immobile figure. Then he had the shock of his life. The man had no face! Where his face should have been was a sort of inhuman, uniform blank!
    When a body is found at an isolated garage, Inspector Meredith is drawn into a complex investigation where every clue leads to another puzzle: was this a suicide, or something more sinister? Why was the dead man planning to flee the country? And how is this connected to the shady business dealings of the garage?
    This classic mystery novel is set amidst the stunning scenery of a small village in the Lake District. It is now republished for the first time since the 1930s.

The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude
British Library 978-0712-35715-9, March 2014, 288pp, £8.99. Cover extract from G.W..R. poster (Cornwall) by Leonard Cusden
‘Never, even in his most optimistic moments, had he visualised a scene of this nature – himself in one arm-chair, a police officer in another, and between them… a mystery.’
    The Reverend Dodd, vicar of the quiet Cornish village of Boscawen, spends his evenings reading detective stories by the fireside – but heaven forbid that the shadow of any real crime should ever fall across his seaside parish. But the vicar’s peace is shattered one stormy night when Julius Tregarthan, a secretive and ill-tempered magistrate, is found at his house in Boscawen with a bullet through his head.
    The local police inspector is baffled by the complete absence of clues. Suspicion seems to fall on Tregarthan’s niece, Ruth – but surely that young woman lacks the motive to shoot her uncle dead in cold blood? Luckily for Inspector Bigswell, the Reverend Dodd is on hand, and ready to put his keen understanding of the criminal mind to the test. This classic mystery novel of the golden age of British crime fiction is set against the vividly described backdrop of a fishing village on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast. It is now republished for the first time since the 1930s, with a new introduction by Martin Edwards.

Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay
British Library 978-0712-35726-5, March 2014, 288pp, £8.99. Cover by (Mary Evans Pict. Lib.)
For Miss Cordell, principal of Persephone College, there are two great evils to be feared: unladylike behaviour among her students, and bad publicity for the college. So her prim and cosy world is turned upside down when a secret society of undergraduates meets by the river on a gloomy January afternoon, only to find the drowned body of the college bursar floating in her canoe.
    The police assume that a student prank got out of hand, but the resourceful Persephone girls suspect foul play, and take the investigation into their own hands. Soon they uncover the tangled secrets that led to the bursar’s death – and the clues that point to a fellow student.

Murder Underground by Mavis Doriel Hay
British Library 978-0712-35725-8, March 2014, 288pp, £8.99. Adapted from an illustration from The Book of Railways (c.1948)
‘This detective novel is much more than interesting. The numerous characters are well differentiated, and include one of the most feckless, exasperating and lifelike literary men that ever confused a trail.’ Dorothy L. Sayers, Sunday Times, 1934.
    When Miss Pongleton is found murdered on the stairs of Belsize Park station, her fellow-boarders in the Frampton Hotel are not overwhelmed with grief at the death of a tiresome old woman. But they all have their theories about the identity of the murderer, and help to unravel the mystery of who killed the wealthy ‘Pongle’. Several of her fellow residents – even Tuppy the terrier – have a part to play in the events that lead to a dramatic arrest.

A Scream in Soho by John G. Brndon
British Library 978-0712-35745-6, September 2014, 256pp, £8.99. Cover by (Mary Evans Pict. Lib.)
‘For a scream in the early hours of the morning in Soho, even from a female throat, to stop dead in his tracks a hard-boiled constable, it had to be something entirely out of the ordinary.’
    Soho during the blackouts of the Second World War. When a piercing scream rends the air and a bloodied knife is found, Detective Inspector MacCarthy is soon on the scene. He must move through the dark, seedy Soho underworld – peopled by Italian gangsters, cross-dressing German spies and glamorous Austrian aristocrats – as he attempts to unravel the connection between the mysterious Madame Rohner and the theft of secret anti-aircraft defence plans.

The Sussex Downs Mystery by John Bude
British Library 978-0712-35796-8, October 2014, 288pp, £8.99. Cover extract from Southern Railway poster (Seaford) by Leslie Carr
'Already it looked as if the police were up against a carefully planned and cleverly executed murder, and, what was more, a murder without a corpse!'
    Two brothers, John and William Rother, live together at Chalklands Farm in the beautiful Sussex Downs. Their peaceful rural life is shattered when John Rother disappears and his abandoned car is found. Has he been kidnapped? Or is his disappearance more sinister - connected, perhaps, to his growing rather too friendly with his brother's wife?
    Superintendent Meredith is called to investigate - and begins to suspect the worst when human bones are discovered on Chalklands farmland. His patient, careful detective method begins slowly to untangle the clues as suspicion shifts from one character to the next.

Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon
British Library 978-0712-35770-8, November 2014, 256pp, £8.99. Cover from Allers Familj-Journal (Sweden) 17 December 1919
The horror on the train, great though it may turn out to be, will not compare with the horror that exists here, in this house.’
    On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take shelter in a deserted country house, where the fire has been lit and the table laid for tea – but no one is at home.
     Trapped together for Christmas, the passengers are seeking to unravel the secrets of the empty house when a murderer strikes in their midst.

Murder in Piccadilly by Charles Kingston
British Library 978-0712-35795-1, January 2015, 320pp, £8.99. Cover extract from L.N.E.R. poster (London) by Fred Taylor
‘Scores of men and women died daily in London, but on this day of days one of them had died in the very midst of a crowd and the cause of his death was a dagger piercing his heart. Death had become something very real.’
    When Bobbie Cheldon falls in love with a pretty young dancer at the Frozen Fang night club in Soho, he has every hope of an idyllic marriage. But Nancy has more worldly ideas about her future: she is attracted not so much to Bobbie as to the fortune he expects to inherit.
    Bobbie’s miserly uncle Massy stands between him and happiness: he will not relinquish the ten thousand a year on which Nancy’s hopes rest. When Bobbie falls under the sway of the roguish Nosey Ruslin, the stage is set for murder in the heart of Piccadilly – and for Nancy’s dreams to be realised.
    When Chief Inspector Wake of Scotland Yard enters the scene, he uncovers a tangled web of love affairs, a cynical Soho underworld, and a motive for murder.

Capital Crimes ed. by Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35749-4, March 2015, 320pp, £8.99.
With its fascinating mix of people – rich and poor, British and foreign, worthy and suspicious – London is a city where anything can happen. The possibilities for criminals and for the crime writer are endless. London has been home to many of fiction's finest detectives, and the setting for mystery novels and short stories of the highest quality.
    Capital Crimes is an eclectic collection of London-based crime stories, blending the familiar with the unexpected in a way that reflects the personality of the city. Alongside classics by Margery Allingham, Anthony Berkeley and Thomas Burke are excellent and unusual stories by authors who are far less well known. The stories give a flavour of how writers have tackled crime in London over the span of more than half a century. Their contributions range from an early serial-killer thriller set on the London Underground and horrific vignettes to cerebral whodunits. What they have in common is an atmospheric London setting, and enduring value as entertainment.

Antidote to Venom by Freeman Wills Crofts
British Library 978-0712-35779-1, April 2015, 288pp, £8.99.
'Mr Wills Crofts is deservedly a first favourite with all who want a real puzzle' – Times Literary Supplement 
'He always manages to give us something that really keeps us guessing' – Daily Mirror
    George Surridge, director of the Birmington Zoo, is a man with many worries: his marriage is collapsing; his finances are insecure; and an outbreak of disease threatens the animals in his care.
    As Surridge's debts mount and the pressure on him increases, he begins to dream of miracle solutions. But is he cunning enough to turn his dreams into reality – and could he commit the most devious murder in pursuit of his goals?
    This ingenious crime novel, with its unusual 'inverted' structure and sympathetic portrait of a man on the edge, is one of the greatest works by this highly respected author. The elaborate means of murder devised by Crofts's characters is perhaps unsurpassed in English crime fiction for its ostentatious intricacy.

The Hog's Back Mystery by Freeman Wills Crofts
British Library 978-0712-35797-5, April 2015, 336pp, £8.99. Cover extract from Southern Railway poster (The Surrey Towns and North Downs) by Reginald Montague Lander
Dr James Earle and his wife live in comfortable seclusion near the Hog's Back, a ridge in the North Downs in the beautiful Surrey countryside. When Dr Earle disappears from his cottage, Inspector French is called in to investigate. At first he suspects a simple domestic intrigue - and begins to uncover a web of romantic entanglements beneath the couple's peaceful rural life. The case soon takes a more complex turn. Other people vanish mysteriously, one of Dr Earle's house guests among them. What is the explanation for the disappearances? If the missing people have been murdered, what can be the motive? This fiendishly complicated puzzle is one that only Inspector French can solve. Freeman Wills Crofts was a master of the intricately and ingeniously plotted detective novel, and The Hog's Back Mystery shows him at the height of his powers.

Resorting to Murder: Holiday Mysteries ed. by Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35748-7, April 2015, 320pp, £8.99. Cover extract from London, Midland & Scotland Railway poster (Colwyn Bay) by George Ayling
Holidays offer us the luxury of getting away from it all. So, in a different way, do detective stories. This collection of vintage mysteries combines both those pleasures. From a golf course at the English seaside to a pension in Paris, and from a Swiss mountain resort to the cliffs of Normandy, this new selection shows the enjoyable and unexpected ways in which crime writers have used summer holidays as a theme. These fourteen stories range widely across the golden age of British crime fiction. Stellar names from the past are well represented - Arthur Conan Doyle and G. K. Chesterton, for instance - with classic stories that have won acclaim over the decades. The collection also uncovers a wide range of hidden gems: Anthony Berkeley - whose brilliance with plot had even Agatha Christie in raptures - is represented by a story so (undeservedly) obscure that even the British Library seems not to own a copy. The stories by Phyllis Bentley and Helen Simpson are almost equally rare, despite the success which both writers achieved, while those by H. C. Bailey, Leo Bruce and the little-known Gerald Findler have seldom been reprinted.

Death of Anton by Alan Melville
British Library 978-0712-35788-3, August 2015, 288pp, £8.99. Cover by Chris Andrews
'There's more crime going on in Carey's Circus than in the whole underworld of London. Theft, immorality, blackmail — you'll find all the pretties here.'
    Seven Bengal tigers are the star attraction of Carey’s Circus. Their trainer is the fearless Anton, whose work demands absolute fitness and the steadiest of nerves. When Anton is found lying dead in the tigers’ cage, it seems that he has lost control and been mauled by the tigers – but Detective-Inspector Minto of Scotland Yard is not convinced.
    Minto’s investigations lead him deep into the circus world of tents and caravans, clowns and acrobats, human and animal performers. No one is above suspicion. Carey, the circus-owner with a secret to hide; Dodo, the clown whose costume is scratched as if by a claw; and Lorimer, the trapeze artist jealous of his flirtatious wife – all come under Minto’s scrutiny as the mystery deepens.
    This amusing and light-hearted novel from the golden age of British crime writing has long been neglected, and this new edition will help to restore Melville’s reputation as an author of extremely entertaining detective fiction.

Quick Curtain by Alan Melville
British Library 978-0712-35789-0, August 2015, 287pp, £8.99. Cover extract from L.N.E.R. poster (Harrogate) by Fred Taylor
'Don't talk bunk!' said Mr Douglas. 'You can't carry on with the show with a man dying on stage. Drop the curtain!'
    When Douglas B. Douglas – leading light of the London theatre – premieres his new musical extravaganza, Blue Music, he is sure the packed house will be dazzled by the performance. What he couldn’t predict is the death of his star, Brandon Baker, on stage in the middle of the second act. Soon another member of the cast is found dead, and it seems to be a straightforward case of murder followed by suicide.
    Inspector Wilson of Scotland Yard – who happens to be among the audience – soon discovers otherwise. Together with Derek, his journalist son, Wilson takes charge of proceedings in his own inimitable way.
    This is a witty, satirical novel from the golden age of British crime fiction between the world wars. It is long overdue for rediscovery and this new edition includes an informative introduction by Martin Edwards, author of The Golden Age of Murder.
     ‘Blows the solemn structure of the detective novel sky-high ... Light entertainment is Mr Melville’s aim, and a fig for procedure!’ Dorothy L. Sayer.

Death of an Airman by Christopher St. John Sprigg
British Library 978-0712-35615-2, August 288pp, £8.99. Cover by Chris Andrews
‘Bubbles over with zest and vitality ... A most ingenious and exciting plot, full of good puzzles and discoveries and worked out among a varied cast of entertaining characters’ Dorothy L. Sayers
    George Furnace, flight instructor at Baston Aero Club, dies instantly when his plane crashes into the English countryside. People who knew him are baffled – Furnace was a first-rate pilot, and the plane was in perfect condition – and the inquest records a verdict of death by misadventure.
    An Australian visitor to the aero club, Edwin Marriott, Bishop of Cootamundra, suspects that the true story is more complicated. Could this be a dramatic suicide – or even murder? Together with Inspector Bray of Scotland Yard, the intrepid bishop must uncover a cunning criminal scheme.

Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon
British Library 978- 0712-35601-5, September 2015, 256pp, £8.99. Cover extract from L.N.E.R. poster (Cruden Bay Hotel Aberdeenshire) by Gordon Nicoll
‘No observer, ignorant of the situation, would have guessed that death lurked nearby, and that only a little distance from the glitter of silver and glass and the hum of voices two victims lay silent on a studio floor.’
    On a fine autumn weekend Lord Aveling hosts a hunting party at his country house, Bragley Court. Among the guests are an actress, a journalist, an artist and a mystery novelist. The unlucky thirteenth is John Foss, injured at the local train station and brought to the house to recuperate – but John is nursing a secret of his own.
    Soon events take a sinister turn when a painting is mutilated, a dog stabbed, and a man strangled. Death strikes more than one of the house guests, and the police are called. Detective Inspector Kendall’s skills are tested to the utmost as he tries to uncover the hidden past of everyone at Bragley Court.
    This country-house mystery is a forgotten classic of 1930s crime fiction by one of the most undeservedly neglected of golden age detective novelists.

The Z Murders by J. Jefferson Farjeon
British Library 978-0712-35621-3, September 2015, 256pp, £8.99. Cover extract from British Railways poster (Service by Night) by David Shepherd
‘Jefferson Farjeon is quite unsurpassed for creepy skill in mysterious adventures.’ Dorothy L. Sayers
    Richard Temperley arrives at Euston station early on a fogbound London morning. He takes refuge in a nearby hotel, along with a disagreeable fellow passenger, who had snored his way through the train journey. But within minutes the other man has snored for the last time – he has been shot dead while sleeping in an armchair. Temperley has a brief encounter with a beautiful young woman, but she flees the scene. When the police arrive, Detective Inspector James discovers a token at the crime scene: ‘a small piece of enamelled metal. Its colour was crimson, and it was in the shape of the letter Z.’
    Temperley sets off in pursuit of the mysterious woman from the hotel, and finds himself embroiled in a cross-country chase – by train and taxi – on the tail of a sinister serial killer. This classic novel by the author of the best-selling Mystery in White is a gripping thriller by a neglected master of the genre.

Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries edited and introduced by Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35610-7, October 2015, 256pp, £8.99. Cover by Chris Andrews
Christmas is a mysterious, as well as magical, time of year. Strange things can happen, and this helps to explain the hallowed tradition of telling ghost stories around the fireside as the year draws to a close. Christmas tales of crime and detection have a similar appeal. When television becomes tiresome, and party games pall, the prospect of curling up in the warm with a good mystery is enticing – and much better for the digestion than yet another helping of plum pudding.
    Crime writers are just as susceptible as readers to the countless attractions of Christmas. Over the years, many distinguished practitioners of the genre have given one or more of their stories a Yuletide setting. The most memorable Christmas mysteries blend a lively storyline with an atmospheric evocation of the season. Getting the mixture right is much harder than it looks.
    This book introduces readers to some of the finest Christmas detective stories of the past. Martin Edwards’ selection blends festive pieces from much-loved authors with one or two stories which are likely to be unfamiliar even to diehard mystery fans. The result is a collection of crime fiction to savour, whatever the season.

Murder of a Lady by Anthony Wynne
British Library 978-0712-35623-7, January 2016 [2015], 269pp, £8.99. Cover extract from Caledonian Railway poster (The Tarbet Hotel) by D.N.A.
A Scottish Mystery
Duchlan Castle is a gloomy, forbidding place in the Scottish Highlands. Late one night the body of Mary Gregor, sister of the laird of Duchlan, is found in the castle. She has been stabbed to death in her bedroom – but the room is locked from within and the windows are barred. The only tiny clue to the culprit is a silver fish’s scale, left on the floor next to Mary’s body.
    Inspector Dundas is dispatched to Duchlan to investigate the case. The Gregor family and their servants are quick – perhaps too quick – to explain that Mary was a kind and charitable woman. Dundas uncovers a more complex truth, and the cruel character of the dead woman continues to pervade the house after her death. Soon further deaths, equally impossible, occur, and the atmosphere grows ever darker. Superstitious locals believe that fish creatures from the nearby waters are responsible; but luckily for Inspector Dundas, the gifted amateur sleuth Eustace Hailey is on the scene, and unravels a more logical solution to this most fiendish of plots.
    Anthony Wynne wrote some of the best locked-room mysteries from the golden age of British crime fiction. This cunningly plotted novel – one of Wynne’s finest – has never been reprinted since 1931, and is long overdue for rediscovery.

Murder at the Manor ed. by Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-30993-6, February 2016, 384pp, £8.99. Cover extract from L.N.E.R. poster (Ipswich) by Fred Taylor
The English country house is an iconic setting for some of the greatest British crime fiction. Short stories are an important part of this tradition, and writers from Agatha Christie to Margery allingham became famous for the intricate cases which their detetives unravelled in rambling country houses. These stories continue to enjoy wide appeal, driven partly by nostalgia for a vanished way of life, and partly by the pleasure of trying to solve a fiendish puzzle.
    This new collection gathers together stories written over a span of about 65 years, during which British society, and life in country houses, was transformed out of all recognition. It includes fascinating and unfamiliar twists on the classic 'closed circle' plot, in which the assorted guests at a country house party become suspects when a crime is committed. In the more sinister tales featured here, a gloomy mansion set in lonely grounds offers an eerie backdrop for dark deeds, as in Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Copper Beeches' and W. W. Jacob's 'The Well'.
    Many distinguished writers are represented in this collection, including such great names of the genre as Anthony Berkeley, Nicholas Blake and G. K. Chesterton.

Serpents in Eden: Countryside Crimes ed. by Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35794-4, March 2016, 302pp, £8.99. Cover from British Railways poster (Worcestershire) by Frank Sherwin
'The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside... Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser.' Sherlock Holmes
    Many of the greatest British crime writers have explored the possibilities of crime in the countryside in lively and ingenious short stories. Serpents in Eden celebrates the rural British mystery by bringing together an eclectic mix of crime stories written over half a century. From a tale of poison-pen letters tearing apart a village community to a macabre mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle, the stories collected here reveal the dark truths hidden in an assortment of rural paradises.
    Among the writers included here are such major figures as G. K. Chesterton and Margery Allingham, along with a host of lesser-known discoveries whose best stories are among the unsung riches of the golden age of British crime fiction between the two world wars.

Death on the Riviera by John Bude
British Library 978-0712-35637-4, March 2016, 223pp, £8.99. Cover extract from Southern Railway poster (The Summer-Time French Riviera) by F. Whatley
When a counterfeit currency racket comes to light on the French Riviera, Detective Inspector Meredith is sent speeding southwards - out of the London murk to the warmth and glitter of the Mediterranean. Along with Inspector Blampignon - an amiable policeman from Nice - Meredith must trace the whereabouts of Chalky Cobbett, crook and forger.
    Soon their interest centres on the Villa Paloma, the residence of Nesta Hedderwick, an eccentric Englishwoman, and her bohemian house guests - among them her niece, an artist, and a playboy. Before long, it becomes evident that more than one of the occupants of the Villa Paloma has something to hide, and the stage is set for murder.
    This classic crime novel from 1952 evokes all the sunlit glamour of life on the Riviera, and combines deft plotting with a dash of humour. This is the first edition to have been published in more than sixty years and follows the rediscovery of Bude's long-neglected detective writing by the British Library.

Calamity in Kent by John Rowland
British Library 978-0712-35783-8, April 2016, 256pp, £8.99.
In the peaceful seaside town of Broadgate, an impossible crime occurs. The operator of the cliff railway locks the empty carriage one evening; when he returns to work next morning, a dead body is locked inside - a man who has been stabbed in the back.
    Jimmy London, a newspaper reporter, is first on the scene. He is quick on the trail for clues - and agrees to pool his knowledge with Inspector Shelley of Scotland Yard, who is holidaying in the area. Mistrustful of the plodding local policeman, Inspector Beech, the two men launch their own investigation into the most baffling locked-room mystery – a case that could reignite Jimmy's flagging career, but one that exposes him to great danger.

Murder in the Museum by John Rowland
British Library 978-0712-35784-5, April 2016, 272pp, £8.99. Cover by Chris Andrews
When Professor Julius Arnell breathes his last in the hushed atmosphere of the British Museum Reading Room, it looks like death from natural causes. Who, after all, would have cause to murder a retired academic whose life was devoted to Elizabethan literature? Inspector Shelley's suspicions are aroused when he finds a packet of poisoned sugared almonds in the dead man's pocket; and a motive becomes clearer when he discovers Arnell's connection to a Texan oil millionaire.
    Soon another man plunges hundreds of feet into a reservoir on a Yorkshire moor. What can be the connection between two deaths so different, and so widely separated? The mild-mannered museum visitor Henry Fairhurst adds his detective talents to Inspector Shelley's own, and together they set about solving one of the most baffling cases Shelley has ever encountered.

Death in the Tunnel by Miles Burton
British Library 978-0712-35641-1, May 2016, 256pp, £8.99. Cover by Chris Andrews
On a dark November evening, Sir Wilfred Saxonby is travelling alone in the 5 o'clock train from Cannon Street, in a locked compartment. The train slows and stops inside a tunnel; and by the time it emerges again minutes later, Sir Wilfred has been shot dead, his heart pierced by a single bullet.
    Suicide seems to be the answer, even though no motive can be found. Inspector Arnold of Scotland Yard thinks again when he learns that a mysterious red light in the tunnel caused the train to slow down.
    Finding himself stumped by the puzzle, Arnold consults his friend Desmond Merrion, a wealthy amateur expert in criminology. Merrion quickly comes up with an 'essential brainwave' and helps to establish how Sir Wilfred met his end, but although it seems that the dead man fell victim to a complex conspiracy, the investigators are puzzled about the conspirators' motives, as well as their identities. Can there be a connection with Sir Wilfred's seemingly untroubled family life, his highly successful business, or his high-handed and unforgiving personality? And what is the significance of the wallet found on the corpse, and the bank notes that it contained?

The Secret of High Eldersham by Miles Burton
British Library 978-0712-35609-1, May 2016, 256pp, £8.99.
'They're terrible mistrustful of strangers in these parts.'
Samuel Whitehead, the new landlord of the Rose and Crown, is a stranger in the lonely East Anglian village of High Eldersham. When the newcomer is stabbed to death in his pub, and Scotland Yard are called to the scene, it seems that the veil dividing High Eldersham from the outside world is about to be lifted.
    Detective-Inspector Young forms a theory about the case so utterly impossible that merely entertaining the suspicion makes him doubt his own sanity. Surrounding by sinister forces beyond his understanding, and feeling the need of rational assistance, he calls on a brilliant amateur and 'living encyclopedia', Desmond Merrion. Soon Merrion falls for the charms of a young woman in the village, Mavis Owerton. But does Mavis know more about the secrets of the village than she is willing to admit?

Inspector Cluff Stands Firm by Gil North
British Library 978-0712-35646-6, July 2016, 176pp, £7.99. Cover extract from British Railway poster (Ribblesdale North West Yorkshire) by Greene
'He could feel it in the blackness, a difference in atmosphere, a sense of evil, of things hidden.'Amy Snowden, in middle age, has long since settled into a lonely life in the Yorkshire town of Gunnarshaw, until - to her neighbours' surprise - she suddenly marries a much younger man. Months later, Amy is found dead - apparently by her own hand - and her husband, Wright, has disappeared.Sergeant Caleb Cluff - silent, watchful, a man at home in the bleak moorland landscape of Gunnarshaw - must find the truth about the couple's unlikely marriage, and solve the riddle of Amy's death.This novel, originally published in 1960, is the first in the series of Sergeant Cluff detective stories that were televised in the 1960s but have long been neglected. This new edition is published in the centenary year of the author's birth.

The 12:30 From Croydon by Freeman Wills Crofts
British Library 978-0712-35649-7, July 2016, 256pp, £8.99. Cover from Southern Railways poster (London & Isle of Wight) by Charles Pears
'Crofts constructs his alibi with immense elaboration...The story is highly successful, and Mr Crofts is to be congratulated upon his experiment' - Dorothy L. Sayers. We begin with a body. Andrew Crowther, a wealthy retired manufacturer, is found dead in his seat on the 12.30 flight from Croydon to Paris. Rather less orthodox is the ensuing flashback in which we live with the killer at every stage, from the first thoughts of murder to the strains and stresses of living with its execution. Seen from the criminal's perspective, a mild-mannered Inspector by the name of French is simply another character who needs to be dealt with. This is an unconventional yet gripping story of intrigue, betrayal, obsession, justification and self-delusion.

The Cheltenham Square Murder by John Bude
British Library 978-0712-35648-0, August 2016, 285pp, £8.99. Cover extract from GWR/LMS poster (Cheltenham Spa) by C. H. Birtwhistle
In the seeming tranquility of Regency Square in Cheltenham live the diverse inhabitants of its ten houses. One summer's evening, the square's rivalries and allegiances are disrupted by a sudden and unusual death - an arrow to the head, shot through an open window at no. 6. Unfortunately for the murderer, an invitation to visit had just been sent by the crime writer Aldous Barnet, staying with his sister at no. 8, to his friend Superintendent Meredith. Three days after his arrival, Meredith finds himself investigating the shocking murder two doors down. Six of the square's inhabitants are keen members of the Wellington Archery Club, but if Meredith and Long thought that the case was going to be easy to solve, they were wrong...The Cheltenham Square Murder is a classic example of how John Bude builds a drama within a very specific location. Here the Regency splendour of Cheltenham provides the perfect setting for a story in which appearances are certainly deceiving.

