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Crime, Detection, Mystery, Thrillers

The following list has been compiled primarily from:
* Crime Fiction 1800-2000 by Stephen Knight, Palgrave MacMillan, 2004.
* Bloody Murder--From the Detective Story to the Crime Novel: a History by Julian Symons, Penguin, 1972.
Where no link is given for a particular title it is because we do not yet have that title in our collections.

Please CONTACT US regarding suggestions for additions to or deletions from this page (refer to 'Crime and Mystery page')


Thomas Bailey ALDRICH (1836-1907)
  • Marjorie Daw - at PGA

Grant ALLEN (1848-1899)

  • Hilda Wade (1899)--HTML
  • Miss Cayley's Adventures (1899)--HTML
  • An African Millionaire: Episodes In The Life of The Illustrious Colonel Clay (1897)--HTML

Clifford ASHDOWN
[Pseudonym of R Austin FREEMAN (1862-1943) and John James PITCAIRN (1860-1936)]

  • The Silks of Florence--Text--ZIP
  • The Assyrian Rejuvenator--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Submarine Boat--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Adventures of Ronmey Pringle (1902)

A Maynard BARBOUR

  • That Mainwaring Affair - at PGA
  • At the Time Appointed - at PGA

Robert BARR (1850-1912)

  • The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont (1906) - at PGA

E C BENTLEY (1875-1956)

  • Trent's Last Case [a.k.a. The woman in Black] (1913)

Earl Derr BIGGERS (1884-1933)

     The "Charlie Chan" Novels

  • The House Without a Key (1925)--Text--ZIP
  • The Chinese Parrot (1926)--Text--ZIP
  • Behind that Curtain (1928)--Text--ZIP
  • The Black Camel (1929)--Text--ZIP
  • Charlie Chan Carries On (1930)--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • Keeper of the Keys (1932)--Text--ZIP
  • The Agony Column - at PGA

M McDonnell BODKIN

  • Rule-of-Thumb detective (1898)
  • Young Beck, a Chip off the Old Block (1911)
  • Dora Myrl, The Lady Detective (1900)

Marjorie BOWEN (a.k.a. George R Preedy, Joseph Shearing, John Winch, Robert Paye)

  • The Poisoners

Mary Elizabeth BRADDON

  • Lady Audley's Secret - at PGA

Ernest BRAMAH (1867-1942)

  • Max Carrados Mysteries: An Anthology--Text--ZIP
  • Max Carrados Mysteries: Another Anthology--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Game Played in the Dark--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • Smothered in Corpses--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Mirror of Kong Ho - at PGA
  • The Wallet of Kai Lung - at PGA
  • The Coin of Dionysius - at PGA
  • Kai Lung's Golden Hours - at PGA

John BUCHAN (1875-1940)

     Richard Hannay stories:

  • The Thirty-nine Steps - at PGA
  • Greenmantle - at PGA
  • Mr Standfast - at PGA
  • The Three Hostages--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Island of Sheep (1932)--Text--ZIP--HTML (Published as "The Man from the Norlands" in the U.S.A., this is the last of the Richard Hannay adventures.)

     Other Works:

Edward BULWER-LYTTON (1803-1873)

  • Pelham (1828) - at PGA
  • A Strange Story - at PGA
  • Eugene Aram (1832)- at PGA
  • Paul Clifford - at PGA
  • Night and Morning - at PGA

Ellis Parker BUTLER (1869-1937)

     Philo Gubb Stories:

G K CHESTERTON (1874-1936)

  • The Man Who Knew Too Much - at PGA
  • The Trees of Pride - at PGA
  • The Man Who Was Thursday (1908) - at PGA
  • Tales of the Long Bow (1925)--Text--ZIP
  • Four Faultless Felons--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Napoleon of Notting Hill--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Club of Queer Trades - at PGA

     Father Brown Stories:

  • The Innocence of Father Brown (1911) - at PGA
  • The Wisdom of Father Brown - at PGA
  • The Incredulity of Father Brown (1936)--Text--ZIP
  • The Scandal of Father Brown--Text--ZIP
  • The Secret of Father Brown--Text--ZIP

Erskine CHILDERS (1870-1922)

  • Riddle of the Sands (1903)--Text

Caroline CLIVE

Wilkie COLLINS (1824-1889)

