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lyzard's list: Travelling a route obscure and lonely in 2020 - Part 6

75 Books Challenge for 2020

Join LibraryThing to post.

Sep 2, 6:50pm Top

The winning photograph in 2019's 'Animals In Their Envirnoment' category was this overhead shot of a herd of chirus taken in the snow-covered Kumukuli Desert on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau by Chinese photographer, Shangzhen Fan.

Chirus are now protected but still endangered; they are hunted for their soft, warm underfur, called shahtoosh.

Edited: Sep 15, 6:10pm Top

My thread title this year is taken from Edgar Allan Poe's poem, Dream-Land: it seemed appropriate considering the nature of my reading plans!

    By a route obscure and lonely,
    Haunted by ill angels only,
    Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
    On a black throne reigns upright,
    I have reached these lands but newly
    From an ultimate dim Thule---
    From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
        Out of SPACE---Out of TIME.

(The complete poem can be found here.)



Currently reading:

The Agony And The Ecstasy by Irving Stone (1961)

Edited: Sep 2, 7:06pm Top

2020 reading:


1. The Daughter Of The House by Carolyn Wells (1925)
2. Leandro: or, The Lucky Rescue by J. Smythies (1690)
3. Wilhelm Meister's Travels by Johann Goethe (1821 / 1829)
4. The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope (1859)
5. Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk (1955)
6. Ralph The Bailiff, And Other Tales by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1862)
7. Death Walks In Eastrepps by Francis Beeding (1931)
8. Nemesis by Agatha Christie (1971)
9. Ambrose Holt And Family by Susan Glaspell (1931)
10. The Eye In The Museum by J. J. Connington (1929)
11. The Clock Ticks On by Valentine Williams (1933)
12. Death In The Cup by Moray Dalton (1932)
13. A Jury Of Her Peers (short story) by Susan Glaspell (1917)


14. Disordered Minds by Minette Walters (2003)
15. The Bronze Hand by Carolyn Wells (1926)
16. The Creaking Tree Mystery by Leonard A. Knight (1931)
17. The Last Of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (1826)
18. Reginald du Bray: An Historic Tale by 'A late nobleman' (1779)
19. The Spectacles Of Mr Cagliostro by Harry Stephen Keeler (1926)
20. Don't Go Near The Water by William Brinkley (1956)
21. Patty's Social Season by Carolyn Wells (1913)
22. Murder From Beyond by R. Francis Foster (1930)
23. The Man Who Loved Lions by Ethel Lina White (1943)
24. The Seven Sleepers by Francis Beeding (1925)
25. Anna, Where Are You? by Patricia Wentworth (1951)
26. Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie (1972)
27. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1908)
28. I've Got My Eyes On You by Mary Higgins Clark (2018)


29. Pique by Frances Notley (1850)
30. The Collegians by Gerald Griffin (1829)
31. The Wild Irish Girl by Sydney Owenson (1806)
32. Oil! by Upton Sinclair (1927)
33. By Love Possessed by James Gould Cozzens (1957)
34. Postern Of Fate by Agatha Christie (1973)
35. Murder In The Cellar by Louise Eppley and Rebecca Gayton (1931)
36. The Back-Seat Murder by Herman Landon (1931)
37. Nevertheless, She Persisted by Various (2020)
38. The Two Tickets Puzzle by J. J. Connington (1930)

Edited: Sep 2, 7:09pm Top

2020 reading:


39. Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1862)
40. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (1957)
41. Poirot's Early Cases by Agatha Christie (1974)
42. The Watersplash by Patricia Wentworth (1951)
43. The Tolliver Case by R. A. J. Walling (1933)
44. Inspector Bedison And The Sunderland Case by Thomas Cobb (1931)
45. The Mystery Of The Creeping Man by Frances Shelley Wees (1931)
46. No Walls Of Jasper by Joanna Cannan (1930)
47. The Five Red Fingers by Brian Flynn (1929)
48. I Can Has Cheezburger? A LOLCat Colleckshun by Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami (2008)
49. The Mill Of Happiness by Jean Barre (1931)
50. The Ipcress File by Len Deighton (1962)


51. The Mysteries Of London: Volume III by George W. M. Reynolds (1847)
52. The Refugee In America by Frances Trollope (1832)
53. The Mayfair Mystery by Henry Holt (1929)
54. The Perfect Murder Case by Christopher Bush (1929)
55. Murder On The Marsh by John Ferguson (1930)
56. Inspector Bedison Risks It by Thomas Cobb (1931)
57. October House by Kay Cleaver Strahan (1931)
58. Curtain: Poirot's Last Case by Agatha Christie (1975)
59. Inspector Frost's Jigsaw by Herbert Maynard Smith (1929)
60. Six Seconds Of Darkness by Octavus Roy Cohen (1918)
61. The Charteris Mystery by A. Fielding (1925)
62. The Death Of A Celebrity by Hulbert Footner (1938)
63. The Black Gang by 'Sapper' (H. C. McNeile) (1922)


64. Faces In The Smoke by Douchan Gersi (1991)
65. Songs Of A Dead Dreamer by Thomas Ligotti (1986)
66. Patty's Suitors by Carolyn Wells (1914)
67. Louisa Egerton; or, Castle Herbert by Mary Leman Grimstone (1829)
68. Sleeping Murder: Miss Marple's Last Case by Agatha Christie (1976)
69. Ladies' Bane by Patricia Wentworth (1952)
70. The Secret Of High Eldersham by Miles Burton (1930)
71. Chronicles Of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison (1895)
72. Masks Off At Midnight by Valentine Williams (1933)
73. Elsie's Friends At Woodburn by Martha Finley (1887)
74. Midnight Murder by Ralph Rodd (1931)

Edited: Sep 15, 6:11pm Top


75. L'Ombre Chinoise by Georges Simenon (1932)
76. Castle Richmond by Anthony Trollope (1860)
77. Exodus by Leon Uris (1958)
78. Miss Marple's Final Cases by Agatha Christie (1979)
79. Easy To Kill by Hulbert Footner (1931)
80. Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong (1950)
81. The Joker by Edgar Wallace (1926)
82. The Luminous Face by Carolyn Wells (1921)
83. Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets by David Simon (1991)
84. The Belfry Murder by Moray Dalton (1933)
85. Marian Grey; or, The Heiress Of Redstone Hall by Mary Jane Holmes (1863)
86. One-Man Girl by Maysie Greig (1931)
87. Dave Darrin's First Year At Annapolis; or, Two Plebe Midshipmen At The United States Naval Academy by H. Irving Hancock (1910)


88. The Postmaster's Daughter by Louis Tracy (1916)
89. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)
90. Tara Road by Maeve Binchy (1998)
91. The Secret River by Kate Grenville (2005)
92. Dick Lester Of Kurrajong by Mary Grant Bruce (1920)
93. The Yellow Wallpaper (short story) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892)
94. Advise And Consent by Allen Drury (1959)
95. Out Of The Past by Patricia Wentworth (1953)
96. Poison In The Garden Suburb by G.D.H. and Margaret Cole (1929)
97. Who Closed The Casement? by Thomas Cobb (1932)
98. The Clue Of The Rising Moon by Valentine Williams (1935)


99. Under False Pretences by Adeline Sergeant (1889)
100. Mystery House by J. M. Walsh (1931)
101. Tragedy At Ravensthorpe by J. J. Connington (1927)
102. The Key by Lee Thayer (1924)
103. By Force Of Circumstances by Gordon Holmes (1909)
104. Adventures Of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison (1896)

Edited: Sep 2, 7:13pm Top

Held for October onwards.

Edited: Sep 14, 1:20am Top

Books in transit:

On interlibrary loan / branch transfer / storage / Rare Book request:

Upcoming requests:
Black Coffee by Agatha Christie {ILL}
The Wraith by Philip MacDonald {JFR}
McLean Of Scotland Yard by George Goodchild {JFR}
The Sea Mystery by Freeman Wills Crofts {JFR}
Close Quarters by Michael Gilbert {JFR}

The Marquise Of O., And Other Stories by Heinrich von Kleist {Fisher storage}
Our Mr Wrenn by Sinclair Lewis {Fisher storage}
From Man To Man by Olive Schreiner {Fisher Storage - 2 volumes}

Library books to collect:

Purchased and shipped:

On loan:
*Poison In The Garden Suburb by George and Margaret Cole (24/09/2020)
*Advise And Consent by Allen Drury (24/09/2020)
The Agony And The Ecstasy by Irving Stone (01/10/2020)
The White Monkey by John Galsworthy (26/10/2020)
Anna Of The Five Towns by Arnold Bennett (26/10/2020)

**The Last Of The Mohicans by James Fenimoore Cooper
**Oil! by Upton Sinclair
The Recess by Sophia Lee
**The Collegians by Gerald Griffin
**The Wild Irish Girl by Sydney Morgan
**A Gothic Bibliography by Montague Summers

^^Baby Cart At The River Styx

Edited: Sep 2, 7:20pm Top

Ongoing reading projects:

Blog reads:
Chronobibliography: The Fugitive Reviv'd by Peter Belon
Authors In Depth:
- Forest Of Montalbano by Catherine Cuthbertson
- Shannondale (aka "The Three Beauties; or, Shannondale: A Novel") by E.D.E.N. Southworth
- Lady Audley's Secret / The White Phantom by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
- Ellesmere by Mrs Meeke
- The Cottage by Margaret Minifie
- The Old Engagement by Julia Day
- The Abbess by Frances Trollope
Reading Roulette: Pique by Frances Notley / Our Mr Wrenn by Sinclair Lewis
Australian fiction: Louisa Egerton by Mary Leman Grimstone / Alfred Dudley; or, The Australian Settlers by ??
Gothic novel timeline: Anecdotes Of A Convent by Anonymous
Early crime fiction: The Mysteries Of London by G. W. M. Reynolds
Silver-fork novels: Sayings And Doings; or, Sketches From Life (First Series) by Theodore Hook
Related reading: Gains And Losses by Robert Lee Wollf / The Man Of Feeling by Henry Mackenzie / Le Loup Blanc by Paul Féval / Theresa Marchmont; or, The Maid Of Honour by Catherine Gore

Group / tutored reads:

NOW: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (thread here)

Completed: The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope (thread here)
Completed: Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (thread here)
Completed: Castle Richmond by Anthony Trollope (thread here)

General reading challenges:

America's best-selling novels (1895 - ????):
Next up: The Agony And The Ecstasy by Irving Stone

Virago chronological reading project:
Next up: The Rector by Margaret Oliphant

The C.K. Shorter List of Best 100 Novels:
Next up: The Life Of Mansie Wauch by David Moir

Mystery League publications:
Next up: The Gutenberg Murders by Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning

Banned In Boston!: (here)
Next up: From Man To Man by Olive Schreiner

The evolution of detective fiction:
Next up: The Mysteries Of London (Volume III) by G. W. M. Reynolds

Random reading 1940 - 1969:
Next up: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh / Close Quarters by Michael Francis Gilbert

Potential decommission / re-shelving:
Next up: Captain Kirk's Guide To Women by John "Bones" Rodriguez

The Agatha / Georgette odds and ends challenge:
Next up: Black Coffee by Agatha Christie

Completed challenges:
- Georgette Heyer historical romances in chronological order
- Agatha Christie mysteries in chronological order

Possible future reading projects:
- Agatha Christie uncollected short stories
- Georgette Heyer's historical fiction
- Nobel Prize winners who won for fiction
- Daily Telegraph's 100 Best Novels, 1899
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize
- Berkeley "Books Of The Century"
- Collins White Circle Crime Club / Green Penguins
- Dell paperbacks
- "El Mundo" 100 best novels of the twentieth century
- 100 Best Books by American Women During the Past 100 Years, 1833-1933
- 50 Classics of Crime Fiction 1900–1950 (Jacques Barzun and Wendell Hertig Taylor)
- The Guardian's 100 Best Novels
- Life Magazine "The 100 Outstanding Books of 1924 - 1944" (Henry Seidel Canby)
- "40 Trashy Novels You Must Read Before You Die" (Flavorwire)
- best-novel lists in Wikipedia article on The Grapes Of Wrath
- Pandora 'Mothers Of The Novel'
- Newark Library list (here)
- "The Story Of Classic Crime In 100 Books" (here)
- Dean's Classics series

Edited: Sep 10, 7:09pm Top

TBR notes:

Currently 'missing' series works:

Mystery At Greycombe Farm by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #12) {Rare Books}
Dead Men At The Folly by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #13) {Rare Books}
The Robthorne Mystery by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #17) {Rare Books / State Library NSW, held / Internet Archive / Kindle}
Poison For One by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #18) {Rare Books / State Library NSW, held}
Shot At Dawn by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #19) {Rare Books}
The Corpse In The Car by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #20) {CARM}
Hendon's First Case by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #21) {Rare Books}
Mystery At Olympia (aka "Murder At The Motor Show") (Dr Priestley #22) {Kindle / State Library NSW, held / Internet Archive}
In Face Of The Verdict by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #24) {Rare Books / State Library NSW, held / Internet Archive}

Six Minutes Past Twelve by Gavin Holt (Luther Bastion #1) {State Library NSW, held}
The White-Faced Man by Gavin Holt (Luther Bastion #2) {State Library NSW, held}

Secret Judges by Francis D. Grierson (Sims and Wells #2) {Rare Books}

The Platinum Cat by Miles Burton (Desmond Merrion #17 / Inspector Arnold #18) {Rare Books}

The Double-Thirteen Mystery by Anthony Wynne (Dr Eustace Hailey #2) {Rare Books}

The Black Death by Moray Dalton {CARM}


Murderer's Trail by J. Jefferson Farjeon {Kindle}
The Midnight Mail by Henry Holt {Kindle}

The Wraith by Philip MacDonald {State Library NSW, JFR}

Cameos by Octavus Roy Cohen {State Library NSW, held}
"Seen Unknown..." by Naomi Jacob {State Library NSW, held}

The Rum Row Murders by Charles Reed Jones {Rare Books}
The Murder Rehearsal by B. G. Quin {Rare Books}
Unsolved by Bruce Graeme {Rare Books}

The Picaroon Does Justice by Herman Landon {CARM}
The Crooked Lip by Herbert Adams {Rare Books / CARM}

The Matilda Hunter Murder by Harry Stephen Keeler {Kindle}

Death By Appointment by "Francis Bonnamy" (Audrey Walz) (Peter Utley Shane #1) {Rare Books}
The Click Of The Gate by Alice Campbell (Tommy Rostetter #1) {CARM}
The Bell Street Murders by Sydney Fowler (S. Fowler Wright) (Inspector Cambridge and Mr Jellipot #1) {Rare Books}
The Murderer Returns by Edwin Dial Torgerson (Pierre Montigny #1) {Rare Books}

NB: Rest of 1931 listed on the Wiki

Series back-reading:

The Red-Haired Girl by Carolyn Wells {Rare Books}
Invisible Death by Brian Flynn {Kindle}
Murder At Fenwold (aka "The Murder Of Cosmo Revere") by Christopher Bush {Kindle}
The Footsteps That Stopped by A. Fielding {Kindle}
Burglars In Bucks by George and Margaret Cole {Fisher Library}
Mystery At Lynden Sands by J. J. Connington {HathiTrust / Kindle}
Poison by Lee Thayer {AbeBooks / Amazon}

Completist reading:

Sing Sing Nights by Harry Stephen Keeler (#4) {CARM / Kindle}
XYZ by Anna Katharine Green (#5) {Project Gutenberg}
When A Man Marries by Mary Roberts Rinehart (#3) {Project Gutenberg}
The White Cockatoo by Mignon Eberhart {Rare Books}

Unavailable / expensive:

The Amber Junk (aka The Riddle Of The Amber Ship) by Hazel Phillips Hanshew (Cleek #9)
The Hawkmoor Mystery by W. H. Lane Crauford
The Double Thumb by Francis Grierson (Sims and Wells #3)
The Shadow Of Evil by Charles J. Dutton (Harley Manners #2)
The Seventh Passenger by Alice MacGowan and Perry Newberry (Jerry Boyne #4)
The Pelham Murder Case by Monte Barrett (Peter Cardigan #1)
The Hanging Woman by John Rhode (Dr Priestley #11)

Edited: Sep 15, 6:12pm Top

A Century (And A Bit) Of Reading:

A book a year from 1800 - 1900!

