Authors new to me is a meme hosted by Kerry who runs the Mysteries in Paradise blog. This is a meme I have participated in before, last time looking at authors new to me which I read between October and December last year. When scrolling through my blog posts for this round I was flabbergasted by the number…20 new authors between January and March!
However, before you all panic I am not going to be recounting all of them here. Instead I decided to categorise some of my favourites:
British Library Reprints:
John Rowland – I read two of his novels but out of those two I would recommend Calamity in Kent (1950), which involves a murderer at the seaside.
John Bude – Although I have found some of his earlier novels quite dry, Death on the Riviera (1952), was an enjoyable read and surprisingly funny. There is a counterfeiting case and an unusual murder for the police to solve.
Alice Tilton – I read The Iron Clew (1947) by this author, who also wrote under the name Phoebe Atwood Taylor and this novel was a brilliant screwball comedy as the protagonist gets more and more awkwardly placed as the story progresses, ultimately having to solve a murder to clear his own name.
Helen McCloy – Character psychology is a key element in McCloy’s story Alias Basil Willing (1951) and not just because the central detecting character is a psychologist. It is also a novel of several tones, happy and light at the start, full of comic misunderstandings, but then darker and more serious when the truth emerges behind the murders which have taken place. What also made this a fun blogging experience was that I did a joint review with my fellow blogger, Brad at ahsweetmystery blog.
Max Afford – I really enjoyed his story called Blood on his Hands (1937), set in Australia, with an almost Frankenstein-like atmosphere at the beginning, though this dissipates into an urban scene where a number of seemingly impossible crimes occur and Afford provides a satisfying solution for these and is an expert story teller.
Thought Provoking Crime:
E C R Lorac – Although in Black Beadle (1939) the case being investigated may appear quite ordinary, a hit and run which was not an accident, Lorac creates a great story and explores a number of issues prevalent to her times such as Anti-Semitism.
Robin Forsythe – All of Forsythe’s work was reprinted by the Dean Street Press in January and within his detective stories he has a serial amateur sleuth, Algernon, an artist who escapes from his work by solving crimes. The quality of Forsythe’s work is a little varied but I would definitely recommend The Spirit Murder Mystery (1936), his final novel where Forsythe is writing, characterising and plotting at his best.
And Something a Little Bit Different (for me anyways):
Lenore Glen Offord – The Skeleton Key (1943) written by Offord was a deviation from my usual reading being a domestic suspense novel set in America during WW2. Offord is a great story teller and creates engaging characters. She uses her setting well, having a murder take place during an air raid warning, late at night on an enclosed street. Tension mounts as further acts of violence follow, which is heightened by the fact that the list of suspects is a closed one, confined to the residents of this one street.