The Revival of the Green Penguin: Some Bookish Hopes for the Future

A news item which has been discussed in The Bookseller today, and which has many classic crime fans a twittering (and maybe doing a little whoop of joy) is that Penguin Modern Classics:

‘will be reviving its crime and espionage series in summer 2023 with titles by the likes of John le Carré, Josephine Tey and Chester Himes, published with classic “bottle-green” jackets.The series, to be published in 10-book tranches, will be curated by author and Penguin Press publishing director Simon Winder after being initially discontinued in the 1980s. The publisher said the revival of Penguin Crime and Espionage “has seen Simon dig deep into the archives, reading hundreds of books to determine which of our existing titles should make the list, and which titles, previously not published by Penguin, should have been included years ago.”’

The first 10 titles to be released in this revived series are:

  • Call for the Dead by John le Carré
  • SS-GB by Len Deighton
  • Maigret and the Headless Corpse by Georges Simenon
  • In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B Hughes
  • Cotton Comes to Harlem by Chester Himes
  • The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey
  • Beast in the Shadows by Edogawa Rampo
  • Journey into Fear by Eric Ambler
  • The Drowning Pool by Ross Macdonald
  • The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb

There is not much on offer in this opening ten for those who enjoy Golden Age Detective fiction, (as most fans will have read the Tey already), but I am intrigued by the Rampo title, which was originally published in 1928. I have tried some of Rampo’s stories in the past, but I have not tried this one, so will definitely be looking out for it.

The Green Penguin icon which shows a green background and a black and white penguin looking at the reader, with their head tilted to one side. The penguin inside an oval shape.

Naturally, this got me wondering what books I would like to see reprinted next in the series, so I went online to the Penguin First Editions website, which lists the original Penguin crime titles. What follows are two lists. The first list is of books that I have already read from the original series, which I think should be brought back into print. One criterion I tried to stick to was not choosing books which are already easily available, having been reprinted elsewhere. Consequently, a mystery like John Dickson Carr’s Till Death Do Us Part (1944), does not feature in my list, as the British Library have reprinted this one. I think it is important that a new reprint series tries to add to the existing body of reprints, rather than repeating ones that already exist. I have made some exceptions though where the existing copy of a title is expensive or only in one format. The likes of Sayers, Marsh and Christie also don’t appear, as they are not authors who are really struggling for presence or availability! The second list is of books that I have not read, but I am curious to try. That is one of the joys of a good reprint series is that it offers you the opportunity to encounter new-to-you authors.

List No. 1: Books I have Read, Which I Think Should Be Included in the Revived Series

Book No. 1: The Piccadilly Murder (1929) by Anthony Berkeley

Regular readers of the blog will know that I raced through a lot of Berkeley’s books a few years ago and eventually created a ranked list. This book made it into my number one slot. Both the sneaky puzzle and the endearing Ambrose Chitterwick make this a great read.

Book No. 2: The Verdict of You All (1926) by Henry Wade

This is an under-sung mystery of the 1920s, as Wade provides a gripping police investigation and trial with plenty of good surprises and twists at the end. I think this book shows what a creative writer can do with what seem like your standard classic crime mystery tropes.

Book No. 3: The Second Shot (1930) by Anthony Berkeley

Yes, another Berkeley novel has made the list! Berkeley experimented with the form of the detective novel and some of his variations were better than others. I feel this is one of his better ones. There are plenty of twists, which Berkeley keeps in tight control, as well as lashings of dark and cynical humour. Fans of the epistolary novel will appreciate this one as the story is partly composed of a manuscript written by one of the characters, and of course you’re never entirely sure how much you can trust it. There were a couple of other Berkeley novels I considered adding to this list (Not to be Taken and Trial and Error) but I decided to be good and restrain myself!

Book No. 4: Case for Three Detectives (1936) by Leo Bruce

I am a fan of comic crime fiction, and this is a brilliant example of a mystery novel which also functions as a pastiche/parody of famous sleuths. This is my second favourite Sergeant Beef mystery (Cold Blood (1952) bagging the top spot) and if you have not tried this series then it is definitely worth remedying this deficiency, if for nothing else than experiencing the joy of the upended Watson/Holmes relationship of Sergeant Beef and Lionel Townsend, his chronicler.

Book No. 5: Don’t Monkey with Murder (1942) by Elizabeth Ferrars

Despite being a prolific author who wrote mysteries over five decades, Ferrars has unfortunately fallen off the mystery fiction radar, so to speak. I feel this is a great shame as her work has a lot to offer readers. Some of her later novels have been reprinted by Felony & Mayhem, but availability of her earlier works is patchy at best and mostly in Kindle format. So I think it would be great for this Ferrars book to make it into the new Penguin reprint series. This is from her first series concerning Toby Dyke and his assistant George, and the premise for this book is certainly intriguing. Throughout her career I think Ferrars was good at balancing engaging characterisation with quirky or unusual plots. Alongside this Ferrars title, at least two others were reprinted in the original Green Penguin series. Remove the Bodies (1940) was one of these two, which I have recently acquired but not read yet.