1800: Juliania; or, The Affectionate Sisters by Elizabeth Sandham
1801: Belinda by Maria Edgeworth
1802: The Infidel Father by Jane West
1803: Thaddeus Of Warsaw by Jane Porter
1804: The Lake Of Killarney by Anna Maria Porter
1805: The Impenetrable Secret, Find It Out! by Francis Lathom
1806: The Wild Irish Girl by Sydney Owenson
1807: Corinne; ou, l'Italie by Madame de Staël
1809: The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter
1812: The Absentee by Maria Edgeworth
1814: The Wanderer; or, Female Difficulties by Frances Burney
1815: Headlong Hall by Thomas Love Peacock
1820: The Sketch Book Of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. by Washington Irving
1821: The Ayrshire Legatees; or, The Pringle Family by John Galt / Valerius: A Roman Story by J. G. Lockhart / Kenilworth by Walter Scott
1822: Bracebridge Hall; or, The Humorists by Washington Irving
1824: The Adventures Of Hajji Baba Of Ispahan by James Justinian Morier
1826: Lichtenstein by Wilhelm Hauff / The Last Of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
1827: The Epicurean by Thomas Moore / The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
1829: Wilhelm Meister's Travels by Johann Goethe / The Collegians by Gerald Griffin / Louisa Egerton; or, Castle Herbert by Mary Leman Grimstone
1832: The Refugee In America by Frances Trollope
1836: The Tree And Its Fruits; or, Narratives From Real Life by Phoebe Hinsdale Brown
1845: Zoe: The History Of Two Lives by Geraldine Jewsbury / The Mysteries Of London (Volume I) by G. W. M. Reynolds
1846: The Mysteries Of London (Volume II) by G. W. M. Reynolds
1847: Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë / The Macdermots Of Ballycloran by Anthony Trollope / The Mysteries Of London: Volume III by G. W. M. Reynolds
1848: The Kellys And The O'Kellys by Anthony Trollope
1850: Pique by Sarah Stickney Ellis
1851: The Mother-In-Law; or, The Isle Of Rays by E.D.E.N. Southworth
1857: The Three Clerks by Anthony Trollope
1859: The Semi-Detached House by Emily Eden / The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope
1860: The Semi-Attached Couple by Emily Eden / Castle Richmond by Anthony Trollope
1863: Marian Grey; or, The Heiress Of Redstone Hall by Mary Jane Holmes
1869: He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope
1873: Had You Been In His Place by Lizzie Bates
1874: Chaste As Ice, Pure As Snow by Charlotte Despard
1877: Elsie's Children by Martha Finley
1880: The Duke's Children: First Complete Edition by Anthony Trollope / Elsie's Widowhood by Martha Finley
1881: Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen / The Beautiful Wretch by William Black
1882: Grandmother Elsie by Martha Finley
1883: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson / Elsie's New Relations by Martha Finley
1884: Elsie At Nantucket by Martha Finley
1885: The Two Elsies by Martha Finley
1886: Elsie's Kith And Kin by Martha Finley
1887: Elsie's Friends At Woodburn by Martha Finley
1889: Under False Pretences by Adeline Sergeant
1892: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
1894: Martin Hewitt, Investigator by Arthur Morrison / The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
1895: Chronicles Of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison
1896: The Island Of Dr Moreau by H. G. Wells / Adventures Of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison
1897: Penelope's Progress by Kate Douglas Wiggin
1898: A Man From The North by Arnold Bennett / The Lust Of Hate by Guy Newell Boothby
1899: Agatha Webb by Anna Katharine Green / Dr Nikola's Experiment by Guy Newell Boothby
1900: The Circular Study by Anna Katharine Green

Edited: Sep 2, 7:35pm Top

Timeline of detective fiction:

Things As They Are; or, The Adventures Of Caleb Williams by William Godwin (1794)
Mademoiselle de Scudéri by E. T. A. Hoffmann (1819); Tales Of Hoffmann (1982)
Richmond: Scenes In The Life Of A Bow Street Officer by Anonymous (1827)
Memoirs Of Vidocq by Eugene Francois Vidocq (1828)
Le Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac (1835)
Passages In The Secret History Of An Irish Countess by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1838); The Purcell Papers (1880)
The Murders In The Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales by Edgar Allan Poe (1841, 1842, 1845)

The Mysteries Of Paris by Eugene Sue (1842 - 1843)
The Mysteries Of London - Paul Feval (1844)
The Mysteries Of London - George Reynolds (1844 - 1848)
- The Mysteries Of London: Volume I
- The Mysteries Of London: Volume II
- The Mysteries Of London: Volume III
- The Mysteries Of London: Volume IV
The Mysteries Of The Court Of London - George Reynolds (1848 - 1856)
John Devil by Paul Feval (1861)

Early detective novels:
Recollections Of A Detective Police-Officer by "Waters" (William Russell) (1856)
The Widow Lerouge by Emile Gaboriau (1866)
Under Lock And Key by T. W. Speight (1869)
Checkmate by J. Sheridan LeFanu (1871)
Is He The Man? by William Clark Russell (1876)
Devlin The Barber by B. J. Farjeon (1888)
Mr Meeson's Will by H. Rider Haggard (1888)
The Mystery Of A Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume (1889)
The Queen Anne's Gate Mystery by Richard Arkwright (1889)
The Ivory Queen by Norman Hurst (1889) (Check Julius H. Hurst 1899)
The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill (1892)

Female detectives:
The Diary Of Anne Rodway by Wilkie Collins (1856)
Ruth The Betrayer; or, The Female Spy by Edward Ellis (!862-1863)
The Female Detective by Andrew Forrester (1864)
Revelations Of A Lady Detective by William Stephens Hayward (1864)
The Law And The Lady by Wilkie Collins (1875)
Madeline Payne; or, The Detective's Daughter by Lawrence L. Lynch (Emma Murdoch Van Deventer) (1884)
Mr Bazalgette's Agent by Leonard Merrick (1888)
Moina; or, Against The Mighty by Lawrence L. Lynch (Emma Murdoch Van Deventer) (sequel to Madeline Payne?) (1891)
The Experiences Of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective by Catherine Louisa Pirkis (1893)
When The Sea Gives Up Its Dead by Elizaberth Burgoyne Corbett (Mrs George Corbett)
Dorcas Dene, Detective by George Sims (1897)
- Amelia Butterworth series by Anna Katharine Grant (1897 - 1900)
Hagar Of The Pawn-Shop by Fergus Hume (1898)
The Adventures Of A Lady Pearl-Broker by Beatrice Heron-Maxwell (1899)
Miss Cayley's Adventures by Grant Allan (1899)
Hilda Wade by Grant Allan (1900)
Dora Myrl, The Lady Detective by M. McDonnel Bodkin (1900)
The Investigators by J. S. Fletcher (1902)
Lady Molly Of Scotland Yard by Baroness Orczy (1910)
Constance Dunlap, Woman Detective by Arthur B. Reeve (1913)
Miss Madelyn Mack, Detective by Hugh C. Weir (1914)

Related mainstream works:
Adventures Of Susan Hopley by Catherine Crowe (1841)
Men And Women; or, Manorial Rights by Catherine Crowe (1843)
Hargrave by Frances Trollope (1843)
Clement Lorimer by Angus Reach (1849)

True crime:
Clues: or, Leaves from a Chief Constable's Note Book by Sir William Henderson (1889)
Dreadful Deeds And Awful Murders by Joan Lock

Edited: Sep 15, 6:13pm Top

Series and sequels, 1866 - 1919:

(1866 - 1876) **Emile Gaboriau - Monsieur Lecoq - The Widow Lerouge (1/6) {ManyBooks}
(1878 - 1917) **Anna Katharine Green - Ebenezer Gryce - The Mystery Of The Hasty Arrow (13/13)
(1896 - 1909) **Melville Davisson Post - Randolph Mason - The Corrector Of Destinies (3/3)
(1894 - 1903) **Arthur Morrison - Martin Hewitt - The Red Triangle (4/4) {Roy Glashan's Library}
(1895 - 1901) **Guy Newell Boothby - Dr Nikola - Farewell, Nikola (5/5)
(1897 - 1900) **Anna Katharine Green - Amelia Butterworth - The Circular Study (3/3)
(1899 - 1917) **Anna Katharine Green - Caleb Sweetwater - The Mystery Of The Hasty Arrow (7/7)
(1899 - 1909) **E. W. Hornung - Raffles - Mr Justice Raffles (4/4)
(1900 - 1974) Ernest Bramah - Kai Lung - Kai Lung: Six / Kai Lung Raises His Voice (7/7)

(1903 - 1904) **Louis Tracy - Reginald Brett - The Albert Gate Mystery (2/2)
(1905 - 1925) **Baroness Orczy - The Old Man In The Corner - Unravelled Knots (3/3)}
(1905 - 1928) **Edgar Wallace - The Just Men - Again The Three Just Men (6/6)
(1907 - 1942) R. Austin Freeman - Dr John Thorndyke - The Jacob Street Mystery (26/26)
(1907 - 1941) *Maurice Leblanc - Arsene Lupin - The Hollow Needle (3/21) {ManyBooks}
(1909 - 1942) *Carolyn Wells - Fleming Stone - The Red-Haired Girl (21/49) {Rare Books}
(1909 - 1929) *J. S. Fletcher - Inspector Skarratt - Marchester Royal (1/3) {Kindle}
(1910 - 1936) *Arthur B. Reeve - Craig Kennedy - The Adventuress (10/24) {Kindle}
(1910 - 1946) A. E. W. Mason - Inspector Hanaud - The House In Lordship Lane (7/7)
(1910 - 1917) Edgar Wallace - Inspector Smith - Kate Plus Ten (3/3)
(1910 - 1930) **Edgar Wallace - Inspector Elk - The Twister (4/6) {Roy Glashan's Library}
(1910 - 1932) *Thomas, Mary and Hazel Hanshew - Cleek - The Amber Junk (9/12) {AbeBooks}
(1910 - 1918) **John McIntyre - Ashton-Kirk - Ashton-Kirk: Criminologist (4/4)
(1910 - 1928) **Louis Tracy - Winter and Furneaux - The Postmaster's Daughter (5/9) {Project Gutenberg}

(1911 - 1935) G. K. Chesterton - Father Brown - The Scandal Of Father Brown (5/5)
(1911 - 1940) *Bertram Atkey - Smiler Bunn - The Smiler Bunn Brigade (2/10) {rare, expensive}
(1912 - 1919) **Gordon Holmes (Louis Tracy) - Steingall and Clancy - The Bartlett Mystery (3/3)
(1913 - 1973) Sax Rohmer - Fu-Manchu - The Bride Of Fu-Manchu (6/14) {interlibrary loan / Kindle / fadedpage.com}
(1913 - 1952) *Jeffery Farnol - Jasper Shrig - The High Adventure (4/9) {State Library NSW, JFR / Rare Books}
(1914 - 1950) Mary Roberts Rinehart - Hilda Adams - Episode Of The Wandering Knife (5/5)
(1914 - 1934) Ernest Bramah - Max Carrados - The Bravo Of London (5/5)
(1915 - 1936) *John Buchan - Richard Hannay - The Thirty-Nine Steps (1/5) {Fisher Library / Project Gutenberg / branch transfer / Kindle}
(1916 - 1917) **Carolyn Wells - Alan Ford - Faulkner's Folly (2/2) {owned}
(1916 - 1927) **Natalie Sumner Lincoln - Inspector Mitchell - The Nameless Man (2/10) {AbeBooks}
(1916 - 1917) **Nevil Monroe Hopkins - Mason Brant - The Strange Cases Of Mason Brant (1/2) {Coachwhip Books}
(1918 - 1923) **Carolyn Wells - Pennington Wise - The Vanishing Of Betty Varian (6/8) {Project Gutenberg}
(1918 - 1939) Valentine Williams - The Okewood Brothers - The Spider's Touch (6/?) {Roy Glashan's Library}
(1918 - 1944) Valentine Williams - Clubfoot - The Spider's Touch (7/8) {Roy Glashan's Library}
(1918 - 1950) *Wyndham Martyn - Anthony Trent - The Mysterious Mr Garland (3/26) {CARM}
(1919 - 1966) *Lee Thayer - Peter Clancy - Poison (7/60) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1919 - 1922) **Octavus Roy Cohen - David Carroll - The Crimson Alibi (2/4) {Rare Books / HathiTrust}