  • A Stolen Letter (1854)
  • No Name (1862) - at PGA
  • Armadale (1866) - at PGA
  • The Woman in White - at PGA
  • The Moonstone (1868)- at PGA
  • The Haunted Hotel - at PGA
  • I Say No - at PGA
  • The Law and the Lady (1875)- at PGA
  • Miss or Mrs.? - at PGA
  • My Lady's Money - at PGA
  • The Queen of Hearts - at PGA

Catherine CROWE (1800-1876)

  • Adventures of Susan Hopley (1841)
  • The Unknown Weapon

Honore DE BALZAC (1799-1850)

  • The Mysterious Mansion--Text--HTML
  • An Historical Mystery - at PGA

Richard Harding DAVIS (1864-1916)

  • In the Fog - at PGA

Thomas DE QUINCEY (1785-1859)

  • Murder, Considered as One of the Fine Arts - at PGA

Dick DONOVAN (Mr Joyce R Preston Muddock) (1842-1934)

  • Caught at Last: Leaves from the Notebook of a Detective (1889)
  • The Knutsford Mystery (1906)
  • The Fatal Ring (1905)

Sir Arthur Conan DOYLE (1859-1930)
  ^^Click name to view comprehensive bibliography and read most of the books written by Doyle.

  • A Sherlock Holmes Omnibus--HTML (3.6mb)--ZIPPED HTML (1.4mb) Note. The zip archive includes the html text and images. This omnibus edition includes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's four novels and five short-story collections featuring Sherlock Holmes.

     Professor Challenger:

Charles FELIX (pseudonym)

  • The Notting Hill Mystery (1865)

J S (Joseph Smith) FLETCHER (1863-1935)

  • The New Sun--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Other Sense--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Lighthouse on Shivering Sand--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Ivory God--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Safety Pin (1924)--Text--ZIP
  • The Paradise Mystery - at PGA
  • The Adventures of Arthur Dawe, Sleuth Hound (1909)
  • The Middle Temple Murder (1919) - at PGA
  • The Paradise Mystery - at PGA

Hulbert FOOTNER (1862-1943)

Andrew FORRESTER Jnr.

  • Revelations of a Private Detective (1863)
  • Seret Service (1864)
  • The Femal Detective (1864)

Mary FORTUNE (c.1833-c.1910)

R Austin FREEMAN (1862-1943)

     "Dr Thorndyke" Novels

  • The Red Thumb Mark (1907)--at PGA
  • The Eye of Osiris (1911), a.k.a. The Vanishing Man--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Mystery of 31 New Inn (1912)--at PGA
  • A Silent Witness (1914)--Text--ZIP
  • Helen Vardon's Confession (1922)--Text--ZIP
  • The Cat's Eye (1923)--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Shadow of the Wolf (1925)--Text--ZIP
  • A Certain Dr Thorndyke (1927)--Text--ZIP
  • As a Thief in the Night (1928)--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • Dr Thorndyke Short Story Omnibus (1928), a.k.a. The Famous Cases of Dr. Thorndyke--Text--ZIP--HTML
    --incorporates all stories from 5 short story collections:
    * The Singing Bone (a.k.a. The Adventures of Dr. Thorndyke) (1912)
    * John thorndyke's Cases (a.k.a. Dr. Thorndyke's Cases) (1909)
    * The Magic Casket (1927)
    * The Puzzle lock (1925)
    * Dr. Thorndyke's Case Book (a.k.a. The Blue Scarab) (1923)
  • Pontifex Son and Thorndyke (1931)--Text--ZIP
  • When Rogues Fall Out (1932), a.k.a. Dr Thorndyke's Discovery--Text--ZIP
  • For the Defence, Dr. Thorndyke (1934)--Text--ZIP
  • The Penrose Mystery (1936)----Text--ZIP--HTML
  • Felo de Se (1937)--Text--ZIP
  • The Stoneware Monkey (1938)--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • Mr Polton Explains (1940)--Text--ZIP
  • The Jacob Street Mystery (1942), a.k.a. The Unconscious Witness--Text--ZIP
  • The Mystery of Angelina Frood (1924)--Text--ZIP
  • The D'Arblay Mystery (1926)--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • Mr. Pottermack's Oversight (1930)--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • Dr Thorndyke Intervenes (1933)--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • Dr Thorndyke's Crime File (1941)--Text--ZIP

     Other Works

  • The Great Portrait Mystery and other stories (1918)--Text--ZIP

Jacques FUTRELLE (1875-1912)

  • The Haunted Bell--Text--HTML
  • The Problem of Cell 13--Text--HTML
  • The Thinking Machine (1907)
  • The Thinking Machine on the Case (1908)
  • The Diamond Master (1909) - at PGA

Arthur Gask (1869-1951)

  • Go to Arthur Gask's author listing for many stories featuring Gilbert Larose, detective.