The Methods of Sergeant Cluff by Gil North
British Library 978-0712-35647-3, September 2016, 169pp, £7.99. Cover extract from British Railway poster (Yorkshire Dales A National Park Area) by Ronald Lampitt
After battling for justice, at great personal risk, in his first recorded case, Sergeant Caleb Cluff made a swift return to duty in this book. The story opens one wet and windy night, with the discovery of a young woman's corpse, lying face down on the cobblestones of a passageway in the Yorkshire town of Gunnarshaw. The deceased is Jane Trundle, an attractive girl who worked as an assistant in a chemist's shop. She yearned for the good life, and Cluff finds more money in her handbag than she would have earned in wages.There are echoes of Sherlock Holmes ('You know my methods, Watson') in the title, and in an exchange in the first chapter between Cluff and Superintendent Patterson, but Cluff is very much his own man. Little that goes on in and around the mean streets of Gunnarshaw escapes him. He is scornful of detectives who rely solely on supposed facts: 'More than facts were in question here, the intangible, invisible passions of human beings.' Understanding those passions leads him gradually towards the truth about Jane's murder.

Mystery in the Channel by Freeman Wills Crofts
British Library 978-0712-35651-0, September 2016, 256pp, £8.99. Cover extract from Southern Railway poster (T.S. "Invicta" leaving Dover in the "Golden Hour" Short Sea Route) by Norman Wilkinson
Mystery in the Channel is a classic crime novel with a strikingly modern sub-text. The story begins with a shocking discovery. The captain of the Newhaven to Dieppe steamer spots a small pleasure yacht lying motionless in the water, and on closer inspection, sees a body lying on the deck. When members of his crew go aboard the yacht, they find not one male corpse but two. Both men have been shot, but there is no sign of either the murderer or the pistol. The dead men, it quickly emerges, were called Moxon and Deeping, and they were chairman and vice-chairman respectively of the firm of Moxon General Securities, one of the largest financial houses in the country. Inspector Joseph French of Scotland Yard is called in, reporting directly to the Assistant Commissioner, Sir Mortimer Ellison. French soon discovers that Moxon's is on the brink of collapse. One and a half million pounds have gone missing, and so has one of the partners in the business. Moxon and Deeping seem to have been fleeing the country with their ill-gotten gains, but who killed them, and how? French faces one of the toughest challenges of his career, and in a dramatic climax, risks his life in a desperate attempt to ensure that justice is done.

The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley
British Library 978-0712-35653-4, October 2016, 267pp, £8.99.
'All his stories are amusing, intriguing, and he is a master of the final twist' - Agatha Christie
'One of the most stunning trick stories in the history of detective fiction' - Julian Symons
Graham and Joan Bendix have apparently succeeded in making that eighth wonder of the modern world, a happy marriage. And into the middle of it there drops, like a clap of thunder, a box of chocolates.Joan Bendix is killed by a poisoned box of liqueur chocolates that cannot have been intended for her to eat. The police investigation rapidly reaches a dead end. Chief Inspector Moresby calls on Roger Sheringham and his Crimes Circle - six amateur but intrepid detectives - to consider the case. The evidence is laid before the Circle and the members take it in turn to offer a solution. Each is more convincing than the last, slowly filling in the pieces of the puzzle, until the dazzling conclusion.

Death of a Busybody by George Bellairs
British Library 978-0712-35644-2, October 2016, 244pp, £8.99. Cover extract from poster (Suffolk - See England By Rail - Coddenham, Railway Executive (Eastern Region, 1956) by Leonard Squirrel
The eponymous nosy parker in Death of a Busybody is Miss Ethel Tither. She has made herself deeply unpopular in the quintessentially English village of Hilary Magna, since she goes out of her way to snoop on people, and interfere with their lives. On being introduced to her, the seasoned reader of detective stories will spot a murder victim in the making. Sure enough, by the end of chapter one, this unpleasant lady has met an extremely unpleasant fate. She is found floating in a cesspool, having been bludgeoned prior to drowning in the drainage water.This is, in every way, a murky business; realising that they are out of their depth, the local police quickly call in the Yard. Inspector Thomas Littlejohn, George Bellairs' series detective, arrives on the train, and in casting around for suspects, he finds that he is spoiled for choice. The amiable vicar supplies him with a map showing the scene of the crime; maps were a popular feature of traditional whodunnits for many years, and Bellairs occasionally included them in his books, as he does here.

Crimson Snow: Winter Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35665-7, November 2016, 288pp, £8.99. Cover extract from poster (St. Moritz: The World's White City, Lips & Co., Bern, Switzerland) by Plinio Colombi
Crimson Snow brings together a dozen vintage crime stories set in winter. Welcome to a world of Father Christmases behaving oddly, a famous fictional detective in a Yuletide drama, mysterious tracks in the snow----, and some very unpleasant carol singers. The mysterious events chronicled by a distinguished array of contributors in this volume frequently take place at Christmas. There's no denying that the supposed season of goodwill is a time of year that lends itself to detective fiction. On a cold night, it's tempting to curl up by the fireside with a good mystery. And more than that, claustrophobic house parties, when people may be cooped up with long-estranged relatives, can provide plenty of motives for murder.Including forgotten stories by great writers such as Margery Allingham, as well as classic tales by less familiar crime novelists, each story in this selection is introduced by the great expert on classic crime, Martin Edwards. The resulting volume is an entertaining and atmospheric compendium of wintry delights.

The Dead Shall Be Raised and Murder of a Quack by George Bellairs
British Library 978-0712-35652-7, December 2016, 224pp, £8.99. Cover extract from poster (Kendel from Oxenholme) by Norman Wilkinson
Two classic cases featuring Detective-Inspector Littlejohn.
    In the winter of 1940, the Home Guard unearths a skeleton on the moor above the busy town of Hatterworth. Twenty-three years earlier, the body of a young textile worker was found in the same spot, and the prime suspect was never found - but the second body is now identified as his. Inspector Littlejohn is in the area for Christmas and takes on the investigation of the newly reopened case. Soon it becomes clear that the murderer is still at large...
    Nathaniel Wall, the local quack doctor, is found hanging in his consulting room in the Norfolk village of Stalden - but this was not a suicide. Wall may not have been a qualified doctor, but his skill as a bonesetter and his commitment to village life were highly valued. Scotland Yard is drafted in to assist. Quickly settling into his accommodation at the village pub, Littlejohn begins to examine the evidence...Against the backdrop of a close-knit village, an intriguing story of ambition, blackmail, fraud, false alibis and botanical trickery unravels.

Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate
British Library 978-0712-35674-9, January 2017, 256pp, £8.99.
'The characterisation of the people in the story, as well as the teasing mystery, and the dark cynicism about human behaviour and the nature of justice, make this a crime novel to cherish'—Martin Edwards
    A woman is on trial for her life, accused of murder. The twelve members of the jury each carry their own secret burden of guilt and prejudice which could affect the outcome. In this extraordinary crime novel, we follow the trial through the eyes of the jurors as they hear the evidence and try to reach a unanimous verdict. Will they find the defendant guilty, or not guilty? And will the jurors' decision be the correct one? Since its first publication in 1940, Verdict of Twelve has been widely hailed as a classic of British crime writing. This edition offers a new generation of readers the chance to find out why so many leading commentators have admired the novel for so long.

Scarweather by Anthony Rolls
British Library 978-0712-35664-0, February 2017, 272pp, £8.99. Cover extract from LNER poster (East Coast) by Frank Henry Mason
"My friend Ellingham has persuaded me to reveal to the public the astounding features of the Reisby case. As a study in criminal aberration it is, he tells me, of particular interest, while in singularity of horror and in perversity of ingenious method it is probably unique"
    1913. John Farringdale, with his cousin Eric Foster, visits the famous archaeologist Tolgen Reisby. At Scarweather - Reisby's lonely house on the windswept northern coast of England - Eric is quickly attracted to Reisby's much younger wife, and matters soon take a dangerous turn. Fifteen years later, the final scene of the drama is enacted.
    This unorthodox novel from 1934 is by a gifted writer who, wrote Dorothy L. Sayers, "handles his characters like a 'real' novelist and the English language like a 'real' writer – merits which are still, unhappily, rarer than they should be in the ranks of the murder specialists."

Family Matters by Anthony Rolls
British Library 978-0712-35669-5, March 2017, 256pp, £8.99. Cover extract from L.N.E.R. poster (The Dales) by Duff Tollemache
Robert Arthur Kewdingham is an eccentric failure of a man. In middle age he retreats into a private world, hunting for Roman artefacts and devoting himself to bizarre mystical beliefs. Robert's wife, Bertha, feels that there are few things more dreadful than a husband who will persist in making a fool of himself in public. Their marriage consists of horrible quarrels, futile arguments, incessant bickering. Scarcely any friends will visit the Kewdinghams in their peaceful hometown Shufflecester.
     Everything is wrong - and with the entrance of John Harrigall, a bohemian bachelor from London who catches Bertha's eye, they take a turn for the worse. Soon deep passions and resentments shatter the calm facade of the Kewdinghams' lives.
    This richly characterised and elegantly written crime novel from 1933.

Miraculous Mysteries. Locked-Room Murders and Impossible Crimes ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35673-2, April 2017, 352pp, £8.99.
Locked-room mysteries and other impossible crime stories have been relished by puzzle-lovers ever since the invention of detective fiction. Fiendishly intricate cases were particularly well suited to the cerebral type of detective story that became so popular during the golden age of murder between the two world wars. But the tradition goes back to the days of Wilkie Collins, and impossible crime stories have been written by such luminaries as Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham. This anthology celebrates their work, alongside long-hidden gems by less familiar writers. Together these stories demonstrate the range and high accomplishment of the classic British impossible crime story over more than half a century.

The Incredible Crime. A Cambridge mystery by Lois Austen-Leigh
British Library 978-0172-35602-2, May 2017, 288pp, £8.99. Cover extract from L.N.E.R. poster (Cambridge, St John's) by Fred Taylor
Prince s College, Cambridge, is a peaceful and scholarly community, enlivened by Prudence Pinsent, the Master s daughter. Spirited, beautiful, and thoroughly unconventional, Prudence is a remarkable young woman.
    One fine morning she sets out for Suffolk to join her cousin Lord Wellende for a few days hunting. On the way Prudence encounters Captain Studde of the coastguard who is pursuing a quarry of his own.
    Studde is on the trail of a drug smuggling ring that connects Wellende Hall with the cloistered world of Cambridge. It falls to Prudence to unravel the identity of the smugglers who may be forced to kill, to protect their secret.

Continental Crimes ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0172-35679-7, June 2017, 352pp, £8.99.
A man is forbidden to uncover the secret of the tower in a fairy-tale castle by the Rhine. A headless corpse is found in a secret garden in Paris - belonging to the city's chief of police. And a drowned man is fished from the sea off the Italian Riviera, leaving the carabinieri to wonder why his socialite friends at the Villa Almirante are so unconcerned by his death. These are three of the scenarios in this new collection of vintage crime stories compiled by Martin Edwards. Detective stories from the golden age and beyond have used European settings - cosmopolitan cities, rural idylls and crumbling chateaux - to explore timeless themes of revenge, deception and haunting. Including lesser-known stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, and J. Jefferson Farjeon - and over a dozen other classic writers - this collection reveals many hidden gems of British crime.

Death Makes a Prophet by John Bude
British Library 978-0712-35 691-6, 6 July 2017, 285pp, £8.99. Cover by Thomas Friedensen (Frontispiece to The Garden City by C. B. Purdom, 1913)
'Small hostilities were growing; vague jealousies were gaining strength; and far off, wasn't there a nebulous hint of approaching tragedy in the air?' Welworth Garden City in the 1940s is a forward-thinking town where free spirits find a home - vegetarians, socialists, and an array of exotic religious groups. Chief among these are the Children of Osiris, led by the eccentric High Prophet, Eustace K. Mildmann. The cult is a seething hotbed of petty resentment, jealousy and dark secrets - which eventually lead to murder. The stage is set for one of Inspector Meredith's most bizarre and exacting cases. This witty crime novel by a writer on top form is a neglected classic of British crime fiction.

The Long Arm of the Law ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35687-9, 10 August 2017, 288pp, £8.99. Cover extract from advert ('Perfect Control' advertising Dunlop Tyres, 1935)
In classic British crime fiction, dazzling detective work is often the province of a brilliant amateur - whereas the humble police detective cuts a hapless figure. The twelve stories collected here strike a blow for the professionals, with teasing mysteries to challenge hard-working police officers' persistence and scrupulous attention to detail. As in his previous anthologies for the British Library Crime Classics series, Martin Edwards introduces readers to fascinating neglected gems of British crime writing as well as uncovering lesser-known stories by the great novelists of the golden age. Each of these stories combines realism with entertainment, skillfully blending the conduct of a criminal investigation with a compelling [ ].

Seven Dead by J. Jefferson Farjeon
British Library 978-0712-35688-6, 7 September 2017, 288pp, £8.99. Cover extract from G.W.R. poster (Cornwall, 1946) by Frank Sherwin
Ted Lyte, amateur thief, has chosen an isolated house by the coast for his first robbery. But Haven House is no ordinary country home. While hunting for silverware to steal, Ted stumbles upon a locked room containing seven dead bodies. Detective Inspector Kendall takes on the case with the help of passing yachtsman Thomas Hazeldean. The search for the house's absent owners brings Hazeldean across the Channel to Boulogne, where he finds more than one motive to stay and investigate. Seven Dead is an atmospheric crime novel first published in 1939.

Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate
British Library 978-0712-35235-2, 14 September 2017, 288pp, £8.99.
'The death was an odd one, it was true; but there was after all no very clear reason to assume it was anything but natural.' In the winter of 1942, England lies cold and dark in the wartime blackout. One bleak evening, Councillor Grayling steps off the 6.12 from Euston, carrying GBP120 in cash, and oblivious to the fate that awaits him in the snow-covered suburbs. Inspector Holly draws up a list of Grayling's fellow passengers: his distrusted employee Charles Evetts, the charming Hugh Rolandson, and an unknown refugee from Nazi Germany, among others. Inspector Holly will soon discover that each passenger harbours their own dark secrets, and that the councillor had more than one enemy among them. First published in 1943, Raymond Postgate's wartime murder mystery combines thrilling detection with rich characters and a fascinating depiction of life on the home front.

Foreign Bodies ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0172-35699-2, 5 October 2017, 288pp, £8.99.
Today, translated crime fiction is in vogue - but this was not always the case. A century before Scandi noir, writers across Europe and beyond were publishing detective stories of high quality. Often these did not appear in English and they have been known only by a small number of experts. This is the first ever collection of classic crime in translation from the golden age of the genre in the 20th century. Many of these stories are exceptionally rare, and several have been translated for the first time to appear in this volume. Martin Edwards has selected gems of classic crime from Denmark to Japan and many points in between. Fascinating stories give an insight into the cosmopolitan cultures (and crime-writing traditions) of diverse places including Mexico, France, Russia, Germany and the Netherlands.

Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith
British Library 978-0172-35686-X, 12 October 2017, 288pp, £8.99. Cover by (Mary Evans Library/Bruce Castle Museum)
Adrian Gray was born in May 1862 and met his death through violence, at the hands of one of his own children, at Christmas, 1931. Thus begins a classic crime novel published in 1933, a riveting portrait of the psychology of a murderer. Each December, Adrian Gray invites his extended family to stay at his lonely house, Kings Poplars. None of Gray's six surviving children is fond of him; several have cause to wish him dead. The family gathers on Christmas Eve - and by the following morning, their wish has been granted. This fascinating and unusual novel tells the story of what happened that dark Christmas night; and what the murderer did next.

Bats in the Belfry. A London Mystery by E. C. R. Lorac
British Library 978-0712-35255-0, 10 January 2018, 240pp, £8.99. Cover extract from G.W.R. poster (London, 1938) by Frank Henry Mason
Bruce Attleton dazzled London's literary scene with his first two novels - but his early promise did not bear fruit. His wife Sybilla is a glittering actress, unforgiving of Bruce's failure, and the couple lead separate lives in their house at Regent's Park. When Bruce is called away on a sudden trip to Paris, he vanishes completely - until his suitcase and passport are found in a sinister artist's studio, the Belfry, in a crumbling house in Notting Hill. Inspector Macdonald must uncover Bruce's secrets, and find out the identity of his mysterious blackmailer. This intricate mystery from a classic writer is set in a superbly evoked London of the 1930s.

Fire in the Thatch. A Devon Mystery by E. C. R. Lorac
British Library 978-0712-35260-4, 10 February 2018, 240pp, £8.99.
The Second World War is drawing to a close. Nicholas Vaughan, released from the army after an accident, takes refuge in Devon - renting a thatched cottage in the beautiful countryside at Mallory Fitzjohn. Vaughan sets to work farming the land, rearing geese and renovating the cottage. Hard work and rural peace seem to make this a happy bachelor life. On a nearby farm lives the bored, flirtatious June St Cyres, an exile from London while her husband is a Japanese POW. June's presence attracts fashionable visitors of dubious character, and threatens to spoil Vaughan's Prized seclusion. When Little Thatch is destroyed in a blaze, all Vaughan's work goes up in smoke - and Inspector Macdonald is drafted in to uncover a motive for murder. 

Blood on the Tracks. Railway Mysteries ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35270-3, 10 March 2018, 288pp, £8.99. Cover extract from London & North Eastern Railway poster (Express Ease The "Harrogate" Pullman) by George Harrison
'Never had I been given a tougher problem to solve, and never had I been so utterly at my wits' end for a solution.' A signalman is found dead by a railway tunnel. A man identifies his wife as a victim of murder on the underground. Two passengers mysteriously disappear between stations, leaving behind a dead body. Trains have been a favourite setting of many crime writers, providing the mobile equivalent of the 'locked-room' scenario. Their enclosed carriages with a limited number of suspects lend themselves to seemingly impossible crimes. In an era of cancellations and delays, alibis reliant upon a timely train service no longer ring true, yet the railway detective has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the twenty-first century. Both train buffs and crime fans will delight in this selection of fifteen railway-themed mysteries, featuring some of the most popular authors of their day alongside less familiar names. This is a collection to beguile even the most wearisome commuter. 

The Murder of My Aunt by Richard Hull
British Library 978-0712-35280-2, 10 April 2018, 240pp, £8.99.
'I should be very much happier if she were dead.' Edward Powell lives with his Aunt Mildred in the Welsh town of Lywll. His aunt thinks Lywll an idyllic place to live, but Edward loathes the countryside - and thinks the company even worse. In face, Edward has decided to murder his aunt. A darkly humorous depiction of fraught family ties, The Murder of My Aunt was first published in 1934.

Excellent Intentions by Richard Hull
British Library 978-0712-35201-7, 10 May 2018, 240pp, £8.99.
Great Barwick s least popular man is murdered on a train. Twelve jurors sit in court. Four suspects are identified but which of them is on trial? This novel has all the makings of a classic murder mystery, but with a twist: as Attorney-General Anstruther Blayton leads the court through prosecution and defence, Inspector Fenby carries out his investigation. All this occurs while the identity of figure in the dock is kept tantalisingly out of reach. Excellent Intentions is a classic crime novel laced with irreverent wit, first published in 1939.

Weekend at Thrackley by Alan Melville
British Library 978-0712-35211-6, 10 June 2018, 240pp, £8.99.
Jim Henderson is one of six guests summoned by the mysterious Edwin Carson, a collector of precious stones, to a weekend party at his country house, Thrackley. The house is gloomy and forbidding but the party is warm and hospitable except for the presence of Jacobson, the sinister butler. The other guests are wealthy people draped in jewels; Jim cannot imagine why he belongs in such company. After a weekend of adventure with attempted robbery and a vanishing guest secrets come to light and Jim unravels a mystery from his past.

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery by Leonard Gribble
British Library 978-0712-35226-0, 10 July 2018, 256pp, £8.99. Adapts an illustration of England v. Italy match by A Brivio (Illustrazione del Popolo, 18 November 1934)
The 1939 Arsenal side is firing on all cylinders and celebrating a string of victories. They appear unstoppable, but the Trojans - a side of amateurs who are on a winning streak of their own - may be about to silence the Gunners. Moments into the second half the whistle blows, but not for a goal or penalty. One of the Trojans has collapsed on the pitch. By the end of the day, he is dead. Gribble's unique mystery, featuring the actual Arsenal squad of 1939, sends Inspector Anthony Slade into the world of professional football to investigate a case of deadly foul play on and off the pitch.

The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson
British Library 978-0712-35241-3, 10 August 2018, 256pp, £8.99. Cover extract from Southern Railway poster (Paris-St Lazare a Londres, 1924).
Through the double clamour of Big Ben and the shrill sound of the bell rang a revolver shot.
    A financier is found shot in the House of Commons. Suspecting foul play, Robert West, a parliamentary private secretary, takes on the role of amateur sleuth. Used to turning a blind eye to covert dealings, West must now uncover the shocking secret behind the mans demise, amid distractions from the press and the dead man's enigmatic daughter.
    Originally published in 1932, this was the only mystery novel to be written by Ellen Wilkinson, one of the first women to be elected to Parliament. Wilkinson offers a unique insiders perspective of political scandal, replete with sharp satire.
    With an introduction by Martin Edwards and preface by Rachel Reeves MP

The Colour of Murder by Julian Symons
British Library 978-0712-35227-7, 10 September 2018, 256pp, £8.99. Cover extract from Southern Railways poster (Brighton, 1920s) by Henry George Gawthorn
John Wilkins meets a beautiful, irresistible girl, and his world is turned upside down. Looking at his wife, and thinking of the girl, everything turns red before his eyes - the colour of murder.
    This award-winning crime novel from 1957 is a gripping examination of the psychology of murder and the nature of justice, unravelling the mystery by showing the events leading up to a murder, and the psychiatric evaluation which follows.

The Belting Inheritance by Julian Symons
British Library 978-0712-35232-1, 10 September 2018, 240pp, £8.99.
Lady Wainwright presides over the gothic gloom at Belting, in mourning for her two sons lost in the Second World War. Long afterwards a stranger arrives at Belting, claiming to be the missing David Wainwright who was not killed after all, but held captive for years in a Russian prison camp.
With Lady Wainwright's health fading, her inheritance is at stake, and the family is torn apart by doubts over its mysterious long-lost son. Belting is shadowed by suspicion and intrigue and then the first body is found.
    This atmospheric novel of family secrets, first published in 1964.

The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories, ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35247-5, 10 October 2018, 288pp, £8.99. Cover from travel poster (Les Sports D'Hiver au Mont-Revard, c.1927) by Roger Broders.
A Christmas party is punctuated by a gunshot under a policeman's watchful eye. A jewel heist is planned amidst the glitz and glamour of Oxford Street's Christmas shopping. Lost in a snowstorm, a man finds a motive for murder. This collection of mysteries explores the darker side of the festive season from unexplained disturbances in the fresh snow, to the darkness that lurks beneath the sparkling decorations. With neglected stories by John Bude and E. C. R. Lorac, as well as tales by little-known writers of crime fiction, Martin Edwards blends the cosy atmosphere of the fireside story with a chill to match the temperature outside. This is a gripping seasonal collection sure to delight mystery fans.

Murder by Matchlight by E. C. R. Lorac
British Library 978-0712-35222-2, 10 November 2018, 256pp, £8.99. Cover: uncredited.
London. 1945. The capital is shrouded in the darkness of the blackout, and mystery abounds in the parks after dusk.
    During a stroll through Regent's Park, Bruce Mallaig witnesses two men acting suspiciously around a footbridge. In a matter of moments, one of them has been murdered; Mallaig's view of the assailant but a brief glimpse of a ghastly face in the glow of a struck match.
    The murderer's noiseless approach and escape seems to defy all logic, and even the victim's identity is quickly thrown into uncertainty. Lorac's shrewd yet personable C.I.D. man MacDonald must set to work once again to unravel this near-impossible mystery.

Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert
British Library 978-0712-35297-0, 10 January 2019, 272pp, £8.99.
Horniman, Birley and Craine is a highly respected legal firm with clients reaching to the highest in the land. When a deed box in the office is opened to reveal a corpse, the threat of scandal promises to wreak havoc on the firm's reputation - especially as the murder looks like an inside job. The partners and staff of the firm keep a watchful and suspicious eye on their colleagues, as Inspector Hazlerigg sets out to solve the mystery of who Mr Smallbone was - and why he had to die.
    Written with style, pace and wit, this is a masterpiece by one of the finest writers of traditional British crime novels since the Second World War.

Death in Captivity by Michael Gilbert
British Library 978-0712-35213-0, 10 February 2019, 288pp, £8.99.
A man is found dead in an escape tunnel in an Italian prisoner-of-war camp. Did he die in an accidental collapse - or was this murder? Captain Henry `Cuckoo' Goyles, master tunneller and amateur detective, takes up the case.
    This classic locked-room mystery with a closed circle of suspects is woven together with a thrilling story of escape from the camp, as the Second World War nears its endgame and the British prisoners prepare to flee into the Italian countryside.

Death Has Deep Roots by Michael Gilbert
British Library 978-0712-35228-4, 10 March 2019, 256pp, £8.99
At the Central Criminal Court, an eager crowd awaits the trial of Victoria Lamartine, an active participant in the Resistance during the war. She is now employed at the Family Hotel in Soho, where Major Eric Thoseby has been found murdered.
    The cause of death? A stabbing reminiscent of techniques developed by the Maquisards. While the crime is committed in England, its roots are buried in a vividly depicted wartime France. Thoseby is believed to have fathered Lamartine's child, and the prosecution insist that his death is revenge for his abandonment of Lamartine and her arrest by the Gestapo.
    A last-minute change in Lamartine's defence counsel grants solicitor Nap Rumbold just eight days to prove her innocence, with the highest of stakes should he fail.
    The proceedings of the courtroom are interspersed with Rumbold's perilous quest for evidence, which is aided by his old wartime comrades.

Surfeit of Suspects by George Bellairs
British Library 978-0712-35238-3, 10 April 2019, 288pp, £8.99.
Following a mysterious explosion, the offices of Excelsior Joinery Company are no more; the 3 directors are killed and the peace of a quiet town in Surrey lies in ruins.
    When the supposed cause of ignited gas leak is dismissed and the presence of dynamite revealed, Superintendent Littlejohn of Scotland Yard is summoned to the scene. But beneath the sleepy veneer of Evingden lies a hotbed of deep-seated grievances. Confounding Littlejohn's investigation is an impressive cast of suspicious persons, each concealing their own axe to grind.
    Bellairs' novel of small-town grudges with calamitous consequences revels in the abundant possible solutions to the central crime as a masterpiece of misdirection.