*** Incompletely available series
** Series complete pre-1931
* Present status pre-1931

Edited: Sep 9, 10:38pm Top

Series and sequels, 1920 - 1927:

(1920 - 1948) *H. C. Bailey - Reggie Fortune - Case For Mr Fortune (7/23) {State Library NSW, JFR}
(1920 - 1975) Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot - Curtain (38/38)
(1920 - 1921) **Natalie Sumner Lincoln - Ferguson - The Unseen Ear (2/2)
(1920 - 1937) *H. C. McNeile - Bulldog Drummond - The Third Round (3/10 - series continued) {Roy Glashan's Library}

(1921 - 1929) **Charles J. Dutton - John Bartley - Streaked With Crimson (9/9)
(1921 - 1925) **Herman Landon - The Gray Phantom - Gray Magic (5/5)

(1922 - 1973) Agatha Christie - Tommy and Tuppence - Postern Of Fate (5/5)
(1922 - 1927) *Alice MacGowan and Perry Newberry - Jerry Boyne - The Seventh Passenger (4/5) {Amazon}
(1922 - 1931) Valentine Williams - Inspector Manderton - Death Answers The Bell (4/4)

(1923 - 1937) Dorothy L. Sayers - Lord Peter Wimsey - In The Teeth Of The Evidence (14/14)
(1923 - 1924) **Carolyn Wells - Lorimer Lane - The Fourteenth Key (2/2)
(1923 - 1927) Annie Haynes - Inspector Furnival - The Crow's Inn Tragedy (3/3)

(1924 - 1959) Philip MacDonald - Colonel Anthony Gethryn - The Wraith (6/24) {ILL / JFR}
(1924 - 1957) *Freeman Wills Crofts - Inspector French - The Sea Mystery (4/30) {Rare Books / State Library NSW, JFR / ILL / Kindle}
(1924 - 1935) * / ***Francis D. Grierson - Inspector Sims and Professor Wells - The Smiling Death (6/13) {AbeBooks, expensive}
(1924 - 1940) *Lynn Brock - Colonel Gore - The Dagwort Coombe Murder (5/12) {Kindle}
(1924 - 1933) *Herbert Adams - Jimmie Haswell - The Crooked Lip (2/9) {Rare Books}
(1924 - 1944) *A. Fielding - Inspector Pointer - The Footsteps That Stopped (3/23) {Rare Books / Kindle / Project Gutenberg Australia}
(1924 - 1936) *Hulbert Footner - Madame Storey - The Casual Murderer (8/14) {Roy Glashan's Library}

(1925 - 1961) ***John Rhode - Dr Priestley - Death In The Hopfields (25/72) {HathiTrust / State Library NSW, held}
(1925 - 1953) *G. D. H. Cole / M. Cole - Superintendent Wilson - Burglars In Bucks (aka "The Berkshire Mystery") (7/?) {Fisher Library}
(1925 - 1932) Earl Derr Biggers - Charlie Chan - Keeper Of The Keys (6/6)
(1925 - 1944) Agatha Christie - Superintendent Battle - Towards Zero (5/5)
(1925 - 1934) *Anthony Berkeley - Roger Sheringham - The Second Shot (6/10) {academic loan / Rare Books}
(1925 - 1950) *Anthony Wynne (Robert McNair Wilson) - Dr Eustace Hailey - The Double-Thirteen Mystery (2/27) (aka "The Double Thirteen") {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1925 - 1939) *Charles Barry (Charles Bryson) - Inspector Lawrence Gilmartin - The Smaller Penny (1/15) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1925 - 1929) **Will Scott - Will Disher - Disher--Detective (aka "The Black Stamp") (1/3) {AbeBooks, expensive}
(1925 - 1927) **Francis Beeding - Professor Kreutzemark - The Hidden Kingdom (2/2) {Roy Glashan's Library}

(1926 - 1968) *Christopher Bush - Ludovic Travers - Murder At Fenwold (aka "The Murder Of Cosmo Revere") (3/63) {Kindle / Rare Books}
(1926 - 1939) *S. S. Van Dine - Philo Vance - The Kennel Murder Case (6/12) {fadedpage.com}
(1926 - 1952) *J. Jefferson Farjeon - Ben the Tramp - Murderer's Trail (3/8) {interlibrary loan / Kindle}
(1926 - ????) *G. D. H. Cole / M. Cole - Everard Blatchington - Burglars In Bucks (aka "The Berkshire Mystery") (2/6) {Fisher Library}
(1926 - ????) *Arthur Gask - Gilbert Larose - The Dark Highway (2/27) {University of Adelaide / Project Gutenberg Australia / mobilereads}
(1926 - 1931) *Aidan de Brune - Dr Night - Dr Night (1/3) {Roy Glashan's Library}
(1926 - 1931) * / ***R. Francis Foster - Anthony Ravenhill - Anthony Ravenhill, Crime Merchant (1/?) {expensive}

(1927 - 1933) *Herman Landon - The Picaroon - The Picaroon Does Justice (2/7) {Book Searchers / CARM}
(1927 - 1932) *Anthony Armstrong - Jimmie Rezaire - The Trail Of The Lotto (3/5) {CARM / AbeBooks}
(1927 - 1937) *Ronald Knox - Miles Bredon - The Body In The Silo (3/5) {Kindle / Rare Books}
(1927 - 1958) *Brian Flynn - Anthony Bathurst - Invisible Death (6/54) {Kindle}
(1927 - 1947) *J. J. Connington - Sir Clinton Driffield - Mystery At Lynden Sands (3/17) {HathiTrust / Kindle}
(1927 - 1935) *Anthony Gilbert (Lucy Malleson) - Scott Egerton - Mystery Of The Open Window (4/10) {Rare Books}
(1927 - 1932) *William Morton (aka William Blair Morton Ferguson) - Kirker Cameron and Daniel "Biff" Corrigan - Masquerade (1/4) {expensive}
(1927 - 1929) **George Dilnot - Inspector Strickland - The Crooks' Game (1/2) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1927 - 1949) **Dornford Yates - Richard Chandos - Perishable Goods (2/8) {State Library, JFR / Kindle / SMSA}

*** Incompletely available series
** Series complete pre-1931
* Present status pre-1931

Edited: Sep 8, 11:22pm Top

Series and sequels, 1928 - 1930:

(1928 - 1961) Patricia Wentworth - Miss Silver - Vanishing Point (24/33) {fadedpage.com}
(1928 - 1936) *Gavin Holt - Luther Bastion - The Garden Of Silent Beasts (5/17) {academic loan / State Library NSW, held}
(1928 - 1936) Kay Cleaver Strahan - Lynn MacDonald - The Meriwether Mystery (5/7) {Kindle}
(1928 - 1937) John Alexander Ferguson - Francis McNab - The Grouse Moor Murder (3/5) {HathiTrust}
(1928 - 1960) *Cecil Freeman Gregg - Inspector Higgins - The Murdered Manservant (aka "The Body In The Safe") (1/35) {rare, expensive}
(1928 - 1959) *John Gordon Brandon - Inspector Patrick Aloysius McCarthy - The Black Joss (2/53) {State Library NSW, held}
(1928 - 1935) *Roland Daniel - Wu Fang / Inspector Saville - Wu Fang (2/6) {expensive}
(1928 - 1946) *Francis Beeding - Alistair Granby - Pretty Sinister (2/18) {academic loan}
(1928 - 1930) **Annie Haynes - Inspector Stoddart - The Crystal Beads Murder (4/4)
(1928 - 1930) **Elsa Barker - Dexter Drake and Paul Howard - The Cobra Candlestick (aka "The Cobra Shaped Candlestick") (1/3) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1928 - ????) Adam Broome - Denzil Grigson - Crowner's Quest (2/?) {AbeBooks / eBay}

(1929 - 1947) Margery Allingham - Albert Campion - The Case Of The Late Pig (8/35) {interlibrary loan / Kindle / fadedpage.com}
(1929 - 1984) Gladys Mitchell - Mrs Bradley - The Devil At Saxon Wall (6/67) {interlibrary loan / Kindle}
(1929 - 1937) Patricia Wentworth - Benbow Smith - Down Under (4/4)
(1929 - ????) Mignon Eberhart - Nurse Sarah Keate - Dead Yesterday And Other Stories (6/8) (NB: multiple Eberhart characters) {expensive / limited edition} / Wolf In Man's Clothing (7/8) {Rare Books / Kindle}
(1929 - ????) Moray Dalton - Inspector Collier - The Belfry Murder (4/?) - {Kindle}
(1929 - ????) * / ***Charles Reed Jones - Leighton Swift - The King Murder (1/?) {AbeBooks}
(1929 - 1931) Carolyn Wells - Kenneth Carlisle - The Skeleton At The Feast (3/3) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1967) *George Goodchild - Inspector McLean - McLean Of Scotland Yard (1/65) {State Library NSW, held}
(1929 - 1979) *Leonard Gribble - Anthony Slade - The Case Of The Marsden Rubies (1/33) {AbeBooks / Rare Books / re-check Kindle}
(1929 - 1932) *E. R. Punshon - Carter and Bell - The Unexpected Legacy (1/5) {expensive, omnibus / Rare Books}
(1929 - 1971) *Ellery Queen - Ellery Queen - The Roman Hat Mystery (1/40) {interlibrary loan}
(1929 - 1966) *Arthur Upfield - Bony - Wings Above The Diamantina (3/29) {Fisher Library}
(1929 - 1937) *Anthony Berkeley - Ambrose Chitterwick - The Piccadilly Murder (2/3) {interlibrary loan}
(1929 - 1940) *Jean Lilly - DA Bruce Perkins - The Seven Sisters (1/3) {AbeBooks / expensive shipping}
(1929 - 1935) *N. A. Temple-Ellis (Nevile Holdaway) - Montrose Arbuthnot - The Inconsistent Villains (1/4) {Rare Books}
(1929 - 1943) *Gret Lane - Kate Clare Marsh and Inspector Barrin - The Cancelled Score Mystery (1/9) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1961) *Henry Holt - Inspector Silver - The Midnight Mail (2/16) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1930) *J. J. Connington - Superintendent Ross - The Two Tickets Puzzle (2/2)
(1929 - 1941) *H. Maynard Smith - Inspector Frost - Inspector Frost In The City (2/7) {Kindle}
(1929 - ????) *Armstrong Livingston - Jimmy Traynor - The Doublecross (1/?) {AbeBooks}
(1929 - 1932) Clemence Dane and Helen Simpson - Sir John Saumarez - Re-Enter Sir John (3/3)
(1929 - 1940) *Rufus King - Lieutenant Valcour - Murder By The Clock (1/11) {AbeBooks, omnibus / Kindle}
(1929 - 1933) *Will Levinrew (Will Levine) - Professor Brierly - For Sale - Murder (4/5) {AbeBooks}
(1929 - 1932) *Nancy Barr Mavity - Peter Piper - The Body On The Floor (1/5) {AbeBooks / Rare Books / State Library NSW, held}
(1929 - 1934) *Charles J. Dutton - Professor Harley Manners - The Shadow Of Evil (2/6) {expensive}
(1929 - 1932) Thomas Cobb - Inspector Bedison - Who Closed The Casement? (4/4)
(1929 - ????) * J. C. Lenehan - Inspector Kilby - The Tunnel Mystery (1/?) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1936) *Robin Forsythe - Anthony Algernon Vereker - Missing Or Murdered (1/5) {Kindle}
(1929 - 1931) */***David Frome (Zenith Jones Brown) - Major Gregory Lewis - The Murder Of An Old Man (1/3) {rare, expensive}

(1930 - ????) Moray Dalton - Hermann Glide - The Strange Case Of Harriet Hall (4/?) {Kindle}
(1930 - 1960) ***Miles Burton - Desmond Merrion - The Platinum Cat (17/57) {Rare Books}
(1930 - 1960) ***Miles Burton - Inspector Henry Arnold - The Platinum Cat (18/57) {Rare Books}
(1930 - 1933) Roger Scarlett - Inspector Kane - In The First Degree (5/5) {expensive}
(1930 - 1941) *Harriette Ashbrook - Philip "Spike" Tracy - The Murder Of Sigurd Sharon (3/7) {Kindle / Rare Books}
(1930 - 1943) Anthony Abbot - Thatcher Colt - About The Murder Of The Night Club Lady (3/8) {AbeBooks / serialised}
(1930 - ????) ***David Sharp - Professor Fielding - I, The Criminal (4/?) {unavailable?}
(1930 - 1950) *H. C. Bailey - Josiah Clunk - Garstons (aka The Garston Murder Case) (1/11) {HathiTrust}
(1930 - 1968) *Francis Van Wyck Mason - Hugh North - The Vesper Service Murders (2/41) {Kindle}
(1930 - 1976) Agatha Christie - Miss Jane Marple - Miss Marple's Final Cases (14/14)
(1930 - 1939) Anne Austin - James "Bonnie" Dundee - Murdered But Not Dead (5/5)
(1930 - 1950) *Leslie Ford (as David Frome) - Mr Pinkerton and Inspector Bull - The Hammersmith Murders (1/11) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1930 - 1935) *"Diplomat" (John Franklin Carter) - Dennis Tyler - Murder In The State Department (1/7) {Amazon / Abebooks}
(1930 - 1962) *Helen Reilly - Inspector Christopher McKee - The Diamond Feather (1/31) {Rare Books}
(1930 - 1933) *Mary Plum - John Smith - The Killing Of Judge MacFarlane (1/4) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1930 - 1945) *Hulbert Footner - Amos Lee Mappin - The Nation's Missing Guest (3/10) {CARM}
(1930 - 1933) *Monte Barrett - Peter Cardigan - The Pelham Murder Case (1/3) {Amazon}
(1930 - 1931) Vernon Loder - Inspector Brews - Death Of An Editor (2/2)
(1930 - 1931) *Roland Daniel - John Hopkins - The Rosario Murder Case (1/2) {unavailable?}
(1930 - 1961) Mark Cross ("Valentine", aka Archibald Thomas Pechey) - Daphne Wrayne and her Four Adjusters - The Adjusters (1/53) {rare, expensive}
(1930 - ????) Elaine Hamilton - Inspector Reynolds - Some Unknown Hand (aka "The Westminster Mystery") (1/?) {Kindle}
(1930 - 1932) J. S. Fletcher - Sergeant Charlesworth - The Borgia Cabinet (1/2) {fadedpage.com / Kindle}