Emile GABORIAU (1836-1873)

  • The Mystery of Orcival (1867)- at PGA
  • File No. 113 (1867) - at PGA
  • The Widow Lerouge (1866)- at PGA
  • Monsieur Lecoq (1868) - at PGA

William GODWIN (1756-1836)

  • Caleb Williams (Things as They Are) (1794)- at PGA

Anna Katharine GREEN (1846-1935)

  • The Golden Slipper and Other Problems for Violet Strange - at PGA
    -The Second Bullet
    - The Intangible Clew
    - The Grotto Spectre
    - The Dreaming Lady
    - The House of Clocks
    - The Doctor, His Wife, and the Clock
    - Missing: Page Thirteen
    - Violet's Own
  • That Affair Next Door - at PGA
  • The Millionaire Baby - at PGA
  • The Filigree Ball - at PGA
  • The Leavenworth Case (1878) - at PGA
  • The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow (1917) - at PGA
  • The Mill Mystery - at PGA

Augusta GRONER (1850-1929) (Translated by Grace Isabel Colbron)

     Joe Muller stories:

  • The Case of the Golden Bullet - at PGA
  • The Case of The Lamp That Went Out - at PGA
  • The Case of the Registered Letter - at PGA
  • The Pocket Diary Found in the Snow - at PGA
  • The Pool of Blood in the Pastor's Study - at PGA

William Hope HODGSON (1877-1918)

  • Carnacki Supernatural Detective and Other Stories--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • Carnacki The Ghost Finder--Text--ZIP

E W HORNUNG (1866-1921)

     Raffles stories:

  • Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman (1899)- at PGA
  • Raffles, Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman - at PGA
  • A Thief in the Night (A Book of Raffles' Adventures) - at PGA
  • Mr. Justice Raffles - at PGA
  • At the Pistol's Point--Text--ZIP

Fergus HUME (1859-1932)

Herbert JENKINS (1876-1923)

  • Malcolm Sage, Detective--Text--ZIP

Maurice LE BLANC (1864-1941)

  • The Crystal Stopper - at PGA
  • The Eight Strokes of the Clock - at PGA
  • The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar (1907) - at PGA
  • The Teeth of the Tiger - at PGA
  • The Hollow Needle - at PGA

Sheridan LE FANU (1814-1873)

  • Uncle Silas: A Tale of Bartram-Haugh (1864) - at PGA
  • Wylder's Hand (1869)- at PGA
  • Checkmate (1871)

Gaston LEROUX (1868-1927)

  • The Mystery of the Yellow Room (1908) - at PGA
  • The Secret of the Night - at PGA

LOCK AND KEY LIBRARY

     Classic Mystery and Detective Stories: Modern English - at PGA

  • Rudyard Kipling - My Own True Ghost Story; The Sending of Dana Da; In the House of Suddhoo; His Wedded Wife
  • A. Conan Doyle - A Case of Identity; A Scandal in Bohemia; The Red-Headed League
  • Egerton Castle - The Baron's Quarry
  • Stanley J. Weyman - The Fowl in the Pot
  • Robert Louis Stevenson - The Pavilion on the Links
  • Wilkie Collins - The Dream Woman
  • Anonymous - The Lost Duchess; The Minor Canon; The Pipe; The Puzzle; The Great Valdez Sapphire

     Classic Mystery and Detective Stories: Old Time English - at PGA

  • Charles Dickens - The Haunted House; No. I Branch Line: The Signal Man
  • Edward George Bulwer-Lytton - The Haunted and the Haunters; The House and the Brain; The Incantation
  • Thomas de Quincey - The Avenger
  • Charles Rober Maturin - Melmoth the Wanderer
  • Laurence Sterne - A Mystery with a Moral
  • William Makepeace Thackeray - On Being Found Out; The Notch on the Ax
  • Anonymous - Bourgonef; The Closed Cabinet

Marie Adelaide Belloc LOWNDES (1868-1947)

  • TheLodger - at PGA

Charles MARTEL (pseudonym of Thomas DELPH)

  • The Diary of an Ex-Detective (1860)

A E W MASON (1865-1948)