Book No. 6: The Judas Window (1938) by John Dickson Carr

Across at least three publishers, Carr has been making something of a come back in recent years, with American Mystery Classics, the British Library and Polygon all having brought some of his work back into print. This has enabled readers to get their hands on many of this writer’s best works, but one for me has been overlooked: The Judas Window. It has a wonderful courtroom trial, brilliant falls and peaks of tension, a puzzle which hooks you and characters which engage you. I hope Penguin come to the rescue of GAD fiction readers and bring out a new edition of this mystery.

Book No. 7: Trial by Fury (1941) by Craig Rice

Rice’s John J. Malone and Jake and Helene Justus comic crime series is a favourite of mine and I have been pleased to see that more of these books are making it back into print, as they are a lot of fun, yet the madcap adventures that the characters have are well handled by their creator, so that satisfying murder mystery puzzles and clues are interwoven into them. Currently this one is available reasonably priced as an eBook, but not in print, so it would be great to remedy that situation, as this is a series which is probably better to read in order.

Book No. 8: The Yellow Room (1945) by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Whilst The Bat (1926) is my favourite Rinehart novel to date, The Yellow Room was an enjoyable read I had early in my blogging days and it encouraged me to give Rinehart a further try, as I was previously not as keen to read a Had-I-But-Known (HIBK) mystery. I think The Yellow Room shows what this subgenre has to offer in terms of plotting, tension, and atmosphere, as well as nuanced characters.

Book No. 9: Blood Upon the Snow (1944) by Hilda Lawrence

Whilst easily available on Kindle, this – my favourite Lawrence read – is harder to come by in paperback format. It is a domestic suspense story with a male protagonist which I think produces an interesting variation on the typically heroine dominated HIBK subgenre, and I was impressed with Lawrence’s writing style from the get-go in terms of her wintry small town and country house setting, as well as with her characters. Miss Beulah Pond and Bess Petty are also a lot of fun!

Book No. 10: Keep It Quiet (1935) by Richard Hull

This book was reprinted in the last few years by Agora Books but has now fallen out of print and second-hand copies are becoming pricier once more. Hull experimented with the form of the mystery, taking things even further than Berkeley arguably and likewise his success was mixed.  However, Keep It Quiet is one of those successes in my opinion, coming at the murder mystery plot from a very interesting and engaging angle.

Book No. 11: With a Bare Bodkin (1946) by Cyril Hare

Hare is best known for his novel, Tragedy at Law (1942), but I have to say I prefer With a Bare Bodkin. The wartime setting really appeals to me as it made for a more interesting workplace set mystery. A metafictional element is brought in when one character decides to write a mystery novel and his fellow boarders decide to help him with suggestions. You just know that a real-life body is bound to turn up sooner or later!

Book No. 12: Post Mortem (1953) by Guy Cullingford

This is another creative mystery which was included in the original Green Penguin series and to date it is my favourite read by this author. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the plot I can’t say anything about it, so you’ll just have to trust me that it is good!

Book No. 13: Tour de Force by Christianna Brand

Brand, like Carr, has seen a revival of some of her work in recent times, with the British Library reprinting one of her mysteries later this year. However, Tour de Force– with its twists and turns, its attention to social and cultural details, as well as its brilliant holiday setting – has yet to make the cut and be brought back into print. Let’s change this!

Book No. 14: Alias Basil Willing (1951) by Helen McCloy

This was my first experience of McCloy’s work, and it was one which I very much enjoyed, encouraging me to explore more of her stories. I think she produces an interesting variation on the imposter themed mystery here and this book demonstrates her ability to deliver a powerful narrative hook in her writing.

Book No. 15: Mischief (1950) by Charlotte Armstrong

This is one of Armstrong’s most famous books, but only seems to be available on Kindle – although that said second-hand copies are not that hard to come by. Nevertheless, this is one of Armstrong’s best works (alongside The Unsuspected (1947) and The Chocolate Cobweb (1948) which American Mystery Classics have reprinted) and it deserves to be back in print, for all those readers who love an edge of your seat read. This is gripping with a capital G! It is a bit like seeing a boulder let loose over a hill side and unless it is diverted somehow it will wipe someone out – but will it be diverted, is there time? With Armstrong there is no safe assurance that there will be.

Book No. 16: The Wooden Overcoat (1951) by Pamela Branch

Branch only wrote four comic crime novels, but this is her best in my opinion. If you love mystery novels which turn traditional attitudes to right and wrong upside down and operate along more maverick lines, then this is definitely the book for you. So, like Patricia Highsmith but jollier! (Cue an avalanche of complaints from Highsmith fans!)