*** Incompletely available series
** Series complete pre-1931
* Present status pre-1931

Edited: Sep 9, 6:03pm Top

Series and sequels, 1931 - 1955:

(1931 - 1940) Bruce Graeme - Superintendent Stevens and Pierre Allain - Satan's Mistress (4/8) {expensive / National Library of Australia, missing??}
(1931 - 1951) Phoebe Atwood Taylor - Asey Mayo - Sandbar Sinister (5/24) {expensive / Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts}
(1931 - 1955) Stuart Palmer - Hildegarde Withers - Murder On The Blackboard (3/18) {Kindle / Internet Archive, borrow}
(1931 - 1933) Sydney Fowler - Inspector Cleveland - Arresting Delia (4/4)
(1931 - 1934) J. H. Wallis - Inspector Wilton Jacks - The Capital City Mystery (2/6) {Rare Books}
(1931 - ????) Paul McGuire - Inspector Cummings - Daylight Murder (aka "Murder At High Noon") (3/5) {academic loan / State Library NSW, held}
(1931 - 1937) Carlton Dawe - Leathermouth - The Sign Of The Glove (2/13) {academic loan / State Library NSW, held}
(1931 - 1947) R. L. Goldman - Asaph Clume and Rufus Reed - Murder Without Motive (2/6) {Wildside Press}
(1931 - 1959) ***E. C. R. Lorac (Edith Caroline Rivett) - Inspector Robert Macdonald - The Murder On The Burrows (1/46) {rare, expensive}
(1931 - 1935) Clifton Robbins - Clay Harrison - Methylated Murder (5/5)
(1931 - 1972) Georges Simenon - Inspector Maigret - L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre (13/75) {ILL}
(1931 - 1942) R. A. J. Walling - Garstang - The Stroke Of One (1/3) {Amazon}
(1931 - ????) Francis Bonnamy (Audrey Boyers Walz) - Peter Utley Shane - Death By Appointment (1/8) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1931 - 1937) J. S. Fletcher - Ronald Camberwell - Murder In The Squire's Pew (3/11) {Kindle / State Library NSW, held}
(1931 - 1933) Edwin Dial Torgerson - Sergeant Pierre Montigny - The Murderer Returns (1/2) {Rare Books)
(1931 - 1933) Molly Thynne - Dr Constantine and Inspector Arkwright - Death In The Dentist's Chair (2/3) {Kindle}
(1931 - 1935) Valentine Williams - Sergeant Trevor Dene - The Clue Of The Rising Moon (4/4)
(1931 - 1942) Patricia Wentworth - Frank Garrett - Pursuit Of A Parcel (5/5)
(1931 - 1931) Frances Shelley Wees - Michael Forrester and Tuck Torrie - The Mystery Of The Creeping Man (2/2)

(1932 - 1954) Sydney Fowler - Inspector Cambridge and Mr Jellipot - The Bell Street Murders (1/11) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1932 - 1935) Murray Thomas - Inspector Wilkins - Buzzards Pick The Bones (1/3) {AbeBooks, expensive}
(1932 - ????) R. A. J. Walling - Philip Tolefree - VIII To IX (aka "Eight To Nine" aka "The Bachelor Flat Mystery") (4/22) {Kindle / State Library NSW, held}
(1932 - 1962) T. Arthur Plummer - Detective-Inspector Andrew Frampton - Shadowed By The C. I. D. (1/50) {unavailable?}
(1932 - 1936) John Victor Turner - Amos Petrie - Death Must Have Laughed (1/7) {Kindle / Rare Books}
(1932 - 1944) Nicholas Brady (John Victor Turner) - Ebenezer Buckle - The House Of Strange Guests (1/4) {Kindle}
(1932 - 1933) Barnaby Ross (aka Ellery Queen) - Drury Lane - Drury Lane's Last Case (4/4) {AbeBooks}
(1932 - ????) Richard Essex (Richard Harry Starr) - Jack Slade - Slade Of The Yard (1/?) {AbeBooks}
(1932 - 1933) Gerard Fairlie - Mr Malcolm - Shot In The Dark (1/3) (State Library NSW, held}
(1932 - 1934) Paul McGuire - Inspector Fillinger - The Tower Mystery (aka Death Tolls The Bell) (1/5) {Rare Books / State Library, held}
(1932 - 1946) Roland Daniel - Inspector Pearson - The Crackswoman (1/6) {unavailable?}
(1932 - 1951) Sydney Horler - Tiger Standish - Tiger Standish (1/11) {Rare Books}

(1933 - 1959) John Gordon Brandon - Arthur Stukeley Pennington - West End! (1/?) {AbeBooks / State Library, held}
(1933 - 1940) Lilian Garis - Carol Duncan - The Ghost Of Melody Lane (1/9) {AbeBooks}
(1933 - 1934) Peter Hunt (George Worthing Yates and Charles Hunt Marshall) - Allan Miller - Murders At Scandal House (1/3) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1933 - 1968) John Dickson Carr - Gideon Fell - Hag's Nook (1/23) {Better World Books / State Library NSW, interlibrary loan}
(1933 - 1939) Gregory Dean - Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Simon - The Case Of Marie Corwin (1/3) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1933 - 1956) E. R. Punshon - Detective-Sergeant Bobby Owen - Information Received (1/35) {academic loan / State Library NSW, held / Rare Books}
(1933 - 1934) Jackson Gregory - Paul Savoy - A Case For Mr Paul Savoy (1/3) {AbeBooks / Rare Books}
(1933 - 1957) John Creasey - Department Z - The Death Miser (1/28) {State Library NSW, held}
(1933 - 1940) Bruce Graeme - Superintendent Stevens - Body Unknown (2/2) {expensive}
(1933 - 1952) Wyndham Martyn - Christopher Bond - Christopher Bond, Adventurer (1/8) {rare}
(1934 - 1949) Richard Goyne - Paul Templeton - Strange Motives (1/13) {unavailable?}
(1934 - 1941) N. A. Temple-Ellis (Nevile Holdaway) - Inspector Wren - Three Went In (1/3) {unavailable?}
(1934 - 1953) Carter Dickson (John Dickson Carr) - Sir Henry Merivale - The Plague Court Murders (1/22) {Fisher Library}
(1934 - 1953) Leslie Ford (Zenith Jones Brown) - Colonel Primrose - The Strangled Witness (1/17) {Rare Books}
(1934 - 1975) Rex Stout - Nero Wolfe - Fer-de-Lance (1/?) {Rare Books / State Library NSW, JFR / Kindle}
(1934 - 1935) Vernon Loder - Inspector Chace - Murder From Three Angles (1/2) {Kindle /
(1935 - 1939) Francis Beeding - Inspector George Martin - The Norwich Victims (1/3) {AbeBooks / Book Depository / State Library NSW, held}
(1935 - 1976) Nigel Morland - Palmyra Pym - The Moon Murders (1/28) {State Library NSW, held}
(1935 - 1941) Clyde Clason - Professor Theocritus Lucius Westborough - The Fifth Tumbler (1/10) {unavailable?}
(1935 - ????) G. D. H. Cole / M. Cole - Dr Tancred - Dr Tancred Begins (1/?) (AbeBooks, expensive / State Library NSW, held / Rare Books}
(1935 - ????) George Harmon Coxe - Kent Murdock - Murder With Pictures (1/22) {AbeBooks}
(1935 - 1959) Kathleen Moore Knight - Elisha Macomber - Death Blew Out The Match (1/16) {AbeBooks / Amazon}
(1936 - 1974) Anthony Gilbert (Lucy Malleson) - Arthur Crook - Murder By Experts (1/51) {interlibrary loan}
(1936 - 1940) George Bell Dyer - The Catalyst Club - The Catalyst Club (1/3) {AbeBooks}
(1936 - 1956) Theodora Du Bois - Anne and Jeffrey McNeil - Armed With A New Terror (1/19) {unavailable?}
(1936 - 1945) Charles Kingston - Chief Inspector Wake - Murder In Piccadilly (1/7) {Kindle}
(1937 - 1953) Leslie Ford (Zenith Jones Brown) - Grace Latham - Ill Met By Moonlight (1/16){Kindle}
(1938 - 1944) Zelda Popkin - Mary Carner - Death Wears A White Gardenia (1/6) {Kindle}
(1939 - 1942) Patricia Wentworth - Inspector Lamb - The Ivory Dagger (11/?) {fadedpage.com}
(1939 - 1940) Clifton Robbins - George Staveley - Six Sign-Post Murder (1/2) {Biblio / rare}
(1940 - 1943) Bruce Graeme - Pierre Allain - The Corporal Died In Bed (1/3) {unavailable?}
(1941 - 1951) Bruce Graeme - Theodore I. Terhune - Seven Clues In Search Of A Crime (1/7) {unavailable?}
(1955 - 1991) Patricia Highsmith - Tom Ripley - Ripley Under Ground (2/5) {interlibrary loan / Kindle}
(1957 - 1993) Chester B. Himes - The Harlem Cycle - For Love Of Imabelle (aka "A Rage In Harlem") (1/9) {interlibrary loan / Kindle}

*** Incompletely available series

Edited: Sep 2, 8:00pm Top

Non-crime series and sequels:

(1867 - 1905) **Martha Finley - Elsie Dinsmore - Christmas With Grandma Elsie (14/28) {Project Gutenberg}
(1867 - 1872) **George MacDonald - The Seaboard Parish - Annals Of A Quiet Neighbourhood (1/3) {ManyBooks}
(1893 - 1915) **Kate Douglas Wiggins - Penelope - Penelope's Postscripts (4/4)
(1894 - 1898) **Anthony Hope - Ruritania - Rupert Of Hentzau (3/3)
(1898 - 1918) **Arnold Bennett - Five Towns - Anna Of The Five Towns (2/11) {Sutherland Library}

(1901 - 1919) **Carolyn Wells - Patty Fairfield - Patty's Romance (13/17) {Project Gutenberg}
(1901 - 1927) **George Barr McCutcheon - Graustark - Beverly Of Graustark (2/6) {Project Gutenberg}
(1906 - 1930) **John Galsworthy - The Forsyte Saga - The White Monkey (6/11) {Fisher storage / Sutherland stack}
(1907 - 1912) **Carolyn Wells - Marjorie - Marjorie's Vacation (1/6) {ManyBooks}
(1908 - 1924) **Margaret Penrose - Dorothy Dale - Dorothy Dale: A Girl Of Today (1/13) {ManyBooks}
(1909 - 1912) **Emerson Hough - Western Trilogy - 54-40 Or Fight (1/3) {Project Gutenberg}
(1910 - 1931) Grace S. Richmond - Red Pepper Burns - Red Pepper Returns (6/6)
(1910 - 1933) Jeffery Farnol - The Vibarts - The Way Beyond (3/3) {Fisher Library storage / fadedpage.com}

(1911 - 1937) Mary Roberts Rinehart - Letitia Carberry - Tish Marches On (5/5)
(1911 - 1919) **Alfred Bishop Mason - Tom Strong - Tom Strong, Lincoln's Scout (5/5)
(1913 - 1934) *Alice B. Emerson - Ruth Fielding - Ruth Fielding In The Far North (20/30) {expensive}
(1916 - 1941) John Buchan - Edward Leithen - Sick Heart River (5/5)
(1915 - 1923) **Booth Tarkington - Growth - The Magnificent Ambersons (2/3) {Project Gutenberg / Fisher Library / Kindle}
(1917 - 1929) **Henry Handel Richardson - Dr Richard Mahony - Australia Felix (1/3) {Fisher Library / Kindle}

(1920 - 1939) E. F. Benson - Mapp And Lucia - Trouble For Lucia (6/6)
(1920 - 1952) William McFee - Spenlove - The Adopted - (7/7)
(1920 - 1932) *Alice B. Emerson - Betty Gordon - Betty Gordon At Bramble Farm (1/15) {ManyBooks}
(1923 - 1931) *Agnes Miller - The Linger-Nots - The Linger-Nots And The Secret Maze (5/5) {unavailable}
(1924 - 1928) **Ford Madox Ford - Parade's End - No More Parades (2/4) {ebook}
(1926 - 1936) *Margery Lawrence - The Round Table - Nights Of The Round Table (1/2) {Kindle}
(1927 - 1960) **Mazo de la Roche - Jalna - Jalna (1/16) {State Library NSW, JFR / fadedpage.com}

(1928 - ????) Trygve Lund - Weston of the Royal North-West Mounted Police - The Vanished Prospector (6/9) {AbeBooks}
(1929 - 1931) *Ernest Raymond - Once In England - A Family That Was (1/3) {State Library NSW, interlibrary loan}

(1930 - 1932) Hugh Walpole - The Herries Chronicles - Vanessa (4/4)
(1930 - 1932) Faith Baldwin - The Girls Of Divine Corners - Myra: A Story Of Divine Corners (4/4)
(1930 - 1940) *E. M. Delafield - The Provincial Lady - The Provincial Lady In Wartime (4/4)

(1931 - 1951) Olive Higgins Prouty - The Vale Novels - Fabia (5/5)
(1931 - 1934) T. S. Stribling - The Vaiden Trilogy - The Store (2/3) {Internet Archive / academic loan / State Library, held}
(1931 - 1935) Pearl S. Buck - The House Of Earth - A House Divided (3/3)
(1932 - 1932) Lizette M. Edholm - The Merriweather Girls - The Merriweather Girls At Good Old Rockhill (4/4) {HathiTrust}
(1932 - 1952) D. E. Stevenson - Mrs Tim - Mrs Tim Flies Home (5/5) {interlibrary loan}