  • At the Villa Rose (1910) - at PGA
  • The House of the Arrow--Text--ZIP
  • The Prisoner in the Opal--Text--ZIP
  • The Courtship of Morrice Buckler--Text--ZIP
  • The House in Lordship Lane--Text--ZIP

Arthur MORRISON (1863-1945)

  • Collected Detective Stories--Text--ZIP
  • The Thing In the Upper Room--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Case of Laker, Absconded--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • Martin Hewitt, Investigator--from PGA
  • Tales of Mean Streets (1894)--Text--ZIP
  • The Hole in the Wall (1902)--Text--ZIP

Baroness ORCZY (1865-1947)

  • The Old Man in the Corner (1909) --Text
  • Unravelled Knots (sequel to The Old Man in the Corner)--Text
  • Lady Molly of Scotland Yard (1910)--Text--ZIP--HTML

Allan PINKERTON

  • The Expressman and the Detective (1874)
  • The Gypsies and the Detective (1879)

Frank PINKERTON

  • Dyke Darrel the Railroad Detective - at PGA

Catherine Louisa PIRKIS (1841-1910)

  • The Experiences of Loveday Brooke Lady Detective (1894)--HTML

Edgar Allan POE (1809-1849)

     Chevalier C Auguste Dupin stories:

  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841)- at PGA
  • The Mystery of Marie Rogêt (1843) - at PGA
  • The Purloined Letter (1845)- at PGA

     Other Works:

  • Thou Art the Man (1844)- at PGA

Melville Davison POST (1869-1930)

  • Uncle Abner, Master of Mysteries--Text--ZIP
  • The Sleuth of St James Square - at PGA
  • The Strange Schems of Randolph Mason (1896)
  • The Man of Last Resort [a.k.a. The Clients of Randolph Mason] (1897)
  • The Corrector of Destinies (1908)

Arthur J Rees

Arthur B REEVE (1880-1936)

  • The Silent Bullet (a.k.a. The Black Hand) (1912)- at PGA
  • The Dream Doctor (1914) - at PGA
  • The Master Mystery (1919)- at PGA
  • The Film Mystery - at PGA

William RUSSELL

  • Recollections of a Detective Police-Officer (1856)
  • The Experiences of a Real Detective (1860)

SAPPER (Herman Cyril McNEILE) (1888-1937)

     Bulldog Drummond Books:

  • Bulldog Drummond: His Four Rounds with Carl Peterson:
    * Bulldog Drummond (1920)--HTML
    * The Black Gang (1922)--HTML
    * The Third Round (1924)--HTML
    * The Final Count (1926)--HTML
  • Temple Tower
  • The Female of the Species (1928)--HTML
  • The Return of Bulldog Drummond (1932)--HTML
  • Knock-Out
  • Bulldog Drummond at Bay
  • Challenge
  • There may be other Sapper titles on our author list

Melvin Linwood SEVERY (b.1863)

  • The Darrow Enigma - at PGA

M P SHIEL (1865-1947)

  • Prince Zaleski

George SIMS

  • Dorcas Dere Detective: Her Adventures (1897)

Chester K STEELE

  • The Golf Course Mystery - at PGA
  • The Mansion of Mystery - at PGA
  • The Diamond Cross Mystery - at PGA

Frank R STOCKTON (1834-1902)

  • The Lady, or the Tiger? - at PGA

Emile C TEPPERMAN (1899-1951)

Josephine TEY (a.k.a. Gordon DAVIOT) (1896-1952) (both are pseudonyms of Elizabeth MACKINTOSH)

  • The Man in the Queue (1929)--Text--ZIP [Gordon Daviot] ["Inspector Grant"]
  • The Expensive Halo (1931)--Text--ZIP [Gordon Daviot]
  • A Shilling for Candles (1936)--Text--ZIP [Josephine Tey] ["Inspector Grant"]
  • Miss Pym Disposes (1947)--Text--ZIP--HTML [Josephine Tey]
  • The Franchise Affair (1949)--Text--ZIP [Josephine Tey] ["Inspector Grant"]
  • Brat Farrar (1949)--Text--ZIP [Josephine Tey]
  • To Love and Be Wise (1950)--Text--ZIP [Josephine Tey] ["Inspector Grant"]
  • The Daughter of Time (1951)--Text--ZIP [Josephine Tey] ["Inspector Grant"]
  • The Privateer (1952)--Text--ZIP [Josephine Tey]
  • The Singing Sands (1952)--Text--ZIP [Josephine Tey] ["Inspector Grant"]
  • Richard of Bordeaux (1932)--Play--Text--ZIP--HTML [Gordon Daviot]