Murder in the Mill-Race by E. C. R. Lorac
British Library 978-0712-35268-0, 10 May 2019, 288pp, £8.99. Cover extract from GWR poster (Somerset, 1930s) by Frank Neubold.
When Dr Raymond Ferens moves to a practice at Milham in the Moor in North Devon, he and his wife are enchanted with the beautiful hilltop village lying so close to moor and sky. At first they see only its charm, but soon they begin to uncover its secrets - envy, hatred and malice.
    Everyone says that Sister Monica, warden of a children's home, is a saint - but is she? A few months after the Ferens' arrival her body is found drowned in the mill race. Chief Inspector Macdonald faces one of his most difficult cases in a village determined not to betray its dark secrets to a stranger.

Deep Waters. Murder on the Waves, ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35288-8, 10 June 2019, 288pp, £8.99.
From picturesque canals to the swirling currents of the ocean, a world of secrets lies buried beneath the surface of the water. Dubious vessels crawl along riverbeds, while the murky depths conceal more than one gruesome murder.
    The stories in this collection will dredge up delight in crime fiction fans, as watery graves claim unintended dwellers and disembodied whispers penetrate the sleeping quarters of a ship's captain. How might a thief plot their escape from a floating crime scene? And what is to follow when murder victims, lost to the ocean floor, inevitably resurface?
    This British Library anthology uncovers the best mysteries set below the surface, including stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, William Hope Hodgson and R. Austin Freeman.

Fell Murder by E. C. R. Lorac
British Library 978-0712352048, 10 July 2019, 237pp, £8.99. Cover from LMS railway poster (Shap Fell, the Route of the Royal Scot, 1925) by Donald Maxwell.
First published in 1944 Fell Murder sees E.C.R. Lorac at the height of her considerable powers as a purveyor of well-made, traditional and emphatic detective fiction. The book presents a fascinating 'return of the prodigal' mystery set in the later stages of the Second World War amidst the close-knit farmerfolk community of Lancashire s lovely Lune valley.
    The Garths had farmed their fertile acres for generations and fine land it was with the towering hills of the Lake Country on the far horizon. Garthmere Hall itself was old before Flodden Field, and here hot-tempered Robert Garth, still hale and hearty at eighty-two, ruled his household with a rod of iron. The peaceful dales and fells of the north country provide the setting for this grim story of a murder, a setting in fact which is one of the attractive features of an unusual and distinctive tale of evil passions and murderous hate in a small rural community.
    Includes additional short story 'The Live Wire' (1939).

The Body in the Dumb River by George Bellairs
British Library 978-0712-35214-7, 10 August 2019, 288pp, £8.99.
For the most part, the dead man received public sympathy. A decent, hardworking chap, with not an enemy anywhere. People were surprised that anybody should want to kill Jim.
    But Jim has been drowned in the Dumb River, near Ely, miles from his Yorkshire home. His body, clearly dumped in the usually silent ('dumb') waterway, has been discovered before the killer intended - disturbed by a torrential flood.
    With critical urgency it's up to Superintendent Littlejohn of Scotland Yard to trace the mystery of the unassuming victim's murder to its source, leaving waves of scandal and...

It Walks By Night by John Dickson Carr
British Library 978-0712-35264-2, 10 September 2019, 272pp, £8.99.
We are thrilled to welcome John Dickson Carr into the Crime Classics series with his first novel, a brooding locked room mystery in the gathering dusk of the French capital.
    In the smoke-wreathed gloom of a Parisian salon, Inspector Bencolin has summoned his allies to discuss a peculiar case. A would-be murderer, imprisoned for his attempt to kill his wife, has escaped and is known to have visited a plastic surgeon. His whereabouts remain a mystery, though with his former wife poised to marry another, Bencolin predicts his return.
    Sure enough, the Inspector's worst suspicions are realized when the beheaded body of the new suitor is discovered in a locked room of the salon, with no apparent exit. Bencolin sets off into the Parisian night to unravel the dumbfounding mystery and track down the sadistic killer.
    Featuring the Dickson Carr short story 'The Shadow of the Goat'.

The Measure of Malice, ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35289-5, 10 September 2019, 320pp, £8.99.
The detective's role is simple: to catch the culprit. Yet behind each casual observation lies a learned mind, trained on finding the key to the mystery. Crimes, whatever their form, are often best solved through deliberations of logic - preferably amid complicated gadgetry and a pile of hefty scientific volumes.
    The detectives in this collection are masters of scientific deduction, whether they are identifying the perpetrator from a single scrap of fabric, or picking out the poison from a sinister line-up. Containing stories by R. Austin Freeman, J. J. Connington and the master of logical reasoning, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Measure of Malice collects tales of rational thinking to prove the power of the human brain over villainous deeds.

The Christmas Egg by Mary Kelly
British Library 978-0712-35310-6, 10 October 2019, 272pp, £8.99.
In a gloomy flat off Islington High Street, Chief Inspector Brett Nightingale and Sergeant Beddoes find an old woman dead. The Princess Olga Karukhin, who fled from Russia at the time of the Revolution, has lived in terror of being discovered ever since.
    Olga's grandson, Ivan, appears to have run from the scene, but is later seen returning to the flat as though oblivious to the terrible crime. Taking place between 22nd and 24th December, Nightingale's enquiry takes him across London, culminating in the wrapping of the mystery on Christmas Eve.
    This never-before-republished novel from 1958 has a noticeably different feel to the neat puzzles and country house mysteries of crime fiction's golden age, revealing the darker side of police detection in an evocative urban setting.

Death in Fancy Dress by Anthony Gilbert
British Library 978-0712-35340-3, 10 November 2019, 256pp, £8.99.
The British Secret Service, working to uncover a large-scale blackmail ring and catch its mysterious mastermind 'The Spider', find themselves at the country residence Feltham Abbey where a fancy-dress ball is in full swing.
    In the tumult of revelry, Sir Ralph Feltham is found dead. Not the atmosphere bewildered guest Tony was expecting, he sets out make sense of the night's activities and the motives of the other guests. Among them is Hilary, an independently minded socialite still in her costume of vivid silk pyjamas and accompanying teddy bear…
    This classic country house mystery, first published in 1933, contrasts the splendours and frivolities of the English upper classes with the sombre over-hang of the First World War and the irresistible complications of deadly familial relationships.

Castle Skull: A Rhineland mystery by John Dickson Carr
British Library 978-0712-35326-7, 10 January 2020, 240pp, £8.99.
That is the case. Alison has been murdered. His blazing body was seen running about the battlements of Castle Skull.
    And so a dark shadow looms over the Rhineland where Inspector Henri Bencolin and his accomplice Jeff Marle have arrived from Paris. Entreated by the Belgian financier DAunay to investigate the gruesome and grimly theatrical death of actor Myron Alison, the pair find themselves at the imposing hilltop fortress Schloss Schädel, in which a small group of suspects are still assembled.
    As thunder rolls in the distance, Bencolin and Marle enter a world steeped in macabre legends of murder and magic to catch the killer still walking the maze-like passages and towers of the keep.
    This new edition of John Dickson Carrs spirited and deeply atmospheric early novel also features the rare Inspector Bencolin short story 'The Fourth Suspect'.

Death in White Pyjamas, with Death Knows No Calendar by John Bude
British Library 978-0712-35316-8, 10 February 2020, 272pp, £8.99.Two mysteries of the kind John Bude does best, with well-drawn and authentic period settings and a satisfying whodunit structure, following the traditional rules and style of the Golden Age of the genre.
    Death in White Pyjamas: At the country home of Sam Richardson, a group of actors have gathered along with their somewhat sinister producer Basil Barnes, and a playwright whose star is rising in the drama scene. With competitive tension in the air between the three actresses, Clara, Angela and Deirdre, the spell is broken when Deirdre is found murdered in the grounds wearing, for some unknown reason, white pyjamas
    Death Knows no Calendar: A shooting in a locked artist's studio. Four suspects; at least two of whom are engaged in an affair. An exuberant and energetic case for Major Boddy

Settling Scores: Sporting Mysteries, ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35321-2, 10 March 2020, 352pp, £8.99.
Talented sportsmen inexplicably go absent without leave, crafty gamblers conspire in the hope of making a killing, and personal rivalries and jealousies come to a head on fields of play The classic stories in this new British Library anthology show that crime is a game for all seasons.

Crossed Skis: An Alpine mystery by Carol Carnac
British Library 978-0712-35331-1, 10 April 2020, 240pp, £8.99.
In London's Bloomsbury, Inspector Julian Rivers of Scotland Yard looks down at a dismal scene. Here is the victim, burnt to a crisp. Here are the clues - clues which point to a good climber and expert skier, and which lead Rivers to the piercing sunshine and sparkling snow of the Austrian Alps.

The Spoilt Kill: A Stafforshire mystery by Mary Kelly
British Library 978-0712-35336-6. 10 May 2020, 224pp, £8.99.
Staffordshire in the 1950s. Within the clay tanks at the pottery company Shentall's, a body has been found. Amid cries of industrial espionage and sabotage of this leader of the pottery industry, there is a case of bitter murder to solve for Inspector Hedley Nicholson.
    Kelly's mystery won the CWA Gold Dagger Award in 1961 for its impeccable sense of place and detail, and for the emotional weight of its central crime. The novel is part of a shift from the cosiness of crime novels before to mysteries characterised by their psychological interest and affecting realism. An influential classic.

The Woman in the Wardrobe by Peter Shaffer
British Library 978-0712-35346-5, 10 June 2020, 224pp, £8.99.
The little Sussex town of Amnestie had not known a death so bloody since the fifteenth century. And certainly none more baffling - to all except Mr Verity. From the moment he appears this bearded giant - ruthless inquirer, devastating wit and enthusiastic collector of the best sculpture - has matters firmly (if fantastically) under control. Things are certainly complicated, but this is hardly enough to deter Mr Verity. As he himself observes: 'when the number of suspects is continually increasing, and the number of corpses remains constant, you get a sort of inflation. The value of your individual suspect becomes hopelessly depreciated. That, for the real detective, is a state of paradise.'

The Man Who Didn't Fly by Margot Bennett
British Library 978-0712-35341-0, 10 July 2020, 256pp, £8.99. Cover by ? (original)
A new author joins the Crime Classics series with Margot Bennett's 1955 masterpiece
Four men had arranged to fly to Dublin. When their aeroplane descended as a fireball into the Irish Sea, only three of them were on board. With the identities of the passengers lost beneath the waves, a tense and perplexing investigation begins to determine the living from the dead, with scarce evidence to follow beyond a few snippets of overheard conversation and one family's patchy account of the three days prior to the flight.
    Who was the man who didn't fly? What did he have to gain? And would he commit such an explosive murder to get it? Bennett's ingenious mystery remains an innovative and thoroughly entertaining inversion of the classic whodunit.
    This edition also includes the rare short story 'No Bath for the Browns'.

Checkmate to Murder by E. C. R. Lorac
British Library 978-0712-35352-6, 10 August 2020, 240pp, £8.99
A rare mystery from the mind of E.C.R. Lorac returns to print!
Mackellon laid down the wallet which held the miniature pieces. 'You know, I've the oddest feeling that yesterday evening s proceedings formed a sort of pattern a game of chess with living players.'
    On a dismally foggy night in Hampstead, London, a curious party has gathered in an artist's studio to weather the wartime blackout. A civil servant and a government scientist match wits in a game of chess, while Bruce Manaton paints the portrait of his characterful sitter, bedecked in Cardinal's robes at the other end of the room. In the kitchen, Rosanne Manaton prepares tea for the charlady of Mr. Folliner, the secretive miser next door.
    When the brutal murder of 'Old Mr. F' is discovered by his Canadian infantryman nephew, it's not long before Inspector Macdonald of Scotland Yard is called to the scene to take the young soldier away. But even at first glance the case looks far from black-and-white. Faced with a bevy of perplexing alibis and suspicious circumstances, Macdonald and the C.I.D. set to work separating the players from the pawns to shed light on this toppling of a lonely king in the dead of night.

The Progress of a Crime by Julian Symons
British Library 978-0712-35372-4, 10 September 2020, £8.99.
Another story from Crime Classics author Julian Symons, venturing into the 1960s with a more modern feel, blending classic crime with psychological thriller. Symons was a hugely influential writer, whose book on the history of the Crime genre, Bloody Murder, is known and still hotly debated by fans worldwide. The Progress of a Crime story boasts an excellent seasonal atmosphere, with the murder taking place by the bonfire on fireworks night.
    ‘…has the cool, accurate vision of the best documentary.’Evening Standard
    The murder, a brutal stabbing, definitely took place on Guy Fawkes night.
    It was definitely by the bonfire on the village green. There were definitely a number of witnesses to a row between a group of Teddy Boys. And yet, was it definitely clear to anybody exactly what they had seen? In the writhing, violent shadows, it seems as if the truth may have gone up in smoke.
    Based on a real case and exhibiting characteristically thorough research and skilful plotting, Julian Symons’ phenomenal 1960 novel is a searing drama of wrongful accusation, gripping policework and a sharp portrait of small-town tensions. This edition also includes the short story ‘The Tigers of Subtopia’.