(1933 - 1970) Dennis Wheatley - Duke de Richlieu - The Forbidden Territory (1/11) {Fisher Library}
(1934 - 1936) Storm Jameson - The Mirror In Darkness - Company Parade (1/3) {Fisher Library}
(1934 - 1968) Dennis Wheatley - Gregory Sallust - Black August (1/11) {interlibrary loan / omnibus}
(1936 - 1952) Helen Dore Boylston - Sue Barton - Sue Barton, Student Nurse (1/7) {interlibrary loan}

(1947 - 1974) Dennis Wheatley - Roger Brook - The Launching Of Roger Brook (1/12) {Fisher Library storage}
(1948 - 1971) E. V. Timms - The Gubbys - Forever To Remain (1/12) {Fisher Library / interlibrary loan}
(1953 - 1960) Dennis Wheatley - Molly Fountain and Colonel Verney - To The Devil A Daughter (1/2) {Fisher Library storage}
(1955 - 1956) D. E. Stevenson - The Ayrton Family - Summerhills (2/2) {interlibrary loan}

Edited: Sep 2, 8:01pm Top

Unavailable series works:

John Rhode - Dr Priestley
The Hanging Woman (#11) {rare, expensive}

Miles Burton - Desmond Merrion / Inspector Arnold
>everything from #2 - #11 inclusive

David Sharp - Professor Fielding
When No Man Pursueth (#1)

Francis D. Grierson - Inspector Sims and Professor Wells
The Double Thumb (#3) {expensive}

Roger Scarlett - Inspector Kane {NB: Now available in paperback, but expensive}
>#4 onwards (to end of series)

Alfred Bishop Mason - Tom Strong
Tom Strong, Boy-Captain (#2)
Tom Strong, Junior (#3)
Tom Strong, Third (#4)

Roland Daniel - Wu Fang
The Society Of The Spiders (#1)

Agnes Miller - The Linger-Nots
The Linger-Nots And The Secret Maze (#5)

Edited: Sep 14, 1:24am Top

Books currently on loan:



Edited: Sep 2, 8:02pm Top

Reading projects:




Other projects:



Edited: Sep 2, 8:05pm Top

Group read news:

Though no firm plans have yet been made, the next two likely group reads are:

- Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope for the 'gap-plugging' series

- The Rector by Magaret Oliphant for the 'Virago chronological challenge'

We have had a preliminary suggestion of next month (October) for Orley Farm. If this would suit you (or not), or if you are generally interested in either of these projects, please check in below!

Edited: Sep 2, 8:11pm Top


As I discussed at the conclusion of my prior thread, my ongoing library difficulties are causing me grief when it comes to trying to organise my reading. I suppose I should be grateful - and I am, really - to have my ILL capacity restored, but the inability to really plan ahead is making me uncomfortable and rather panicky.

I don't want to fall back into the soft option of just mystery / series reading, and I am going to try to mix things up a bit more, going forward. I have some options for my non-crime and 1931 self-challenges that should help me do that, while still giving me the satisfaction of ticking things off lists.

Meanwhile---well, I don't really have to bang on about the state of my writing, do I...??

Edited: Sep 2, 8:12pm Top

...and the touchstones fought me every inch of the way; ugh.

But anyway, we are finally open for business: please come on in! :)

(Well! Pushy, aren't you?? :D )

Sep 2, 7:12pm Top

Happy new thread!

Sep 2, 8:07pm Top

Goodness gracious, I've never heard of the lovely chirus! That is a gorgeously composed photo, certainly prize-worthy.

Sep 2, 8:19pm Top

>23 drneutron:

Thank you, Jim!

>24 rosalita:

...aka the Tibetan antelope; here's a close-up for you:

Sep 2, 8:32pm Top

>20 lyzard: Orley Farm, I have read, but I did enjoy Trollope in Dickensian mode.

I would be quite eager to group-read The Rector.

Sep 2, 10:12pm Top

>26 NinieB:

Thanks for checking in, Ninie. I've read Orley Farm too but not for ages, so I'm quite looking forward to a re-read; I haven't yet read any Oliphant, which needs fixing. :)

Sep 2, 10:16pm Top

Oh! - and as I completely forgot to mention anywhere---

Now reading Under False Pretences by Adeline Sergeant.

Sep 2, 10:17pm Top

Happy new one!

Edited: Sep 2, 10:33pm Top

I'm in for Orley Farm, whenever.

Also I have a library copy of The Doctor's Family and Other Stories, (OUP) which includes "The Executor" (about 30 pages) and "The Rector" (also about 30 pages). I think both stories are in the Carlingford series and precede "The Doctor's Family" (about 140 pages), according to the blurb on my book.

Sep 2, 11:01pm Top

>29 figsfromthistle:

Thanks, Anita!

>30 kac522:


Yes, I need to look into the proper ordering of the Carlingford series and whether we might want to try more than one story at once. Obviously I got the idea that The Rector came first from somewhere but I'll do some better research and make certain.

Edited: Sep 3, 12:20am Top

>31 lyzard: The Executor was the first story set in Carlingford. Then The Rector and The Doctor's Family were published together in book form and that is what Virago reprinted.

There's an excellent 100-page fiction bibliography available that gives a very helpful overview: https://archive.org/details/Margaret_Oliphant_Fiction_Bibliography/.

I got very excited about Mrs. Oliphant when I read Zaidee last year but have not gotten around to actually reading any more by her.

Sep 3, 12:46am Top

>32 NinieB:

Thanks, that's really helpful!

Sep 3, 12:58am Top

>32 NinieB: Yes, thank you!

Sep 3, 3:10am Top

Happy new thread, Liz.

Sep 3, 4:26am Top

Happy new thread, Liz.
I'm loving the variety of pictures you've chosen.

Sep 3, 10:46am Top

Happy new thread, Liz!

>1 lyzard: Lovely picture, I had to look up chirus.
>25 lyzard: Should have looked here before searching ;-)

Sep 3, 12:59pm Top

Happy New Thread, Liz!

What an interesting photo up top. I hadn't heard of chirus before. I went and looked at images of them before seeing the >25 lyzard: photo, and thought they kinda looked like stocky gazelles. Antelope makes sense.

Edited: Sep 3, 6:07pm Top

>34 kac522:

I hope that means 'in', Kathy!

>35 PaulCranswick:, >36 Helenliz:, >37 FAMeulstee:, >38 jnwelch:

Thank you, Paul, Helen, Anita and Joe!

>36 Helenliz:

I'm glad you like them. :)

>37 FAMeulstee:

You know me, any excuse for an animal pic!

>37 FAMeulstee:, >38 jnwelch:

I love that i could introduce you to a new kind of animal.

Sep 3, 6:26pm Top

Finished Under False Pretences for TIOLI #2.

Now reading Mystery House by J. M. Walsh.

Sep 3, 6:34pm Top


This woman's eyes are starting to freak me out:

Sep 3, 7:36pm Top

>41 lyzard: 🎶"Jeepers, creepers, where'd you get those peepers?"🎶

Sep 3, 10:39pm Top

>42 rosalita:

Mostly creepers! :D

Edited: Sep 5, 5:49pm Top

Publication date: 1860
Genre: Classic
Read for: Group read

Castle Richmond - Despite the contemporary failure of his first two novels, Anthony Trollope continued to be drawn to Irish themes over the course of his career; and with this 1860 novel, he became the only writer of his time to even attempt to address the horrors of the Irish famine of the late 1840s. While we commend his courage, we have to wish that the results were more worthy. Writing with over a decade's hindsight, Trollope presents the famine not merely as God's will, but literally as God's mercy---speaking of the devastation in a calm, Panglossian way that makes the blood run cold. And while we might bring ourselves to understand that this was Trollope's way of dealing with the devastation that he witnessed first-hand, when he carries it so far as to praise the British government's inaction as "wisdom" rather than admitting the selfish economic pragmatism behind it, the effect is enraging. This overarching callousness, however, sits very oddly beside Trollope's immediate, heartfelt descriptions of the extreme physical suffering of the Irish people and the well-meant but ineffectual efforts to help by those in charge---which in turn are strangely blended into one of the author's familiar love-triangle plots. With occasional interruptions from the horrors unfolding around them, Castle Richmond keeps its focus upon two families of the upper classes: the Desmonds of Desmond Court, and the Fitzgeralds of Castle Richmond. The widowed Countess of Desmond is as proud as she is poor; and when Owen Fitzgerald, a second cousin of the wealthy landowners, has the temerity to force an admission of love from sixteen-year-old Clara Desmond, she ruthlessly intervenes. There is, however, a secondary motive for the countess's actions: having sold herself for a title when only a girl, she has now fallen in love with the handsome, passionate Owen... Obedient to her mother's commands, Clara tries to cut Owen out of her heart and, after a long struggle, believes that she has done so. In time she even brings herself to listen to the proposals of Herbert Fitzgerald, the only son and heir of Sir Thomas Fitzgerald of Castle Richmond and the district's most eligible bachelor. Though Sir Thomas seems dismayed rather than pleased by Herbert's engagement, the Countess of Desmond is exultant at her daughter's social success---until a terrible secret from Lady Fitzgerald's past rises up to devastate both families, and strip Herbert of his wealth and position, and even his name... Though there are, of course, many effective stretches of writing in Castle Richmond, it is hard not to feel that Trollope's heart wasn't really in it---or rather, that though he had been driven to write about the famine, he knew that he wasn't doing justice to his subject matter. This is an uncomfortable novel from start to finish, full of incompatible elements; and though Trollope handles the emotional and psychological fallout from the revelation of Lady Fitzgerald's secret with his usual insight, his love-plot in contrast feels perfunctory and a bit shallow. Owen's fixation with Clara comes across as creepy rather than romantic or tragic; while Trollope's evident discomfort with Clara's change of heart ("nice" girls didn't love more than once) keeps him from attempting the close dissection of motives and feelings at which he usually excelled, and which we expect from him. All in all this is an unsatisfactory novel; a cruelly unbalanced novel, in which the personal problems of the upper classes are given more weight than the slow, agonising deaths of a million or more people of the working-classes. The only saving grace here is our sense of Trollope's awareness that he was not writing the book that he should have been writing---as those too-few passages when he lets himself describe the reality of the famine make only too painfully evident.

    Squatting in the middle of the cabin, seated on her legs crossed under her, with nothing between her and the wet earth, there crouched a woman with a child in her arms. At first, so dark was the place, Herbert hardly thought that the object before him was a human being. She did not move when he entered, or speak to him, or in any way show sign of surprise that he should have come there. There was room for him and his horse without pushing her from her place; and, as it seemed, he might have stayed there and taken his departure without any sign having been made by her.
    But as his eyes became used to the light he saw her eyes gleaming brightly through the gloom. They were very large and bright as they turned round upon him while he moved---large and bright, but with a dull, unwholesome brightness,---a brightness that had in it none of the light of life.
    And then he looked at her more closely. She had on her some rag of clothing which barely sufficed to cover her nakedness, and the baby which she held in her arms was covered in some sort; but he could see, as he came to stand close over her, that these garments were but loose rags which were hardly fastened round her body. Her rough short hair hung down upon her back, clotted with dirt, and the head and face of the child which she held was covered with dirt and sores. On no more wretched object, in its desolate solitude, did the eye of man ever fall.
    In those days there was a form of face which came upon the sufferers when their state of misery was far advanced, and which was a sure sign that their last stage of misery was nearly run. The mouth would fall and seem to hang, the lips at the two ends of the mouth would be dragged down, and the lower parts of the cheeks would fall as though they had been dragged and pulled. There were no signs of acute agony when this phasis of countenance was to be seen, none of the horrid symptoms of gnawing hunger by which one generally supposes that famine is accompanied. The look is one of apathy, desolation, and death...

Sep 5, 11:35am Top

>1 lyzard: and >25 lyzard: Ooooh, lovely. And a new creature for me.

>20 lyzard: Of course I am in for any Trollope at any time. And I *think* I have a Collected Works ebook for Margaret Oliphant hanging about waiting to be read.

>21 lyzard: “the soft option of just mystery/series reading”; indeed. I’m struggling with that myself but for different reasons. I seem to be making a tiny bit of progress though...

>44 lyzard: My goodness: a perfect review (from my viewpoint, so excellently expressed by you) of Castle Richmond. A difficult book indeed.

Sep 5, 5:48pm Top

>45 bohemima:

Hi, Gail! I'm so glad to be introducing a new animal to so many people. :)

The spirit is willing but when it comes to really mixing up my reading I just don't have the access; and I don't want to let my Kindle spending get away from me, particularly as I'm contemplating a handful of more expensive mysteries. (I've been spoilt by the good people at Black Heath with their $1.50-ish releases!)

Great to hear! I will post a note to the group read / Castle Richmond threads and see if we have a consensus over a time for Orley Farm.

Thank you! It's a necessary book but a frustrating one.

Edited: Sep 5, 6:22pm Top

Best-selling books in the United States for 1959:

1. Exodus by Leon Uris
2. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
3. Hawaii by James A. Michener
4. Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
5. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
6. The Ugly American by William J. Lederer and Eugene L. Burdick
7. Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell
8. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
9. Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico
10. Poor No More by Robert Ruark

Two things strike us about 1959: (i) American readers were pushing back against censorship; and (ii) they apparently had a crap-load of reading-time on their hands that year, with no less than four massive chunksters fighting it out for the top spot.

The clear outlier here is Paul Gallico's Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris (published in the UK as Flowers For Mrs Harris), the first in his mostly comic series about the unlikely adventures of a London charwoman.

Taylor Caldwell's Dear and Glorious Physician is a fictional biography of Luke that attempts to explain how he came by the knowledge to write his biblical book(s). James A. Michener's Hawaii is a more conventional piece of historical writing, tracing the history of the islands literally from their volcanic birth to statehood. Meanwhile, Boris Pasternak's novel of the Russian revolution and its aftermath, Doctor Zhivago, which was #1 in 1958, holds onto the #2 spot.

Robert Ruark's Poor No More is a depressingly prescient novel about a ruthless financial manipulator and his journey to the top on the back of other people's money.

Allen Drury's Advise and Consent is a political drama about the struggle between the President and the US Senate over the appointment of a Secretary of State (we'll be hearing more about this one anon); while Lederer and Burdick's The Ugly American is a bitter exposé of American foreign policy in Asia and the arrogance and blunders that led to first the Korean War, then Vietnam.

