Challenge to the Reader: Crime Writers and Their Other Jobs – The Answers!

So earlier this week I set the task of guessing what other jobs certain crime writers might have had before or during their writing career. Here are the answers below, though I feel some might come as a surprise (well they did for me anyways):

Anthony Berkeley – Journalist

Milward Kennedy – Worked for the Egyptian government

Dorothy L. Sayers – Advertising agency copywriter

Agatha Christie – Pharmacy Dispenser

Freeman Wills Crofts– Engineer

Gladys Mitchell – Teacher

John Bude – Stage Manager

Rupert Penny – Crossword expert

Max Afford – Playwright

Michael Innes – Lecturer

Edgar Wallace – Ship’s cook

John Rhode – Propagandist for MI7

G D H Cole – Economist

Todd Downing – Tour guide

Philip Macdonald – Horse trainer for the army

Ngaio Marsh – Ran an interior decorating business

Helen McCloy – Art Critic

Stuart Palmer – Apple Picker

Rex Stout – Yeoman on Roosevelt’s Presidential Yacht

Henry Wade – High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire

Mary Roberts Rhinehart – WW1 War Correspondent.

Edmund Crispin – Composer

So how well did you do? Any big surprises?


  1. I didn’t attempt this particular quiz, but I was suitably amused by Stuart Palmer’s occupation. 😀 Dorothy Sayers’s, Edmund Crispin’s and Anthony Berkeley’s career backgrounds can explain some of the flourishes and wit in their writing. Penny’s involvement in constructing crosswords and Crofts’s involvement in engineering projects probably account for the intricacy of their puzzles! MacDonald’s job sounds like a job a bloke would do – which might explain all the gender issues you raised in your reviews of his novels…

    Liked by 1 person

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