The Port of London Murders by Josephine Bell
British Library 978-0712-35361-8, 10 October 2020, 256pp, £8.99.
A moody and atmospheric mystery set around London’s historic docks in the 1930's. Josephine Bell is a brand-new series author for the British Library Crime Classics, who was an immensely prolific writer and instrumental in founding the Crime Writers Association, serving as its Chair between 1959-1960.
    When the San Angelo drifts into port in the Thames Estuary, telephones begin to ring across the capital and an intricate series of events is set in motion. Beset by dreadful storms in the Bay of Biscay, the ship, along with the ‘mixed cargo’ it carries, is late.
    Unaware of the machinations of avaricious importers, wayward captains and unscrupulous traders, Harry Reed and June Harvey are thrust together by a riverside accident, before being swept into the current of a dark plot developing on the dockside.
    Published in 1938, Josephine Bell’s unique and atmospheric writing shines in a mystery weaving together blackmail, bootleg lingerie and, of course, murder.

A Surprise For Christmas and Other Seasonal Mysteries, ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-0712-35337-3, 10 October 2020, 320pp, £9.99.
Another selection of Christmas Crime mysteries from the likes of Golden Age authors Anthony Gilbert, Julian Symons and John Dickson Carr, this title has been edited by British Library Crime Classics series consultant, Martin Edwards, whose previous Christmas anthologies (Silent Nights, The Christmas Card Crime, etc.) have been incredibly popular.
    ‘“After all,” said our host, “it’s Christmas. Why not let the cat out of the bag?”’
    A Postman murdered while delivering cards on Christmas morning. A Christmas pine growing over a forgotten homicide. A Yuletide heist gone horribly wrong. When there’s as much murder as magic in the air and the facts seem to point to the impossible, it’s up to the detective’s trained eye to unwrap the clues and neatly tie together an explanation (preferably with a bow on top).
    Martin Edwards has once again gathered the best of these seasonal stories into a stellar anthology brimming with rare tales, fresh as fallen snow, and classics from the likes of Julian Symons, Margery Allingham, Anthony Gilbert and Cyril Hare. A most welcome surprise indeed, and perfect to be shared between super-sleuths by the fire on a cold winter’s night.

The Lost Gallows by John Dickson Carr
British Library 978-0712-35363-2, 10 November 2020, 256pp, £8.99.
A third title from John Dickson Carr’s incredibly popular ‘Inspector Bencolin’ series, this story takes place between previous British Library Crime Classic titles It Walks By Night and Castle Skull.
    John Dickson Carr remains one of the most influential and popular authors in Classic Crime fiction, and this fantastic early novel has been out of print for decades. This book also includes the extremely rare Dickson Carr short story, ‘The Ends of Justice’.
    As the thick, autumnal fog chokes the capital, within the fire-lit lounge of London’s notorious Brimstone Club a bizarre tale is being spun for Inspector Bencolin and his friend Jeff Marle. A member of the club has been sent a model of a tiny gallows, and the word is that the folkloric hangman Jack Ketch has been stalking the streets for victims by night, his gibbet in tow.
    The threat of this supposed bogeyman becomes thrillingly real when that same night Bencolin and Marle are almost run down by a limousine with a corpse behind the wheel. When an ominous message claims the car’s passenger has been taken to the gallows at Ruination St for hanging, the detective and his associate venture into the night to discover the truth behind the terrifying Ketch and a street which cannot be found on any map.
    First published in 1931 at the outset of Carr’s legendary career in crime writing, this atmospheric mystery boasts all of the twists, tension and unforgettable scenes of a young master at work.

The Corpse in the Waxworks by John Dickson Carr
British Library 978-0712-35373-1, 20 January 2021, 256pp, £8.99.
An eerie and sinister evocation of Parisian backstreets and seedy establishments, traversed by the familiar yet enigmatic Inspector Bencolin. Another enthralling literary puzzle from the beloved author of Castle Skull and It Walks By Night, both reissued as British Library Crime Classics. This book also features the bonus short story ‘The Murder in Number Four’, an ingenious ‘locked railway compartment’ mystery set on board a haunted train.
    ‘“The purpose, the illusion, the spirit of a waxworks. It is an atmosphere of death. It is soundless and motionless... Do you see?”’
    Last night Mademoiselle Duchêne was seen heading into the Gallery of Horrors at the Musée Augustin waxworks, alive. Today she was found in the Seine, murdered. The museum’s proprietor, long perturbed by the unnatural vitality of his figures, claims that he saw one of them following the victim into the dark – a lead that Henri Bencolin, head of the Paris police and expert of ‘impossible’ crimes, cannot possibly resist.
    Surrounded by the eerie noises of the night, Bencolin prepares to enter the ill-fated waxworks, his associate Jeff Marle and the victim’s fiancé in tow. Waiting within, beneath the glass-eyed gaze of a leering waxen satyr, is a gruesome discovery and the first clues of a twisted and ingenious mystery.
    First published in 1932 at the height of crime fiction’s Golden Age, this macabre and atmospheric dive into the murky underground of Parisian society presents an intelligent puzzle delivered at a stunning pace. This new edition also includes ‘The Murder in Number Four’, a rare Inspector Bencolin short story.

Murder's A Swine by Nap Lombard
British Library 978-071235378-6, 10 February 2021, 256pp, £8.99.
In the blackout conditions of a wintry London night, amateur sleuth Agnes Kinghof and a young air-raid warden have stumbled upon a corpse stowed in the walls of their street's bomb shelter. As the police begin their investigation, the night is interrupted once again when Agnes' upstairs neighbour, Mrs. Sibley is terrorised by the sight of a grisly pig's head at her fourth-floor window.
    With the discovery of more sinister threats mysteriously signed Pig-sticker, Agnes and her husband, Andrew—unable to resist a good mystery—begin their investigation to deduce the identity of a villain living amongst them in their block of flats.
    A witty and light-hearted mystery full of intriguing period detail, this rare gem of Golden Age crime returns to print for the first time since its publication in 1943. This edition includes an Introduction by award-winning author Martin Edwards.

Two-Way Murder by E. C. R. Lorac
British Library 978-071235383-0, 10 March 2021, 240pp, £8.99.
It is a dark and misty night—isn't it always?—and bachelors Nicholas and Ian are driving to the ball at Fordings, a beautiful concert hall in the countryside. There waits the charming Dilys Maine, and a party buzzing with rumours of one Rosemary Reeve who disappeared on the eve of this event the previous year, not found to this day. With thoughts of mysterious case ringing in their ears, Dilys and Nicholas strike a stranger on the drive back home, launching a new investigation and unwittingly reviving the search for what really became of Rosemary Reeve.
    Written in the last years of the author's life, this previously unpublished novel is a tribute to Lorac's enduring skill for constructing an ingenious puzzle, replete with memorable characters and gripping detective work.
    Crime fiction lovers can't miss the classic golden age mysteries published in the acclaimed British Crime Classics series!

Due to a Death by Mary Kelly
British Library 978-071235314-4, 19 April 2021, 240pp, £8.99.
Gripping, intelligent and affecting, Due to a Death was nominated for the Gold Dagger Award and showcases the author's versatility and willingness to push the boundaries of the mystery genre. This edition includes an introduction by CWA Diamond Dagger Award-winning author Martin Edwards.
    A car speeds down a road between miles of marshes and estuary flats, its passenger a young woman named Agnes—hands bloodied, number with fear, her world turned upside down.
    Meanwhile, the news of a girl found dead on the marsh is spreading round the local area, panic following in its wake. A masterpiece of suspense, Mary Kelly's 1962 novel follows Agnes as she casts her mind back through the past few days to find the links between her husband, his friends, a mysterious stranger new to the village, and a case of unexplained death.

The Chianti Flask by Marie Belloc Lowndes
British Library 978-071235329-1, 10 May 2021, 256pp, £8.99. Cover from Dunlop press advert (published in The Bystander, 2 October 1935).
An enigmatic young woman named Laura Dousland stands on trial for murder, accused of poisoning her elderly husband, Fordish. It seems clear that the poison was delivered in a flask of Chianti with supper, but according to the couple's servant in the witness-box, the flask disappeared the night Fordish died, and all attempts to trace it have come to nothing. The jury delivers its verdict, but this is just the end of the beginning of Marie Belloc Lowndes's gripping story.
    First published in 1934, this exquisitely crafted novel blends the tenets of a traditional mystery with an exploration of the psychological impact of death, accusation, guilt, and justice in the aftermath of murder.

Guilty Creatures: A Menagerie of Mysteries, edited by Martin Edwards
British Library 978-071235344-1, 10 June 2021, 320pp, £9.99.
From the animal mysteries of Arthur Conan Doyle and F. Tennyson Jesse through to more modern masterpieces of the subgenre from Christianna Brand and Penelope Wallace, this anthology celebrates one of the liveliest and most imaginative species of classic crime fiction. The collection includes an introduction on animals in detective fiction by Martin Edwards.
    Since the dawn of the crime fiction genre, animals of all kinds have played a memorable part in countless mysteries, and in a variety of roles: the perpetrator, the key witness, the sleuth's trusted companion. This collection of fourteen stories corrals plots centered around cats, dogs, and insects alongside more exotic incidents involving gorillas, parakeets, and serpents—complete with a customary shoal of red herrings.

The Widow of Bath by Margot Bennett
British Library 978-071235374-8, 10 July 2021, 256pp, £8.99.
There are a dozen clever deceptions in the book, twice as many as most writers would have given us.—Julian Symons in Bloody Murder.
First published in 1952, The Widow of Bath offers intricate puzzles, international intrigue, and a richly evoked portrait of post-war Britain, all delivered with Bennett's signature brand of witty and elegant prose. This edition includes an introduction by CWA Diamond Dagger Award-winning author Martin Edwards.
    Hugh Everton was intent on nothing more than quietly drinking in the second-rate hotel he found himself in on England's south coast—and then in walked his old flame Lucy and her new husband and ex-judge, Gregory Bath. Entreated by Lucy to join her party for an evening back at the Bath residence, Hugh is powerless to resist, but when the night ends with the judge's inexplicable murder, he is pitched back into a world of chaos and crime--a world he had tried to escape for good.

Till Death Do Us Part by John Dickson Carr
British Library 978-071235379-8, 10 August 2021, 256pp, £8.99.
First published in 1944, Till Death Do Us Part remains a pacey and deeply satisfying impossible crime story, championed by Carr connoisseurs as one of the very best examples of his mystery writing talents. This edition includes an introduction by CWA Diamond Dagger Award-winning author Martin Edwards.
    Crime author Dick Markham is in love again; his fiancée, the mysterious newcomer to the village, Lesley Grant. When Grant accidentally shoots the fortune teller through the side of his tent at the local fair--following a very strange reaction to his predictions--Markham is reluctantly brought into a scheme to expose his betrothed as a suspected serial husband-poisoner.
    That night the enigmatic fortune teller--and chief accuser--is found dead in an impossible locked-room setup, casting suspicion onto Grant and striking doubt into the heart of her lover. Lured by the scent of the impossible case, Dr. Gideon Fell arrives from London to examine the perplexing evidence and match wits with a meticulous killer at large.

Murder By the Book: Mysteries for Bibliophiles, edited by Martin Edwards
British Library 978-071235369-0, 10 August 2021, 304pp, £9.99.
If much of the action is set in a bookshop or a library, it is a bibliomystery, just as it is if a major character is a bookseller or a librarian.—Otto Penzler
With Martin Edwards as librarian and guide, delve into an irresistible stack of bibliomysteries, perfect for every booklover and armchair sleuth, featuring much-loved Golden Age detectives Nigel Strangeways, Philip Trent, Detective Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn, and others. But readers should be warned that the most riveting tales often conceal the deadliest of secrets...
    A bookish puzzle threatens an eagerly awaited inheritance; a submission to a publisher recounts a murder that seems increasingly to be a work of nonfiction; an irate novelist puts a grisly end to the source of his writer's block.
    There is no better hiding place for clues--or red herrings--than inside the pages of a book. But in this world of resentful ghost writers, indiscreet playwrights, and unscrupulous book collectors, literary prowess is often a prologue to disaster.

These Names Make Clues by E. C. R. Lorac
British Library 978-071235384-4, 10 September 2021, 256pp, £8.99.
Amidst the confusion of too many fake names, clues, ciphers, and convoluted alibis, Chief Inspector Macdonald and his allies in the CID must unravel a truly tangled case in this metafictional masterpiece, which returns to print for the first time since its publication in 1937. This edition includes an introduction by CWA Diamond Dagger Award-winning author Martin Edwards.
    Should detectives go to parties? Was it consistent with the dignity of the Yard? The inspector tossed for it—and went.
    Chief Inspector Macdonald has been invited to a treasure hunt party at the house of Graham Coombe, the celebrated publisher of Murder by Mesmerism. Despite a handful of misgivings, the inspector joins a guest list of novelists and thriller writers disguised on the night under literary pseudonyms. The fun comes to an abrupt end, however, when Samuel Pepys is found dead in the telephone room in bizarre circumstances.