D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, about the ramifications of a cross-class sexual affair, was first published in 1928, but after being banned and/or existing only in heavily expurgated versions, a series of legal battles in the US and the UK across 1959-1960 resulted in the release of the uncensored text. Having already fought its own such battles and after making it to #3 in 1958, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita held on to the #8 spot in 1959.

The year's best-selling book was Exodus by Leon Uris, his account of the founding of the State of Israel.

Edited: Sep 5, 7:10pm Top

Leon Uris was born in Baltimore in 1924, the son of a Polish immigrant father and a Russian-American mother. His father spent a year in Palestine before entering the United States, and upon doing so created the name 'Uris' for himself, deriving it from "Yerushalmi", meaning "man of Jerusalem".

Uris did relatively poorly in school, failing English and never graduating---although the latter because, at the age of 17, he dropped out to join the Marines after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He served in the South Pacific from 1942 - 1944, before being invalided home; while his unit went on to fight the brutal Battle of Saipan.

After marrying in 1945 (his first wife, Betty, was also in the Marine Corp), Uris found work as a journalist; he also began writing fiction in his spare time. Haunted by his medical escape from Saipan, Uris began work on the novel, Battle Cry, a tribute to the Marines which drew upon his own experiences in Guadalcanal and Tarawa. The book was turned into a film by Warners, with Uris invited to Hollywood to write the screenplay.

Uris would continue to write novels of war, struggle and nationalism throughout his career, including QB VII, about a Polish doctor in a German concentration camp; Mila 18, about the Warsaw ghetto uprising; The Haj, an historical novel set in the Middle East; and the paired works, Trinity and Redemption, about Ireland during the first decades of the 20th century.

However, Uris's best-known and most successful work remains Exodus, his 1958 novel about the founding of the State of Israel. Some controversy remains over the genesis of the book. Though Uris himself was passionately pro-Israel, and spent two years travelling and researching material for his novel, it is also accepted that the book was a commissioned piece of propaganda intended to win American sympathy for the newly-established Jewish state.

Regardless, the novel achieved what it was intended to, becoming not only the United States' best-selling novel of 1959, but the country's best-selling book since Gone With The Wind. Inevitably, it was transferred to the screen in 1960, by Otto Preminger.

Edited: Sep 6, 7:15pm Top

Publication date: 1958
Genre: Historical drama, contemporary drama
Read for: Best-seller challenge

Exodus - Leon Uris's 1958 novel about the struggle to establish a Jewish state in Palestine is an often powerful, frequently uneven and ultimately worrying piece of writing. It opens in Cyprus in 1946, where the British occupying forces are maintaining detention camps for Jewish refugees, and actively preventing Jewish emigration to Palestine as part of their compact with the Arab nations---with a view to maintaining their oil supply. As the time draws near for a United Nations vote upon the partitioning of Palestine, Jewish freedom fighter Ari Ben Canaan hatches a daring plan to draw the eyes of the world to Cyprus and to win sympathy for the Jewish cause. Using the British forces' own procedures against them, Ari outfits a cargo ship - renamed the Exodus - and smuggles onboard hundreds of refugees, many of them children; warning the British that the ship is loaded with dynamite and that, should they attempt to board, it will be blown up. A state of siege develops, with the passengers retaliating against the blockade of the harbour first with a hunger strike, then with threats of mass suicide. With the eyes of the world upon them, the British are forced to relent; and the Exodus sails triumphantly for Palestine---its human cargo only too well aware, however, that this is merely the first step in what is to be a long and bitter struggle for statehood and independence... The majority of Jewish settlers in Palestine establish themselves in a series of kibbutzim and begin to work the land; at they same time, they begin military training for the conflict they are grimly certain lies ahead. However, a handful separate themselves into an underground movement called "the Maccabees", which carries out a terror campaign against British installations. When the United Nations vote is for the partitioning of Palestine and the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel, the settlers' celebration is heartfelt but brief: immediately, there is a declaration of war from the Arab nations... As a piece of propaganda, which it was certainly intended to be, Exodus is a shrewd and effective work. We can sympathise with Leon Uris's desire to create a positive piece of Jewish fiction, and his parallel rejection of the majority of Jewish-themed fiction written to that time---which, he argued, chiefly featured Jewish people feeling bad about / apologising for being Jewish. There's certainly none of that in Exodus, which describes a proud, passionate and courageous people, one of whose main advantages in their struggle is that Gentile and Arab alike underestimate them and their commitment. The main Jewish characters are, indeed, almost absurdly idealised: all as physically impressive as they are brave and strong; although this, too, we can forgive as a pushback against centuries of fiction featuring ugly Jewish stereotypes. It is noticeable, however - perhaps with an eye to this book's intended American readership - that Judaisim is presented throughout in terms of a national and cultural identity, never as a religion; in fact, those who practice it most devoutly tend to be dismissed as "fanatics". Ultimately, Leon Uris's positive Jewish fiction ends up committing many of the same sins as the negative works he set out to counter, only in the other direction. As a work of historical fiction, it is actively dangerous---which is to say, it tells the truth up to a point; and because the truth it is telling, the history of the persecution of the Jews through to the end of WWII, is so appalling, as readers we do not not necessarily notice when the narrative parts ways with that truth. To give only the most obvious example of this, in the real-life incident upon which the story of the Exodus is based, the ship did not reach Palestine but was forced back to Europe; to (of all places) Germany: it was this that roused worldwide sympathy with the refugees and forced a change in British policy. Purely as a novel, Exodus's main fault is positioning the character of American nurse, Kitty Fremont, as the "outsider eye". Though Kitty is doubtless meant to represent typical Gentile (read: American) ignorance about the Jews, and to illustrate the justice of the Jewish cause as she is drawn for a variety of reasons into their battle for a homeland, she is a poorly written character believable neither as an individual nor as an identification figure. Kitty's motives make little sense; while her appropriation of the young Jewish girl, Karen Hansen, who reminds her of her own dead daughter, is just creepy. She is also an exasperating example of the "informed attribute": we're constantly told about all the marvellous work she does amongst the Jewish children and those in need of medical care, but one impromptu piece of surgery aside, we never see any of it. Nor is the relationship that develops between her and Ari credible for a moment, except perhaps on the basic physical level. Ari's insistence that he loves Kitty more than his early lost love, Dafna, a fellow freedom-fighter who was tortured, raped and murdered by the Arabs, is just insulting. And this brings us to the other truly worrying thing about Exodus: its anti-Arab rhetoric is unrelenting and vicious; quite as much as or even more so than the language of the antisemitic works that this novel was intended to counter. For the most part, the Arabs are presented as barely even human; while the novel's very few "good Arabs" are those that admire the Jews and aspire to be like them. Their position as a result of partition is barely glanced at; nor is any consideration given to the justice or otherwise of the imposition of partition by outside forces. The narrative, perhaps more forgivably, also demonises the British---while excusing overt acts of terrorism by the Jews. (As always, one man's terrorist is another man's patriot.) However---for all of its faults and deliberate inaccuracies, Exodus is still capable for long stretches of drawing the reader into its plot and its cause. Uris's descriptions of Palestine, his grasp of the various forces in play during this critical point in history, and his own passion for his subject matter carry this work at a rush over its more questionable aspects. As a piece of propaganda, Exodus is exemplary; as a novel, it needs to be approached with caution.

    The entire top of Tabor was a large, rounded plateau. The south edge of the plateau opened the entire Jezeel Valley to their eyes. It was a staggering sight. Kitty could follow the Jezeel, the square-cut fields, the splashes of green around the Jewish settlements, and the white clusters of Arab villages all the way to Mount Carmel and the Mediterranean. In the other direction was the Sea of Galilee, so that the entire width of Palestine was below them. Through field glasses Kitty had followed Ari's pointing out of Ein Dor where Saul met the witch and the bald top of Mount Gilboa where Gideon was buried and Saul and Jonathan fell in battle to the Philistines.
    "Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast aside, the shield of Saul..."
    Kitty lowered the glasses. "Why Ari, you are poetic."
    "It is the altitude. Everything is so removed from up here. Look over there---Beth Shean Valley. Beth Shean tel holds the oldest civilised city in the world. David knows more about these things than I do. There are hundreds of tels around Palestine. He says that if we were to start excavating them now our modern cities would be ruins by the time we are finished. You see, Palestine is the bridge of history here and you are standing on the centre of the bridge. Tabor has been a battleground since men made axes out of stone. The Hebrews stood against the Romans here and between the Crusaders and the Arabs it changed hands fifty times. Deborah hid here with her army and swooped down on the Canaanites. The battleground of the ages...
    "You know what we say?...that Moses should have walked the tribes for another forty years and found a decent place."

Sep 6, 10:38pm Top

Finished Mystery House for TIOLI #1...and that is #100 for the year.

I only wish it had been better.

Hmm. I was hoping to start on The Agony And The Ecstasy next, but it looks like I won't be getting to the library for a day or two, so---maybe Tragedy At Ravensthorpe?

Lemme have a think about it...

Sep 7, 3:10am Top

Well done on 100, Liz.

Edited: Sep 7, 10:56am Top

Happy 100th book, Liz! Sorry it was a bit of a dud, though.

I've started Out of the Past at last. Still early days, but I can already tell who's going to get killed, since every other character in the book seems to have a motive to do him in! (And if ever a villain deserved the "Orient Express" treatment it's this one.)

Edited: Sep 8, 7:02am Top

And proof that I should wait to post until I drink my tea in the morning, I have additional comments about the Miss Silver that I meant to make above.

1. The use of "p.g.'s" to mean "paying guests" as in taking in roomers without formally running a boarding house, is unknown as far as I am aware in American English (we would say "taking in lodgers" or taking in boarders" mostly, I think). Was this such a common occurrence and term in postwar England that everyone knew what it meant without explanation? I know it came up in Ladies Bane as well, and was not even cursorily explained as far as I can remember, so I was at a loss for a bit until the story made it more clear.

2. Now I can't remember what the other comment was! Maybe I need more tea ...

Sep 7, 5:40pm Top

>51 Helenliz:, >52 rosalita:

Thank you, ladies!

>52 rosalita:, >53 rosalita:

Yes, there's asking for it, and then there's ASKING FOR IT. :D

It's a class-language thing. You need to remember that this is Austerity Britain, where investments had died, servants barely existed any more, and a lot of people who had never dreamed of such a thing were forced to earn (or at least supplement) their income. Conversely a lot of people also had to give up their houses and move into rooms.

If you kept lodgings or a rooming- or boarding-house, you were a working person; but if you took in a paying guest you were still a nice middle-class person---and usually, so was your p.g. Even the expression 'p.g.' was a way of not saying 'paying' out loud.

This isn't to say that there was any actually difference between lodgers and paying guests, it was just a way of sparing the feelings on both sides.

Sep 7, 5:46pm Top

So, yeah---

Now reading Tragedy At Ravensthorpe by J. J. Connington.

I found this a bit freaky:

I ended up having to buy a Kindle copy but while I was hunting around to see if I could find it online anywhere, I came across this clipping from a Western Australian newspaper from 1921, 6 years before the Connington novel was published. Just a weird coincidence, or did Connington somehow see and remember this phrase?---

Edited: Sep 7, 6:31pm Top

You know what's annoying?

1. When nearly all of an author's books are available, but not the one you're chasing.

2. When a book doesn't come up in a catalogue search under the author's name but does if you search by title (or vice-versa).

3. When a library is listed as 'not open to the public', when what they really mean is 'open to members only'.

But anyway---

I have discovered some potential sources for a few of the "missing" books on my lists. I don't dare hope that all of them will pan out but at least a few are looking good.

Sep 7, 10:38pm Top

>53 rosalita: >54 lyzard: The expression "p.g." is used in Mrs McGinty's Dead—I had to look it up. So I think in Britain at least everyone knew what it meant.

Sep 7, 11:52pm Top

>57 NinieB:

That's a perfect example. The Summerhayes-es are an old family, "gentry", but they can't afford their house any more so they have to take a p.g.

Maud seems to have better luck with this sort of thing than poor Hercule. :D

Sep 8, 7:04am Top

>54 lyzard: >57 NinieB: >58 lyzard: Thanks to both of you! As an American, I was missing the "genteel poverty" aspect of it to explain why people would want to use euphemisms to cover taking in lodgers out of need. Shame on me, because I've read (and loved) Austerity Britain.

>56 lyzard: That does sound vexing, Liz. I hope you can sort it all out and get the books you want in the order you want them.

Edited: Sep 8, 12:36pm Top

When a book doesn't come up in a catalogue search under the author's name but does if you search by title (or vice-versa).

Grrr. The google-ification of search tools so that everything's a grumble grumble keyword search instead of a properly indexed one. Hate that.

Sep 8, 5:03pm Top

>59 rosalita:

Glad to help! Did you remember your second point? Or not enough tea yet??

>60 swynn:

So you would understand why I spend so much time re-searching (as opposed to researching) my missing books. There's always the tantalising prospect that I just haven't found the right search string yet.

There seems to be something else, or additional, going on with my local Amazon, where sometimes a book will come up if you search titletitleauthor but not if you search authortitletitle.

My favourite catalogue glitch is purely human, though I'm not sure if it indicates pedantry or just ignorance: my academic library holds copies of Benjamin Disraeli's first novel, Vivian Grey, but they only come up in the catalogue if you search for it by title only or as by 'the Earl of Beaconsfield', because strictly it was never published as by Benjamin Disraeli (anonymous to late-career reissue).

Edited: Sep 8, 5:49pm Top


In good cataloguing news, it looks as if people have been using the lockdown to do some overhauling, because three books I had previously listed as rare and expensive or outright unavailable have now shown up in the same academic library's Rare Books section...and two of them those always elusive 'firsts':

- The Diamond Feather by Helen Reilly, first in her Inspector Christopher McKee series
- The Case Of The Marsden Rubies by Leonard Gribble, first in his Anthony Slade series
- The Mystery Of The Open Window by "Anthony Gilbert" (Lucy Malleson), #4 in her Scott Egerton series

I'm extra excited about the last: the Egerton series doesn't attract much notice these days compared to Gilbert's later works but I was really enjoying it and being stalled halfway through was driving me nuts.

Of course the library is still in partial lockdown with no immediate prospect of Rare Books being opened up to the public again, but at least I know they're THERE...