Louis TRACY (1863-1928)

  • The Albert Gate Mystery - at PGA

S S VAN DINE (Willard Huntington Wright) (1887-1939)

     The Philo Vance Mysteries (Complete)

VOLTAIRE (1694-1778)

  • Zadig - at PGA

Edgar WALLACE (1875-1932)

     Mr J G Reeder stories - The complete set:

     "Just Men" stories

     "Sanders" stories:

  • Sanders of the River (1911)--Text--ZIP
  • The People of the River (1912)--Text--ZIP
  • Bosambo of the River (1914)--Text--ZIP
  • Bones--Being Further Adventures in Mr Commissioner Sanders' Country (1915)-- at PGA
  • The Keepers of the King's Peace (1917)--Text--ZIP
  • Lieutenant Bones (1918)--Text--ZIP
  • Bones in London (1921) - at PGA
  • Sandi, the King Maker (1922)--not available
  • Bones of the River (1923)--not available
  • Sanders (a.k.a. Mr Commissioner Sanders) (1926)--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • Again Sanders (1928)--Text--ZIP--HTML

     Other works:

Samuel WARREN

  • Passages from the Diary of a Late Physician (1832)
  • The Experiences of a Barrister (1849)
  • Leaves from the Diary of a Law Clerk (1857)

Carolyn WELLS (1862-1942)

  • The Technique of the Mystery Story (a non-fiction book about the techniques of mystery story writing)--Text--ZIP--HTML
  • The Gold Bag - at PGA
  • The Clue (1909)

Victor L WHITECHURCH (1862-1942)

  • Murder at the Pageant - at PGA

Israel ZANGWILL (1864-1926)

  • The Big Bow Mystery (1892) - at PGA

A Chronology of Crime Fiction 1800-1950.

(From Crime Fiction 1800-2000 by Stephen Knight, Palgrave MacMillan, 2004.)

1773 The Newgate Calendar: first major collection of crime without detectives
1794 William Godwin, Caleb Williams.
1798 Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland.
1827 Thomas Gaspey(?), Richmond: Scenes from the Life of a Bow Street Runner.
1827-8 Eugene Francois Vidocq, Memoires.
1828 Edward Bulwer, Pelham.
1830 Samuel Warren, Passages from the Diary of a Late Physician.
1838 Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist.
1841 Edgar Allan Poe, .Murders in the Rue Morgue.
1842-3 Edgar Allan Poe, The Mystery of Marie-Roge
1844 Edgar Allan Poe, The Purloined Letter.
1849 William Russell, Recollections of a Police Officer.
1852 William Russell, Recollections of a Policeman.
1853 Charles Dickens, Bleak House.
1856 William Russell, The Recollections of a Detective Police Officer.
1860 Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White.
1861 Ellen Wood, East Lynne.
1862 Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley's Secret.
1864 Andrew Forrester Jun., The Female Detective.
1864 W. S. Hayward(?), Revelations of a Lady Detective.
1865 Charles Felix, The Notting Hill Murder.
1865 John B. Williams' (ed.), Leaves from the Note-Book of a New York Detective.
1866 Emile Gaboriau, L'Affaire Lerouge.
1866 Mary Fortune, as 'W.W.' in The Australian Journal, may be the first woman writing self-conciously detective fiction
1867 Seeley Regester (Metta Fuller), The Dead Letter.
1868 Emile Gaboriau, M. Lecoq.
1868 Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone.
1870 Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood: Dickens's last and unfinished novel was to involve mystery, disguise and--it seems--some detection.
1874 Allan Pinkerton, The Expressman and the Detective.
1878 Anna Katherine Green, The Leavenworth Case.
1881 Emile Gaboriau novels translated into English and published in London.
1886 Fergus Hume, The Mystery of a Hansom Cab.
1887 Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet.
1891 Arthur Conan Doyle, A Scandal in Bohemia
1892 Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
1892 Israel Zangwill, The Big Bow Mystery.
1894 Arthur Morrison, Martin Hewitt, Investigator.
1894 Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.: more stories, but Holmes dies in the last, 'The Final Problem'
1901-2 Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles: Doyle resumes Holmes in The Strand, but sets story back before his death
1902 Arthur Conan Doyle, The Empty House: Doyle revives Holmes in Strand Magazine.
1907 Maurice Leblanc, The Exploits of Arsene Lupin.
1907 Gaston Leroux, The Mystery of the Yellow Room.
1907 Jacques Futrelle, The Thinking Machine.
1907 R. Austin Freeman, The Red Thumb Mark.
1908 Mary Roberts Rinehart, The Circular Staircase.
1911 G. K. Chesterton, The Innocence of Father Brown.
1913 E. C. Bentley, Trent's Last Case.
1913 Carolyn Wells, The Technique of the Mystery Story: first extended discussion of the genre
1920 Agatha Christie, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
1920 Freeman Wills Crofts, The Cask.
1923 Dorothy Sayers: Whose Body?
1923 Dashiell Hammett starts publishing tough detective stories in The Black Mask
1925 Earl Derr Biggers, The House without a Key.
1926 Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
1926 S. S. Van Dine, The Benson Murder Case
1928 Arthur Upfield, The House of Cain.: first novel starring the Australian aboriginal detective 'Boney'
1928 Patricia Wentworth, Grey Mask.
1929 Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest.
1929 Gladys Mitchell, Speedy Death.
1929 Ellery Queen, The Roman Hat Mystery
1929 W. R. Burnett, Little Caesar
1929 Mignon Eberhart, The Patient in Room 18.
1930 Margery Allingham, Mystery Mile.
1930 Dorothy Sayers, Strong Poison.
1930 Agatha Christie, Murder at the Vicarage.
1931 Francis Iles, Malice Aforethought.
1932 Raymond Chandler publishes his first private-eye story in Black Mask
1932 Rudolph Fisher, The Conjure-man Dies.
1933 John Dickson Carr, Hag's Nook.
1933 Erie Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Velvet Claws.
1934 James M. Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice.
1934 Ngaio Marsh, A Man Lay Dead.
1934 Rex Stout, Fer de Lance.
1939 Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep.
1939 James Hadley Chase, No Orchids for Miss Blandish.
1940 Cornell Woolrich, The Bride Wore Black.
1943 Margaret Millar, Wall of Eyes.
1945 Lawrence Treat, V as in Victim.
1947 Mickey Spillane, I, The Jury.
1949 Ross Macdonald (as John Macdonald), The Moving Target.
1950 Julian Symons, The Thirty-First of February.