Murder After Christmas by Rupert Latimer
British Library 978-071235389-5, 10 October 2021, 317pp, £8.99. Cover by Charles Pears ("Christmas Eve", The Tatler, 28 November 1930)
"A war's on and a murder has been committed—and we sit here talking nonsense about almond whirls and mince pies!"
    First published in 1944, Murder After Christmas is a lively riot of murder, mince pies and misdirection, cleverly twisting the tropes of Golden Age detective fiction to create a pacey, light-hearted package admirably suited for the holiday season. Featuring an introduction by CWA Diamond Dagger Award-winning author and series editor Martin Edwards.
    Good old Uncle Willie—rich, truculent and seemingly propped up by his fierce willpower alone—has come to stay with the Redpaths for the holidays. It is just their luck for him to be found dead in the snow on Boxing Day morning, dressed in his Santa Claus costume and seemingly poisoned by something in the Christmas confectionery. As the police flock to the house, Willie's descendants, past lovers and distant relatives are drawn into a perplexing investigation to find out how the old man met his fate, and who stands to gain by such an unseasonable crime.

Murder in the Basement by Anthony Berkeley
British Library 978-071235394-6, 10 November 2021, 256pp, £8.99.
A novel pairing dark humor and intelligent detection work, this 1932 whowasdunin? mystery is an example of a celebrated Golden Age author's most inventive work. This edition includes an introduction by CWA Diamond Dagger Award-winning author Martin Edwards.
    When two newlyweds discover that a corpse has been buried in the basement of their new home, a grueling case begins to trace the identity of the victim. With all avenues of investigation approaching exhaustion, a tenuous piece of evidence offers a chance for Chief Inspector Moresby and leads him to the amateur sleuth Roger Sheringham, who has recently been providing cover work in a school south of London.
    Desperate for evidence of any kind in the basement case, Moresby begins to sift through the manuscript of a satirical novel Sheringham has been writing about his colleagues at the school, convinced that amongst the colorful cast of teachers hides the victim--and perhaps their murderer.

Jumping Jenny by Anthony Berkeley
British Library 978-071235470-7, 10 Jan 2022, 256pp, £8.99.
At a costume party with the dubious theme of ‘famous murderers and their victims', the know-it-all amateur criminologist Roger Sheringham is settled in for an evening of beer, small talk and analysing his companions. One guest in particular has caught his attention for her theatrics, and his theory that she might have several enemies among the partygoers proves true when she is found hanging from the 'decorative' gallows on the roof terrace.
    Noticing a key detail which could implicate a friend in the crime, Sheringham decides to meddle with the scene and unwittingly casts himself into jeopardy as the uncommonly thorough police investigation circles closer and closer to the truth. Tightly paced and cleverly defying the conventions of the classic detective story, this 1933 novel remains a milestone of the inverted mystery subgenre.

Post After Post-Mortem by E. C. R. Lorac
British Library 978-071235475-2, 10 Feb 2022, 304pp, £8.99.
“Now tell us about your crime novel. Take my advice and don’t try to be intellectual over it. What the public likes is blood.”
    The Surrays and their five children form a prolific writing machine, with scores of treatises, reviews and crime thrillers published under their family name. Following a rare convergence of the whole household at their Oxfordshire home, Ruth – middle sister who writes 'books which are just books' – decides to spend some weeks there recovering from the pressures of the writing life while the rest of the brood scatter to the winds again. Their next return is heralded by the tragic news that Ruth has taken her life after an evening at the Surrays' hosting a set of publishers and writers, one of whom is named as Ruth's literary executor in the will she left behind.
    Despite some suspicions from the family, the verdict at the inquest is suicide – but when Ruth's brother Richard receives a letter from the deceased which was delayed in the post, he enlists the help of CID Robert Macdonald to investigate what could only be an ingeniously planned murder.

Death of a Bookseller by Bernard J. Farmer
British Library 978-071235328-1, 17 March 2022, 256pp, £8.99.
An honest policeman, Sergeant Wigan, escorts a drunk man home one night to keep him out of trouble and, seeing his fine book collection, slowly falls in to the gentle art of book collecting. Just as the friendship is blossoming, the policeman's book-collecting friend is murdered.
    To solve the mystery of why the victim was killed, and which of his rare books was taken, Wigan dives into the world of 'runners' and book collectors, where avid agents will gladly cut you for a first edition and then offer you a lift home afterwards. This adventurous mystery, which combines exuberant characters with a wonderfully realised depiction of the second-hand book market, is sure to delight bibliophiles and classic crime enthusiasts alike.

Green for Danger by Christianna Brand
British Library 978-071235490-5, 10 April 2022, 256pp, £8.99.
It is 1942, and struggling up the hill to the new military hospital, Heron’s Park, Kent, postman Higgins has no idea that the sender of one of the seven letters of application he is delivering will turn out to be a murderer in a year’s time. When Higgins is brought in following injuries from a bombing raid in 1943, his inexplicable death from asphyxiation at the operating table casts four nurses and three doctors under suspicion, and a second death in quick succession invites the presence of the irascible – yet uncommonly shrewd – Inspector Cockrill to the scene.
    As the prospect of driving back across Kent amid falling bombs detains the inspector for the night, a tense and claustrophobic investigation begins to determine who committed the foul deeds, and how it was possible to kill with no evidence left behind.

The Edinburgh Mystery and Other Tales of Scottish Crime, edited by Martin Edwards
British Library 978-071235485-1, 10 May 2022, 320pp, £9.99.
From the Highlands to the borders, the bustling cities to the remote isles in cold seas, the unique landscapes and locales of Scotland have long inspired writers of the very best Golden Age mysteries. Beginning with the adventures of Sherlock Holmes from Edinburgh-born Arthur Conan Doyle, this new collection includes the ingenious scientific mysteries of Anthony Wynne, the dark and sardonic work of Margot Bennett and contributions from neglected yet brilliant authors such as Scobie Mackenzie and R. T. Campbell.

The Seat of the Scornful by John Dickson Carr
British Library 978-07123-5, 10 June 2022, 240pp, £9.99.
Over a long career in the courts Justice Horace Ireton has a garnered a reputation for merciless rulings and his dedication to meting out strict, impartial justice. Taking a break from his duty after a session of assizes, Ireton retreats to his seaside bungalow in Devon and turns his attention to family, and specifically in attempting to bribe his daughter’s lover Morrell to leave her alone so that she may instead marry the respectable clerk, Fred Barlow. It seems something about the deal with Morrell must have gone amiss, however, when the police are called to the Justice’s residence to find Morrell shot dead and the judge still holding a pistol. But would the lawman be so bold to commit a murder like this? With a number of strange items making up the physical evidence Dr Gideon Fell, himself an old friend of Ireton’s, is summoned to help with the deceptively simple – yet increasingly complex – investigation.

Crook o' Lune
by E. C. R. Lorac
British Library 978-071235486-8, 10 July 2022, 256pp, £9.99.
It all began with sheep-stealing. A hateful act among the shepherds of the fells, and yet not a matter of life and death. Then came arson and with the leaping of the flames, death and disorder reached the peaceful moors.
    Holidaying with his friends the Hoggetts in High Gimmerdale while on a trip to find some farmland for his retirement, Robert Macdonald agrees to help in investigating the identity of the sheep-stealers, before being dragged into a case requiring his full experience as Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard.
    Drawing on her own experience living in Lunesdale, Lorac spins a tale portraying the natural beauty, cosy quiet and more brutal elements of country living in this classic rural mystery first published in 1953.

Death of Jezebel
by Christianna Brand
British Library
978-071235491-2, 10 August 2022, 256pp, £9.99.
At Elysian Hall, a great exhibition space in post-War London, a cast has been assembled for a Medieval pageant show. There are knights in coloured armour, real horses, and a fair damsel in the tower on high. Tragedy is in the air when several members of the troupe are sent death threats before the show, and the worst comes to pass when one of the players is found dead – killed during the performance while all entrances to backstage were observed and with the eyes of the audience on the other side. Inspector Cockrill and Inspector Charlesworth adopt the case, rivals in a race to answer the impossible question: how could it have been done?
    First published in 1948, Brand’s masterpiece of the impossible crime subgenre is a fiendishly complex yet riveting mystery, featuring nuanced characters, Shakespearean plotting, dumbfounding acts of misdirection and a truly thrilling denouement.

Death on the Down Beat
by Sebastian Farr
British Library 9
78-071235402-8, 10 September 2022, 256pp, £9.99.
During a performance of Strauss' tone poem 'A Hero's Life', the obnoxious conductor Sir Noel Grampian is shot dead in full view of the Maningpool Municipal Orchestra. He had many enemies, musicians and music critics among them, but to be killed in mid flow suggests an act of the coldest calculation.
    Told through the letters of Detective Inspector Alan Hope to his wife as he puzzles over his findings, and other documents such as the letters of members of the orchestra and musical notation holding clues to the crime, this is an innovative and refreshing lost gem of the mystery genre.
    First published in 1941, the reader was promised an 'orchestral fantasy of detection' by the original subtitle – now the readers of today will have a new opportunity to enjoy this unusual and skilfully told classic.

Final Acts: Theatrical Mysteries
, ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 9
78-071235407-3, 10 September 2022, 320pp, £10.99.
One had conceived a murder play. The other had made the play reality!
Behind the stage lights and word-perfect soliloquies, sinister secrets are lurking in the wings. The mysteries in this collection reveal the dark side to theatre: a world of backstage dealings, where unscrupulous actors risk everything to land a starring role, costumed figures lead to mistaken identities, and on-stage deaths begin to look a little too convincing...
    This expertly curated thespian anthology features giants of the classic crime genre, including Dorothy L Sayers, Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh, as well as firm favourites from the British Library Crime Classics series: Julian Symons, Christianna Brand, Bernard J Farmer and many more.
    Mysteries abound when a person’s fate hangs on a single performance, and opening night may very well be their last.

The White Priory Murders
by Carter Dickson
British Library 9
78-071235422-6, 10 October 2022, 256pp, £9.99.
James Bennett, nephew of Sir Henry Merrivale (the cantankerous yet genius sleuther), has been invited to stay at White Priory for Christmas, among the retinue of the glamorous Hollywood actress Marcia Tait who is soon to star in a play on the life and loves of Charles II. Her producer, her lover, her playwright and her agent are all here along with the haughty master of the estate, Canifes and his daughter. So many suspects they become when Marcia Tait is found dead on Christmas morning in the lakeside pavilion which had once been a trysting place for Charles II, having been left there alone the night before, and with a distinct lack of footprints in the snow to reveal any possible killer.
    When Henry Merrivale arrives to piece together what appears to be an impossible crime, Carr treats the reader to sensational twists, febrile tension between the closed circle of suspects and one of the most perfect solutions in the history of the genre.

The Mysterious Mr. Badman
by W. F. Harvey
British Library 9
78-071235437-0, 10 November 2022, 256pp, £9.99.
Taking a break from his holiday visiting his nephew, Jim, Athelstan Digby agrees to look after the old bookshop of Keldstone so that his hosts, the Lavenders, can attend their cousin’s funeral. On the first day of his tenure, three suspicious characters enquire after a copy of The Life and Times of Mr Badman by John Bunyan. When a copy mysteriously arrives in a bundle of books brought in by a young scamp, and is subsequently stolen, Digby moves to investigate the significance of the book with his nephew, and the two are soon embroiled in a case in which the stakes have risen from antiquarian book-pinching to ruthless murder.
    First published in a limited run in 1934, this exceedingly rare bibliomystery is long overdue its return.

Death of an Author
by E. C. R. Lorac
British Library 978-071235467-7, 10 Januaray 2023, 240pp, £9.99.
'I hate murders and I hate murderers, but I must admit that the discovery of a bearded corpse would give a fillip to my jaded mind.'
    Vivian Lestrange – celebrated author of the popular mystery novel The Charterhouse Case and total recluse – has apparently dropped off the face of the Earth. Reported missing by his secretary Eleanor, whom Inspector Bond suspects to be the author herself, it appears that crime and murder is afoot when Lestrange’s housekeeper is also found to have disappeared.
    Bond and Warner of Scotland Yard set to work to investigate a murder with no body and a potentially fictional victim, as E C R Lorac spins a twisting tale full of wry humour and red herrings, poking some fun at her contemporary reviewers who long suspected the Lorac pseudonym to belong to a man (since a woman could apparently not have written mysteries the way that she did).
    Incredibly rare today, this mystery returns to print for the first time since 1935.

Death of Mr. Dodsley
by John Ferguson
British Library 978-071235472-1, 10 February 2023, 256pp, £9.99.
'A bookshop is a first-rate place for unobtrusive observation,' he continued. 'One can remain in it an indefinite time, dipping into one book after another, all over the place.'
    Mr Richard Dodsley, owner of a fine second-hand bookshop on Charing Cross Road, has been found murdered in the cold hours of the morning. Shot in his own office, few clues remain besides three cigarette ends, two spent matches and a few books on the shelves which have been rearranged.
    In an investigation spanning the second-hand bookshops of London and the Houses of Parliament (since an MP’s new crime novel Death at the Desk appears to have some bearing on the case), Ferguson’s series sleuth MacNab is at hand to assist Scotland Yard in an atmospheric and ingenious fair-play bibliomystery.