Furthermore---some more re-searching has revealed that the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts Library is not a private research library as I had assumed from the way it is generally described, but does let the public become members for a reasonable yearly fee. Super excited about this too because it seems to hold a good selection of old mysteries including at least another couple I've been stalled on.

So glitch-bitching aside, yesterday was a GOOD day...

Sep 8, 5:38pm Top

>61 lyzard: Did you remember your second point?

I haven't been able to get back to it since, but I'm hoping once I pick it back up the other penny/shoe will drop. Hope springs eternal!

Sep 8, 10:18pm Top

>63 rosalita:

Clearly another cuppa is in order!

Sep 8, 10:20pm Top

Ooh, this *has* been a good week!

I've just discovered that another sticking-point, Lee Thayer's The Key (#6 in her Peter Clancy series), is now available at the Internet Archive; whoo!

I think we've settled what the rest of my September reading is going to look like...

Sep 8, 10:37pm Top

>58 lyzard: Ha ha, yes, Hercule's experience with the Summerhayes ménage was pretty uncomfortable (and funny).

>59 rosalita: Happy to help! According to the OED, the use of the initials dates from the 1920s.

Sep 8, 11:20pm Top

>66 NinieB:

I love the callback in Cat Among The Pigeons!

Ah, that's interesting: so it was a post-WWI thing originally. Thanks!

Edited: Sep 9, 6:59am Top

Finished Tragedy At Ravensthorpe for TIOLI #4.

Time to celebrate this week's discoveries, I think: now reading The Key by Lee Thayer.

Sep 9, 6:44am Top

>66 NinieB: Ah, earlier than I thought but that makes sense, as things must have quite dire economically after WWI for many formerly comfortable families. All those young widows left behind with children — dire.

Edited: Sep 9, 8:17pm Top

Publication date: 1979
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Miss Marple #14
Read for: Chronological challenge

Miss Marple's Final Cases; and Two Other Stories - Published three years after the death of Agatha Christie, this volume collects six short stories featuring Miss Marple that were originally published between 1935 - 1954. In Sanctuary, a dying man takes refuge in a church---and sets in motion the hunt for a stolen emerald necklace... In Strange Jest, when a man with a peculiar sense of humour dies he makes things as difficult as possible for his heirs... In Tape-Measure Murder, when a dressmaker is found strangled suspicion falls upon her husband, who inherits a tidy sum... In The Case Of The Care-Taker, a newly married couple's happiness is shattered by murder... In The Case Of The Perfect Maid, an apparent paragon of a domestic disappears, leaving a wave of jewel thefts in her wake... In Miss Marple Tells A Story, a man is in danger of his life when his wife is murdered in their suite of rooms at a hotel... Oddly enough arranged more or less in reverse chronological order, these "final" six stories are a treat for fans of Jane inasmuch as they simultaneously serve as callbacks for most of her career. Sanctuary is explicitly set in the wake of A Murder Is Announced, and features Inspector Craddock and the Reverend Julian Harmon and his wife, Diana, known as "Bunch" (and of course mentions their cat, Tiglath Pileser). In Strange Jest, the actress Jane Helier, who forms one of the discussion party in The Thirteen Problems, brings her friends' difficulty with a tricky will to Miss Marple. Tape-Measure Murder and The Case Of The Perfect Maid are both set in St Mary Mead and feature much the same supporting cast as The Murder At The Vicarage; while The Case Of The Care-Taker finds Dr Haydock offering a bedridden Jane a mystery story by way of a "mental tonic". (This story is also a dry run for the later Christie standalone, Endless Night, so beware spoilers if you haven't read that.) Finally, Miss Marple Tells A Story - the only first-person narrative in the whole Jane canon - was originally written for radio, where it was read by Dame Agatha herself. As promised in its subtitle, this collection also includes two non-Miss Marple, supernatural-themed stories: The Dressmaker's Doll, about a toy with a mind of its own; and In A Glass Darkly, in which a fortune-teller's prediction of murder begins to come true...

    "I suppose, really, that I'm better," Miss Marple admitted, "but I feel so terribly depressed. I can't help feeling how much better it would have been if I had died. After all, I'm an old woman. Nobody wants me or cares about me."
    Doctor Haydock interrupted with his usual brusqueness. "Yes, yes, typical after-reaction to this type of flu. What you need is something to take you out of yourself. A mental tonic... And what's more," he continued, "I've brought my medicine with me!"
    He tossed a long envelope on to the bed. "Just the thing for you. The kind of puzzle that is right up your street."
    "A puzzle?" Miss Marple looked interested.
    "Literary effort of mine," said the doctor, blushing a little. "Tried to make a regular story out of it. 'He said', 'she said', 'the girl thought', etc. Facts of the story are true."
    "But why a puzzle?" asked Miss Marple.
    Doctor Haydock grinned. "Because the interpretation is up to you. I want to see if you're as clever as you always make out."

Sep 10, 7:12pm Top

Finished The Key for TIOLI #6...

...and having gotten Lee Thayer's Peter Clancy series rolling again, it immediately stalls again...on a book only available via purchase with overseas shipping.


Anyway---now reading By Force Of Circumstances by "Gordon Holmes" (Louis Tracy).

Sep 10, 8:00pm Top

Publication date: 1931
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Madame Rosika Storey #7
Read for: Series reading / 1931 reading

Easy To Kill - Madame Rosika Storey is summoned to Newport, where she finds the elderly but ostentatiously wealthy Van Tassels in an evident state of extreme fear. The couple reveal that for some time, they have been paying an extortionist who has been threatening Mr Van Tassel's life in a series of ominous letters that spell out just how easy it is to kill an old man like him. The letters did not go through the post, but have been found at different places around the house, emphasising the writer's threat of being able to get at Mr Van Tassel whenever he chooses; while the most recent mentions the death of another elderly millionaire, supposedly from natural causes... The Van Tassels' plan to pay the extortionist with marked money so that he may be identified and "confronted", and their horror of the police, tells Madame Storey that they suspect who is behind the scheme. Reluctantly, they accuse Nicholas Van Tassel, the old man's nephew, who through adverse events was left penniless by his father's death, but somehow lives a life of luxury amongst the elite of Newport. Madame Storey accepts the case, arranging for a friend to introduce her into Newport society---and to Nicholas Van Tassel. She is soon sure that the Van Tassels are correct in their suspicions, but sees that proving it - and putting an end to the cruel scheme - will take all of her cunning... This seventh entry in Hulbert Footner's series about private investigator (she prefers "psychologist") Madame Storey is a thriller rather than a mystery: a case of crime prevented rather than crime solved. It uses one of Footner's favourite situations, with detective and criminal, both posing as someone other than they are, recognising each other and conducting an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse. In Nicholas Van Tassel, Madame Storey has an adversary worthy of her steel, one who uses all the resources at his disposal - including his social standing in Newport - to thwart her. Their battle is shot through with a sense of sexual tension; though Footner's attempts to suggest Nicholas's deadly attractiveness, by having Bella Brickley, Madame Storey's staid but loyal assistant, fall for him against her will, are awkward and overdone. On the other hand, Nicholas's successful efforts to damage Madame Storey's reputation and force her out of Newport society set up the two best aspects of this novel. Displaying her ability to sympathise and connect with individuals of all walks of life (as was also the best thing about the first series work, The Under Dogs), Madame Storey forms an odd partnership with a couple of young criminals, who turn out to be more loyal and dependable than most of the members of the Newport elite. One exception to the latter generalisation is the eccentric recluse, Miss Betsy Pryor, who takes in the detective and her sidekick after, having failed in a first attempt upon their lives, Nicholas goes so far as to burn down the old hotel in which they are staying. After escaping by the skin of their teeth, Madame Storey and Bella discover that they are presumed dead---with the detective quick to seize upon this unique opportunity to work from cover...

    "I fell for you!" Pete went on, almost weeping in his rage. "God! what a fool I was. You're the first and the last I'll ever fall for. I thought you was a swell girl, game like a fella, and on the level! And you're on'y a bull! You got all our business out of us, didn't ya?"
    "I didn't ask you for it," said Madame Storey. "You told me as a friend and I listened as a friend."
    "Yeah? Well, I had enough of such a friend. You and she can get the hell out of here, see? I don't care if you do bring a cop back with you. You're lucky we don't beat you up first."
    "Wait a minute!"
    "Aah!" he snarled, sticking out his jaw. "Don't you think I'm man enough to put you out?"
    "Sure," she answered, coolly. "And I wouldn't bring a cop back, neither. But just answer me one question first."
    "What's that?" he demanded.
    "Which do you hate the worst, a bull like me, or a high muckamuck like Nick Van Tassel?"
    "I hate you all!" he said, with a violent gesture.
    "Sure! But you got to decide, see? Because Nick Van Tassel is my mark. If you put us out of here I'll fail. If you help me like you agreed to do, I'll get him."
    "Aah! What could you get on a man like Nick Van Tassel?" Pete sneered.
    "I've got enough on him for him to want to kill me," said Madame Storey.

Edited: Sep 11, 1:02am Top

Publication date: 1950
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Read for: TIOLI (a 7th book)

Mischief - A few chapters into this psychological thriller by Charlotte Armstrong I got a sense of recognition; and this was indeed the basis for the film, Don't Bother To Knock, about a mentally unstable babysitter: one of Marilyn Monroe's efforts to break stereotype. The film and the character are very much softened from the book, however, in which Nell Munro is an outright psychopath, her behaviour enabled by the relatives with whom she lives, who refuse to see what she is or that she means the harm she does: they cling to the belief that it's all just "mischief"... Peter Jones travels to New York with his wife, Ruth, and their young daughter, Bunny, where he is to give an important speech at a gathering of newspapermen. At the last moment, Peter's feckless sister, Betty, pulls out of her offer to babysit Bunny while Ruth accompanies Peter to the dinner. After hesitating very much over her conflicting duties, Ruth accepts the offer made by the hotel lift-operator, who hears about her plight, that his niece should watch Bunny for the evening; assuming, incorrectly, that this Nell Munro is vouched for by the hotel. Nell listens meekly to Ruth's list of instructions, but as soon as she and Peter have departed, the girl sets about organising her evening to her own liking... After a furious argument with his girlfriend, Jed Towers spends his last night in New York not as he had planned, by getting engaged, but alone in a hotel room. Still smarting from Lyn's strictures on his lack of character, Jed decides savagely to prove her right; and when, from a window across the hotel courtyard, he receives a clear come-on from a young woman, he decides to accept---and walks into a nightmare... Mischief is a novel with several agendas, some of which work better than others. It is most successful as a novel of suspense, with a threatened child at its heart, and a slow reveal of exactly how much danger Bunny is in. The gradually revealed back-story of Nell, including the reasons why she is now living with her Uncle Eddie, is also horrifying; while there is an attempt, unusual for fiction of this era, to try and explain the workings of Nell's psychopathy. The other aspects of Mischief are more of their time, particularly Ruth's thought processes as she finds herself torn between being "a good wife" and "a good mother". The role played by Jed Towers is most problematic of all, as the narrative increasingly becomes a question of exactly how wide the gap actually is between the unbalanced Nell and his eminently sane self, and of his potential for redemption---or otherwise. A seemingly trivial incident - Jed's refusal to "spare some change" - escalates into a possibly permanent rift between himself and Lyn Lesley, as the consequent argument reveals to each of them their irreconcilably opposed philosophies of life: her impractical idealism, as he views it; his dog-eat-dog cynicism, as she views it. Angry and resentful at Lyn's abrupt rejection and the collapse of all his plans, Jed sets out to punish her by proving her right about him---even if he's the only one who ever knows it. He accepts Nell's tacit invitation into "her" hotel room seeking a few drinks and whatever might follow, only to find himself caught in a bewildering net of game-playing, emotional and physical blackmail, and violence. As the situation escalates, Jed's only thought is to escape in a way that will keep his own involvement in the incident concealed---while knowing that doing so means leaving Bunny to her fate...

    He knelt in the crevice between the beds. He felt, blindly. Something threshed. He wanted light but he didn't dare. His fingers found a thin chilly little...what? Shoulder? Yes, for he touched a soft braid. He felt for the face, the warm lips, and the breath, but touched, instead, fabric.
    God damn her to hell, the God-damned bitch, she'd bound and gagged the little thing. Oh, damn and blast her rotten soul! Aw, the poor little...
    "Bunny!" he whispered. "Bunny Jones? Aw, Bunny, poor kid. Listen, sweetheart, I wouldn't hurt you for a million dollars." His fingers verified. Yes, her ankles were tied together. Wrists, too. And that cruel---stocking, he guessed it was, in and over the mouth!
    "You fall off the bed, honey? Aw, I'm sorry. I'm sorry about this. Musn't make a noise, though."
    Oh, Lord, how could the child not! If he ungagged her. It was not possible for her not to cry! He knew this. It would not be in her control. She must cry out, must make sound as soon as she was able.
    But she musn't! Or Towers would never get away...

Sep 12, 6:10pm Top

Finished By Force Of Circumstances for TIOLI #7.

And now...I had planned to start on The Agony And The Ecstasy, but realised just in the nick of time yesterday that my local library has altered its opening hours, so I won't be picking that up until tomorrow; grr!

In the meantime---now reading Adventures Of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison.

Edited: Sep 12, 6:27pm Top

Wrapping up By Force Of Circumstances presents me with something of a dilemma.

This work by Louis Tracy, published under his "Gordon Holmes" pseudonym, features Inspector Furneaux of Scotland Yard before Tracy teamed him up with Superintendent Winter. Interestingly, the Furneaux we get here is the same character we meet again later on, which is not the case with his future series partner. Winter at the time was condemned to playing thick-headed copper / straight man to arrogant amateur detective, Reginald Brett, in a different (and understandably short-lived) series. Tracy retooled him into a phlegmatic but much shrewder individual when he paired him with the energetic and rather eccentric Furneaux.

I know I've said this before, but I think now I've sorted out all the early permutations of this erratically developed series, which unfortunately leaves me with something of a personal dilemma. When I skip back to the series proper, I am confronted by The House Of Peril / The Park Lane Mystery, two versions of the same story - both featuring Winter and Furneaux - but one published in the US and set in New York, the other published in the UK and set in London.