Two English Thrillers

"The Hole in the Wall" by Arthur Morrison and "The Franchise Affair" by Josephine Tey are both listed on this crime and mystery page.

Some readers will be aware that "The Hole in the Wall" was serialised by BBC Television in England, with Nigel Rathborne playing one of the major parts. Few, I venture to suggest, will have read the book. Following its publication in 1902, V S Pritchett described it as "one of the minor masterpieces of the century," although the century was then not much advanced. Morrison is, at this time, perhaps better known as a writer of detective fiction, having created the detective Martin Hewett. However, in "The Hole in the Wall" he did indeed create a minor masterpiece. This tale of murder, thievery, and general villainy, brilliantly evokes the Dickensian squalor and evil of the East End of London in the second half of the eighteenth century.

The story is told through the eyes of a nine year old boy who goes to live with his grandfather in an old inn, situated beside the Thames. Many of the events are only half understood by the boy but the reader is left in no doubt about what is really going on as the tale moves seamlessly to its violent conclusion.

"The Franchise Affair", published in 1948, is also set in England and is also concerned with violence and mystery. However the setting and the period are very much removed from those of "The Hole in the Wall." Two women, a mother and daughter, living the quiet life in a country house, are accused of kidnapping and beating a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl in order to get her to do work for them. The charge is denied by the women and they engage a local solicitor to act on their behalf. He becomes engrossed in the case and it finally drives him to step outside of the ordered world of a country solicitor.

Josephine Tey, who also wrote under the pseudonym of Gordon Daviot, was baptised Elizabeth MacKintosh. A brief quote on the back of a paperback edition of the book credits a reviewer with stating that it is "one of the most intriguing detective stories ever written." That might be drawing a long bow but there is no doubt that the book is superbly crafted. As with Morrison's evocation of the East End, Tey's evocation of the setting of her novel is superb and the twists and turns in the plot are made entirely believable by Tey's ability to "lay the groundwork" for each development well in advance of its occurrence.

Both of these novels are well worth a read and both ebooks are no further than a mouse-click away. Check them out on this page.

Updated 17 May 2013