The Black Spectacles
by John Dickson Carr
British Library 978-071235482-0, 10 March 2023, 224pp, £9.99.
A sinister case of deadly poisoned chocolates from Sodbury Cross’s high street shop haunts the group of friends and relatives assembled at Bellegarde, among the orchards of 'peach-fancier' Marcus Chesney. To prove a point about how the sweets could have been poisoned under the nose of the shopkeeper, Chesney stages an elaborate memory game to test whether any of his guests can see beyond their 'black spectacles'; that is, to see the truth without assumptions as witnesses.
    During the test – which is also being filmed – Chesney is murdered by his accomplice, dressed head to toe in an 'invisible man' disguise. The keen wits of Dr Gideon Fell are called for to crack this brazen and bizarre murder committed in full view of an audience.
    Also known by its US title The Problem of the Green Capsule, this classic novel is widely regarded as one of John Dickson Carr’s masterpieces and remains among the greatest impossible crime mysteries of all time.

Twice Round the Clock
by Billy Houston
British Library
978-071235403-5, 10 April 2023, 256pp, £9.99.
“It is past the half-hour. My time is coming nearer with every tick of the clock.”Horace Manning, scientist, recluse and 'closed book' even to his friends is found dead in his study at 4am, following a dinner in honour of his daughter's engagement. An ivory-handled carving knife rests between his shoulder blades as the houseguests gather round to witness the awful crime. The telephone line has been sabotaged – a calculated murder has been committed.    
    Rewinding twelve hours, the events of the afternoon and evening unfold, revealing a multitude of clues and motives from a closed cast of suspects until the narrative reaches 4am again – then races on to its riveting conclusion at 4pm as the reader is led twice round the clock.
    First published in 1935, the sole novel from the actor and dancer Billie Houston is a lively country house mystery and a true lost gem of the Golden Age of crime writing.

Crimes of Cymru: Classic Mystery Tales of Wales
, ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-071235408-0, 10 May 2023, 272pp, £10.99.
Sharp left by the school and down the lane to the gas works. The gasworks? I, a dentist, heading for the gasworks in a small Welsh market town? It was the furnace I wanted...
    From the dramatic scenery of Snowdonia and the Gower to the stunning coastlines and hushed valleys, the landscapes of Wales have inspired many writers of Golden Age mystery stories – from within and without its borders.
    Centred around a lost novella by Cledwyn Hughes, this new collection features the best stories from celebrated Welsh authors such as Mary Fitt and Ethel Lina White, as well as short mysteries inspired by or set in the cities and wilds of the country by both beloved Golden Age writers and authors from the 1960s and 70s who continued to push the boundaries of the genre.

The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White
British Library 978-071235488-3, 10 July 2023, 256pp, £9.99.
Then the rhythm of the train changed, and she seemed to be sliding backwards down a long slope. Click-click-click-click. The wheels rattled over the rails, with a sound of castanets.
    Iris Carr’s holiday in the mountains of a remote corner of Europe has come to an end, and since her friends left two days before, she faces the journey home alone. Stricken by sunstroke at the station, Iris catches the express train to Trieste by the skin of her teeth and finds a companion in Miss Froy, an affable English governess. But when Iris passes out and reawakens, Miss Froy is nowhere to be found. The other passengers deny any knowledge of her existence and as the train speeds across Europe, Iris spirals deeper and deeper into a strange and dangerous conspiracy.
    First published in 1936 and adapted for the screen as
The Lady Vanishes by Alfred Hitchcock in 1938, Ethel Lina White’s suspenseful mystery remains her best-known novel, worthy of acknowledgement as a classic of the genre in its own right.

He Who Whispers by John Dickson Carr
British Library 978-071235468-4, 10 August 2023, 272pp, £9.99.
'It almost seemed that the murder, if it was a murder, must have been committed by someone who could rise up unsupported in the air…'
    When Miles Hammond is invited to a meeting of the Murder Club in London, he is met instead with just two other guests and is treated to a strange tale of an impossible crime in France from years before; the murder of a man on a tower with only one staircase, under watch at the time at which the murder took place. With theories of levitating vampires abounding, the story comes home to Miles when he realises that the librarian he has just hired for his home is none other than Fay Seton, a woman whose name still echoes from the heart of this bizarre and unsolved murder of the past.
    First published in 1946, in later years Carr considered this novel one of his finest works. It shows the masterful author at the height of his powers, boasting an ingenious plot delivered with an astounding pace and striking characters including none other than the great detective, Dr Gideon Fell.

The Theft of the Iron Dogs by E. C. R. Lorac
British Library 978-071235463-8, 10 September 2023, £9.99.
While hot on the heels of serial coupon-racketeer Gordon Ginner, Chief Inspector MacDonald of Scotland Yard receives word of an intriguing incident up in Lancashire – the summer cottage of local farmer Giles Hoggett has been broken into, with an assortment of seemingly random items missing which include a complete reel of salmon line, a large sack, and two iron dogs from his fireplace.
    What first appears to Insp. MacDonald as a simple break-in quickly spirals into a mystery of contested land grabs for fishing between farmers, made all the more enticing to MacDonald when a body is then found in the river – the body of Gordon Ginner. It’s up to Insp. MacDonald, aided by the locals of Lunesdale, to determine who broke into Hoggett’s cottage, where his irons dogs have gone, and how Ginner met his watery end.
    First published in 1946 and set in the fell country of Lunesdale over the course of a rainy September,
The Theft of the Iron Dogs is the very picture of a cosy crime mystery and showcases Lorac’s masterful attention to detail and deep affection for both Lunesdale and its residents.

Who Killed Father Christmas? ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-071235478-3, 10 October 2023, 288pp, £10.99.
'The red robe concealed the blood until it made my hand sticky. Father Christmas had been stabbed in the back, and he was certainly dead.'
    The murder of Father Christmas at one of London’s great toy shops is just one of many yuletide disasters in this new collection of stories from the Golden Age of crime writing and beyond. Masters of the genre such as Patricia Moyes and John Dickson Carr present perfectly packaged short pieces, and Martin Edwards delivers a sackful of rarities from authors such as Ellis Peters, Gwyn Evans and Michael Innes.   
    The answer to any classic crime fiction fan’s Christmas wish – and the only way for you to answer Who Killed Father Christmas? – this new anthology is set to muddle, befuddle, surprise and delight.

Big Ben Strikes Eleven by David Magarshack
British Library 978-071235483-7, 10 November 2023, 272pp, £9.99.
The discovery of Sir Robert Boniface’s body on the floor of his blue limousine was made quite accidentally on a sultry Friday evening towards the end of June.
    The industrial and financial tycoon, and former stalwart of the British Cabinet, had been shot in the head and left in the quiet Vale of Health alongside London’s Hampstead Heath. Nearby, a rejected portrait of Sir Robert is found riddled with bullets in the studio of the now- missing romantic artist Matt Caldwell. As it hurtles towards its feverish denouement under the bells of the capital’s most famous clock, this closely observed and stylish study of both character and motive transports the reader from the Stock Exchange to Scotland Yard. It asks the question of what it means to be crooked and how immense power corrupts.
    First published in 1934, this novel is now extremely rare, and is long overdue its rediscovery.

Someone From the Past by Margot Bennett
British Library 978-071235473-8, 10 December 2023, 256pp, £9.99.
Then I felt his warm hand grow cold, it was as if he had been reminded of death. He wasn’t looking at me any more, but obliquely, across the restaurant. I turned round.’
Sarah has been receiving threatening anonymous letters, seemingly from a former lover. Just one day after revealing this information to her co-worker Nancy, Sarah is found shot in her bedroom by one of her past flames, Donald. Hearing the news and desperate to clear any evidence of Donald’s presence at the scene due to her own infatuations, Nancy finds herself as the key suspect when she is discovered in the apartment.
    As the real killer uses the situation to their advantage, Bennett crafts a tense and nuanced story through flashbacks to Sarah’s life and loves in this Gold-Dagger-award-winning, Hitchcockian story of deceit and murder.

Fear Stalks the Village by Ethel Lina White
British Library 978-071235530-8, 10 January 2024, 240pp, £9.99.
'This village seems an earthly paradise, with a population of kindly gracious souls. But the flowers are growing on slime. When twilight falls, they light their lamps and draw down their blinds. And then – when no one can see them they lead their real lives.'
    A novelist ambles down the lanes of a cosy country village, replete with Tudor houses and quaint cottages. In her writer’s mind she pictures the sordid truth beyond the veneer, a seemingly laughable proposition – until the coming of the letters. Anonymous letters from a poisoned pen, sowing discord and defaming everybody from the Rector to the ‘queen of the village’ Miss Decima Asprey. Naturally, where there is venom in the air and dark secrets are threatening to come to light, the shadow of death is not far behind.
    Ethel Lina White’s 1932 classic is one of the foundation stones of the village mystery sub-genre of crime fiction. Revelling in the delicious contrast of angelic outer appearances and the wickedness behind the facade, White’s novel is a witty and satisfying interwar mystery.

A Telegram From Le Touquet by John Bude
British Library 978-071235535-3, 10 February 2024, 256pp, £9.99.
'As he walked away from the phone there was a puzzled expression on Blampignon’s massive countenance. He was thinking: Le Touquet again!'
    For Nigel Derry, Easter celebrations at the country house of his charming though unpredictable aunt Gwenny Marrable were a highlight of the calendar. This year, the knife fight between the guests somewhat tarnished the experience. Disgruntled following the fracas, Gwenny departs for France, telegramming her nephew from Le Touquet asking him to join her in the South at the beautiful Villa Paradou. When he arrives at the Côte d’Azur, it is too late – Gwenny Marrable has been found murdered.
    To complicate matters for Inspector Blampignon of the Sûreté Nationale, it seems that the victim may have been killed in the north of France, 800 miles away from where she was discovered. The eccentric Blampignon embarks on a thrilling race to discover the truth in one of John Bude’s rarest and most spirited mystery novels.

Impact of Evidence by Carol Carnac
British Library 978-0712354525-4, 10 March 2024, 256pp, £9.99.
'It was a chill afternoon in February, and the sun was just setting in a rose-pink haze behind the tors of Creffyn…'
    In the Welsh borders, isolated by heavy snow and flooding from the thaw, cut off from telephone access, a tragedy has occurred. Old Dr Robinson known to be ‘a menace’ on the roads has met his end in a car crash, his big saloon thrown from the track down the steep hillside. But when the police arrive there is more to the tragedy than meets the eye: why was there a second body – an outsider to these parts – in the back of the vehicle?
    As the local inspectors dive into the muddy waters of this strange crime, Chief Inspector Julian Rivers and Inspector Lancing of Scotland Yard are called to investigate, with danger and deceit lying in wait among the lonely hills and authentically evoked landscapes.

London Particular by Christianna Brand
British Library 978-071235540-7, 10 April 2024, 256pp, £9.99.
Night falls in London, and a ‘London particular’ pea-souper fog envelops the city. In Maida Vale, Rose and her family doctor Tedwards race through the dark after a man has telephoned claiming that he has been struck by an assailant in Rose’s house. Arriving after an achingly protracted journey through the impenetrable fog, the victim, Raoul Vernet, is dead. The news which he had brought from Switzerland for Rose’s mother, was never delivered.
    Seven suspects had the opportunity – though their alibis are muddled by the obscuring blanket of fog – but who among them had a motive? And as friends to each other, would every one of them claim responsibility to protect another? Inspector Cockrill – also a friend of the family – has a fiendish case ahead of him as his young rival Inspector Charlesworth joins the investigation, keen to see justice done for this unusual murder.
    First published in 1952 and with its setting based on Brand’s own home, the author cited this mystery as her favourite among her many classics.

Before the Fact by Anthony Berkley Cox writing as Francis Iles
British Library 978-071235550-6, 10 May 2024, 256pp, £9.99.
'Some women give birth to murderers, some go to bed with them, and some marry them. Lina Aysgarth had lived with her husband for nearly eight years before she realized that she was married to a murderer.'
    Following the success of
Malice Aforethought, novelist Anthony Berkeley Cox returned to his Francis Iles pen-name for another experiment in the inverted mystery. Where Malice Aforethought is a study of murder from the perpetrator’s perspective, Before the Fact is a masterful tale of the suspicions of a possible victim and her impressions of disquieting husband Johnnie.
    Unsettling and gripping for its incisive portrayal of human emotion and fears, this experimental classic of crime fiction was the basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s film
Suspicion, but remains an arresting literary read today.

Lessons in Crime: Academic Mysteries ed. Martin Edwards
British Library 978-071235545-2, 10 June 2024, 288pp, £10.99.
'Dr Greeby was found lying dead there, with his lecture-notes scattered all round him and brickbat in a woollen sock lying beside his head.'
    An Oxford Master slain on campus during Pentecost. A pupil and teacher face off with a conniving uncle suspected of murder. A sociology student turns the tables on the lies and fictions of an English undergraduate.
    In the hush of the college library and the cacophonies of school halls, tensions run higher than is healthy and academic achievement can be to die for. Delving into the stacks and tomes of the British Library collections, Martin Edwards invites you to a course on the darker side of scholarly ambition with an essential reading list of masterful short stories.
    With a teaching cohort including esteemed writers such as Dorothy L Sayers, Celia Fremlin, Michael Innes and the commanding Arthur Conan Doyle, this new anthology offers an education in the beguiling art of mystery writing.

* Originally published  21 February 2015; updated and expanded 1 August 2015; 12 December 2015; 4 June 2016; 12 December 2015; 7 January 2017; 21 April 2017; 19 March 2018; 12 June 2018; 15 October 2018; 20 April 2019; 8 November 2019; 17 July 2020; 1 February 2021; 19 March 2022; 18 June 2022; 1 April 2023; 8 December 2023.)


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