The latter is obviously "correct" as far as its detectives are concerned, BUT---The Park Lane Mystery is nearly impossible to get hold of, while The House Of Peril is readily available online.

I'm currently trying to convince my brain that under the circumstances, reading The House Of Peril is an acceptable way of moving on with this series...

Sep 12, 6:54pm Top

...and here's another weird detail:

Apparently Edgar Wallace's 1926 thriller, The Joker, was retitled "The Park Lane Mystery" for a later reissue.

Edited: Sep 12, 7:00pm Top

>75 lyzard: I actually have, in print, both of the Reginald Brett mysteries. Louis Tracy seems to have been quite popular in his day, since the books still show up.

Edited: Sep 12, 8:45pm Top

Publication date: 1926
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Sergeant / Inspector Elk #3
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (cheerful title)

The Joker (US title: The Colossus; reissue title: The Park Lane Mystery) - The activities of millionaire financier, Stratford Harlow, have long attracted the attention of the police---in particular, Inspector Jim Carlton, who divides his time between Scotland Yard and a secondment to the Foreign Office. As the battle between the two men intensifies, its focus becomes Arthur Ingle, a former actor convicted of forgery and fraud, and who now carries a furious grudge against the establishment, and Ingle's beautiful niece, Aileen Rivers, who reluctantly handles Ingle's affairs while he serves his sentence---and who, for very different reasons, attracts the attention of both Harlow and Carlton. While Harlow plots an unprecedented financial coup, one which depends upon Europe being brought literally to the brink of war, Carlton is put on the track of the weak spot in his adversary's armour by an incident tragic in itself, but seemingly trivial in the overall scheme of things: the death of Arthur Ingle's charwoman... While The Joker forms part of Edgar Wallace's odd and sporadic series featuring the lugubrious though hard-working Elk of Scotland Yard (finally promoted through sheer doggedness, in spite of his educational shortcomings), as usual the man himself is found playing second fiddle - albeit a valuable second fiddle - to a flashier colleague, in this case Jim Carlton, who combines a sharp intelligence with a willingness to bend the rules not often found in the heroes of British crime fiction. However, this is one of what we might call Wallace's "amoral" works of fiction, in which he takes an enormous and obvious pleasure in the elaborate criminal machinations of Stratford Harlow: a pleasure as great as that of Harlow himself, who derives much satisfaction and entertainment from the contemplation of his own mental superiority, his ability to outwit the forces of the law, and above all in the complicated financial manoeuvring that he thinks of to himself as his "jokes". Indeed, Wallace takes this aspect of the book so far, Harlow could almost be regarded as the hero of The Joker, rather than the man trying to stop him. He also has some unnerving fun with Aileen, who finds herself caught between the two men at the narrative's centre: falling for Carlton, in a sparring-with-the-enemy sort of way, while developing an involuntary admiration for the brilliant, unscrupulous Harlow that is entirely reciprocated. Wallace carries this subplot so far as to have Aileen keeping a vitally important secret from Carlton, one which allows for the final resolution of the plot... Overall The Joker is typical Wallace, with several seemingly unrelated plot-threads eventually coming together as Harlow weaves his elaborate scheme. Jim Carlton's investigation takes on a painful personal aspect when his superior at the Foreign Office, Sir Joseph Layton, commits an extraordinary piece of folly - dangerous folly - in his mishandling what ought to have been a trivial diplomatic incident, but which instead blows up into an escalating state of tension between England and France, one which shows every likelihood of carrying with it the threat of war. The impact of the situation is felt worldwide---not least in the international stock markets... Meanwhile, Carlton continues to look into the ambiguous death of Mrs Gibbons, growing increasingly certain that somehow, this obscure and inoffensive woman is the key to linking Stratford Harlow equally to Arthur Ingle and Sir Joseph Layton, and to bringing his extraordinary scheme crashing to the ground...

    "I bear you no malice that you do not trust me!" said Harlow. "My theory is that it is much better for a dozen innocent men to come under police surveillance than for a guilty man to escape detection. Only it is sometimes a little unnerving, the knowledge that I am being watched. I could stop it at once, of course. The Courier is in the market---I could buy a newspaper and make your lives very unpleasant indeed. I could raise a dozen men up in Parliament to ask what the devil you meant by it. In fact, my dear Carlton, there are so many ways of breaking you and your immediate superior that I cannot carry them in my head!"
    And Jim had an uncomfortable feeling that this was no vain boast.
    "I really don't mind,' Harlow went on; 'it annoys me a little, but amuses me more. I am almost above the law! How stupid that sounds!" He slapped his knee and his rich laughter filled the room. "Of course I am; you know that! Unless I do something very stupid and so trivial that even the police can understand that I am breaking the law, you can never touch me!"
    He waited for some comment here, but Jim was content to let his host do most of the talking... "I am a rich man," Harlow went on. "Yet I need the very help you can give to me. You are not well off, Mr Carlton? I believe you have an income of four hundred a year or thereabouts, apart from your salary, and that is very little for one who sooner or later must feel the need of a home of his own, a wife and a family---"
    Again he paused suggestively, and this time Jim spoke. "What do you suggest to remedy this state of affairs?" he asked.
    Mr Harlow smiled. "You are being sarcastic. There is sarcasm in your voice! You feel that you are superior to the question of money. You can afford to laugh at it. But, my friend, money is a very serious thing. I offer you five thousand pounds a year."
    He rose to his feet the better to emphasise the offer, Jim thought. "And my duties?" he said quietly.
    Harlow shrugged his big shoulders; and put his hands deep into his trousers pockets. "To watch my interests." He almost snapped the words. "To employ that clever brain of yours in furthering my cause, in protecting me when I go---joking! I love a joke---a practical joke. To see the right man squirming makes me laugh. Five thousand a year, and all your expenses paid to the utmost limit. You like play-going? I'll show you a play that will set you rolling with joy! What do you say?"
    "No,' said Jim simply; "I'm not keen on jokes."

Sep 12, 8:43pm Top

>77 NinieB:

Tracy was very popular in America, which has actually created some of my difficulties: he tended to publish there first and/or more often than in the UK, and his books are much are much more easily found there.

He writes a pretty good thriller, though in the works you mention Brett himself is pretty obnoxious. He did better in his later series.

Edited: Sep 12, 11:18pm Top

Publication date: 1921
Genre: Mystery / thriller
Series: Pennington Wise #5
Read for: Series reading / TIOLI (published in the 1920s)

The Luminous Face - Robert Gleason, a westerner, tends to rub the wrong way the elite New York social group into which his relationship with his sister, Millicent Lindsay, has introduced him. But though he is widely disliked, everyone is shocked when Gleason is found dead in his apartment in what looks like a suicide. Dr Davenport, summoned to the scene by a desperate call to his office apparently from Gleason himself, discovers that he was shot twice, once in the shoulder, once in the head; and while the investigators agree, though doubtfully, that Gleason may have made the call for some reason, the medical evidence proves that the fatal head shot was fired first. So who called Dr Davenport's office, and why? - and who fired the second shot...? This is one of the weakest of Carolyn Wells' mysteries, featuring all of the faults at once that tend to plague her writing. It falls into three predictable acts, with first the police getting nowhere; then connections of the case taking it upon themselves to play amateur detective---and getting nowhere; then the actual detective, in this case Pennington "Penny" Wise, showing up late and wrapping up the case in minimum time. Meanwhile, all the supporting characters go around suspecting one another, and conversely acting as suspiciously as possible, but rarely doing anything in a way that strikes us as credible human behaviour. However, what amounts to a whole lot of exasperating time-wasting is somewhat salvaged by the fact that, though Penny Wise is the official detective on the case, he doesn't really want the assignment, nor is it he who is chiefly responsible for solving it. It is instead his teenage sidekick, Zizi, who persuades him to take it on---and Zizi who does most of the work, via her usual mix of intuition and brisk action. Furthermore we have the amusing touch - after pretty much male character in the narrative has tried and failed to solve the mystery - of the female conspiracy that brings Zizi on the scene, with socialite Phyllis Lindsay forming an unlikely partnership with chorus-girl Ivy Hayes. Although the investigation into Gleason's death has focused upon the social group with which he interacted - and where he made enemies, either personal or because of he pretensions to Phyllis - it is Zizi who sees that something in Gleason's past might have come back to bite him. Leaving Wise to pursue leads in New York, Zizi travels to the small New England town where Gleason spent his youth---and makes a discovery that turns the case on its head...

    “How do they know so positively the exact time he left?” asked Zizi.
    “That’s a coincidence. The doorman happened to catch sight of his wrist watch as he got into the cab. It has a luminous face---I’ve seen him wear it---and the doorman noticed it was just twenty-five minutes after seven.”
    “What! Oh, oh, Penny! That explains it all! Oh, me, oh, my! To think of the simple solution! Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive! Oh, gracious goodness sakes! Be sure your sin will find you out!”
    “For heaven’s sake, Zizi, don’t act like a wild woman! When you begin to quote things I know you’re luny! Sit down and tell me what you’re talking about!”
    “Is this a dagger that I see before me? Oh, what a noble mind was here o’erthrown!”
    “Don’t get your Shakespeare mixed up...”
    The girl was dancing up and down the room like a veritable witch-elf. She flung her long, thin arms about, and was really excited, her brain teeming with the sudden revelation that had come to her. “Do you remember the Macbeth witches?” she demanded, pausing before him, poised on one foot, and looking like a Sibyl herself.
    “Of course I do! Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble!”
    “That’s it---that’s the answer! Oh, Penny Wise, it’s as plain as day---as Day! I see it all---all---all!”
    “Might I inquire what enlightened you?”
    “The radium watch! The luminous face!”

Sep 13, 9:42am Top

Hello, Liz! I've remembered the other thing about Out of the Past. It was that we finally get to meet Maudie's niece, Ethel Burkett — she of the prodigious offspring in constant need of coatees and booties. That was a delight even if her role was small.

And now that I've finished it, one more non-spoilery observation about the romance. There isn't one! I mean, I guess there is an already existing one but there aren't two star-crossed lovers who are brought together by murder. I'm interested to see if this trend of downplaying the romance angle continues in the rest of the series. Perhaps Wentworth felt she had gotten to the point where she didn't need that to sell the books?

Sep 13, 5:38pm Top

>81 rosalita:

I thought that too! :D

Agree with your second point too (and frankly, yay!). I wonder if it was her own idea or her publishers finally told her to tone it down??

In fact my only complaint here is that the killer is a bit too obvious. Not obvious obvious, but in that "we and Maud know something the police don't" way. Though in that respect, I thought it was interesting that only we as readers know about the baby; everyone else thinks it's just "woman scorned".

Sep 13, 5:48pm Top

>82 lyzard: I'd like to think that by this point the series was selling well enough that she felt she didn't need the romance angle to draw in readers. Of course, I always hope it's the author who has agency in how their book unfolds, even though I know in the real world it doesn't always work that way.

And agreed on your spoiler. The way it was set up that the killer couldn't possibly be the killer just made it more obvious that the killer was the killer, if you know what I mean. And I also thought it was odd that the notion of the baby never came out, though I'm glad for Miss Anning. Almost seemed as if Wentworth wasn't sure her motive was strong enough if she had only suffered a broken engagement. Or maybe that seemed too similar to what had happened to Cremona (wait, is that her name? I keep thinking she's the heiress to a non-dairy creamer fortune.)

Edited: Sep 13, 5:53pm Top

“My book has been a great success in the United States which is upsetting because I thought it in good taste before and now I know it can’t be.”
---Evelyn Waugh on the popular success of Brideshead Revisted in America.

I am revisiting the question of which edition of Waugh's 1945 novel is the "right" edition---which I suspect I'm making too much of a fuss over. (No! they gasped in astonishment.) Waugh made small revisions to succeeding releases from the time of the book's first publication, but revised it to some extent in 1959---with the 1960 edition now considered the standard text.

Of course the temptation was to chase the much rarer original text, to see what Waugh wrote before criticisms of the novel (and, worse, its popularity) made him get cold feet. Still, analysts seem to feel that the changes aren't that significant. Apparently Waugh cut and toned down some of the more flowery language and speech-making in the 1960 version; though on the other hand he also restored a sex scene that was cut to the point of obscurity in 1945.

The issue has raised itself again for me because I've discovered online access to the 1945 version, which previously was almost impossible to get. Yet it might be this that pushes me the other way, since reading 350 pages of tiny font online might be too much even for my OCD.

Sep 13, 6:04pm Top

>83 rosalita:

Carmona. :)

For the reader there's a motive-gap; but the investigators never realise it. But yeah, if she managed to keep her secret in those surroundings, all power to her!

Was it drawing people in? I guess I can't believe you and I were the only to readers to complain about the romance getting in the way of the mystery plot; but that might just be my hard old heart talking. :D

Edited: Sep 13, 6:37pm Top

>85 lyzard: Right, CARmona. The automobile heiress, not the creamer family at all. :-)

You would know better than I whether women writers of the era were encouraged to throw in a little hoochie-koo because after all, isn't that what women know best? *eyeroll*. But it also could have just been Wentworth's self-imposed rule based on what she thought would sell.

Also (more or less) on the topic of what people expect, the little scene where Mrs. Field ruminates about the ways that mourning clothes rules had loosened up over the years wasn't anything I didn't already know, but my goodness seeing those Victorian strictures laid out really hammered home how stifling it all was!

Edited to add: We certainly weren't the only readers to complain — that's how we lost Harry!

Sep 13, 6:50pm Top

>86 rosalita:


And you were expected to go into full mourning even if you couldn't afford it: black clothes first, feeding your family second. Ridiculous AND horrifying.

It does occur to me that it was around this time that the gothic-romance started to gain popularity---as we say, the "will-he-kiss-her-or-kill-her" school of writing. Perhaps straight mysteries like Wentworth's were encouraged to tone down the romance to distinguish them?

Maybe not though, because as we've seen a bunch of old mysteries got reissued with covers that made them look gothicky; so maybe it was Wentworth's own reaction.

And maybe this was an aberration and in the very next Miss Silver, the romance will be back front and centre! :D

Sep 15, 6:14pm Top

Finished Adventures Of Martin Hewitt for TIOLI #11.

Now reading The Agony And The Ecstasy by Irving Stone.

Sep 19, 9:08am Top

Wishing you a glorious weekend, Liz.

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