Book No. 17: The Case of the Four Friends (1956) by J. C. Masterman

In my opinion this is an underpraised novel and a mystery which deserves to be talked about and read more, as it ticks all the boxes when it comes to plotting and characterisation. Masterman presents us with one heck of a tantalising and intriguing case. Brendel relates the story of the case of the four friends, though friends in this question is rather a loose term, as within the quartet of characters, each person is both a potential victim and a potential murderer. As Brendel’s story unfolds we see how events have conspired against these four individuals, past indiscretions becoming fodder for blackmail, a blackmailer fearing discovery, a young man about town also fearing that his embezzlement of company funds will be found out and of course that old favourite romantic jealousy and rivalry. With all of these motives and tensions in place the four head off for their annual New Year holiday and through various circumstances Brendel uncovers enough going on to fear that the end of the Hotel Magnifico’s fancy dress ball will culminate in death. Who wouldn’t want to read about that?

Book No. 18: Shadow of a Lady (1957) by Holly Roth

Roth is an author I have been meaning to read more by, but this is my favourite story by her to date. I think she presents us with a satisfying body-in-a-trunk mystery, which includes understated comedy as well as intrigue.

Book No. 19: The Key to Nicholas Street (1953) by Stanley Ellin

Five narrators tell the story of the murder of Katherine Ballou; all of whom live next door to her and one of whom is her killer. Each narrator pushes the story along a step further, with the local police investigation taking place over a day, whilst also providing a different slant on the events mentioned by previous narrators. Suffice to say life will never be the same for these narrators by the time the killer is revealed… The device of multiple narrators is very well-handled in this piece and when reading this story, I definitely found it to be a page turner.

Book No. 20: Murder, Maestro Please (1952) by Delano Ames

Two of Ames’ books made it into the original Green Penguin series, the second being Corpse Diplomatique (1950) and of the pair I felt the later book was the better one, hence its inclusion in my list. Ames’ humour is on top form in Murder, Maestro Please and whilst the characters might feel like they are in a thriller, the surprises at the end are well clued for. If Penguin were going to add some new Ames titles to their ranks, I would recommend The Body on Page One (1951), Crime, Gentlemen Please (1954), For Old Crime’s Sake (1959) and Murder Begins at Home (1949). All these books to varying degrees are not cheap to get a hold of, with some of the titles being sold online at the moment for over £120!!

And now for my second list…

List No. 2: Books I am Curious to Read (and therefore need reprinting!!)

Book No. 1: Ten Minute Alibi (1934) by Anthony Armstrong and Herbert Shaw

This story started out as a play before being novelised and the premise centres on a man trying to recreate in real-life a perfect murder, he performed in a dream that includes a seemingly unbreakable alibi. It is up to Scotland Yard to see if they can find him out.

Book No. 2: The Dying Alderman (1930) by Henry Wade

This is a book that I have heard is a good one from this author and lacking a Kindle it is one which is not easy to come by at a reasonable price. This is a mystery with a partial dying message in.

Book No. 3: An Oxford Tragedy (1933) by J. C. Masterman

Having enjoyed my previous Masterman I would like to try this title by him, arguably the more well-know of the two. As the title suggests it is an academic set mystery.

Book No. 4: The Public School Murder (1932) by R. C. Woodthorpe

This is an author I have been aware of for a while but whose work has been hard to track to down to say the least. This is the best known of his books and was positively reviewed by Martin Edwards back in 2012, who also championed the idea of his work being reprinted.

Book No. 5: The General Goes Too Far (1936) by Lewis Robinson

I am fond of dabbling into the pool of inverted mysteries from time to time and the premise for this one appealed to me. You can find out more about the book at Tomcat’s blog: Beneath the Stains of Time.

Book No. 6: The Bamboo Blonde (1941) by Dorothy B. Hughes

It was the Mysterious Press blurb which sold me on this one:

‘Griselda Satterlee is beginning to regret her second marriage to Con. Their honeymoon was supposed to be joyous, romantic, and full of glamor—all of the things their first marriage wasn’t—but instead they are spending it on Long Beach, a Navy town whose fleets have all shipped out to sea. The tedium of Long Beach cannot compare to the insult Con gives Griselda one night, when he picks up a stunning blonde at a bar, leaving his wife in the dust. When he returns to their hotel, Con explains to Griselda that the woman was planning to shoot herself, so he took her out of the bar to confiscate her gun. Griselda is just beginning to believe him when the blonde turns up dead, and Con is arrested for her murder. Griselda will have to work quickly to salvage their honeymoon, or Con will be forced to trade their bridal suite for death row.’

It sounds like an edge of your seat read with the female lead unsure whether she can trust the man closest to her.

Book No. 7: Murder by Burial (1938) by Stanley Casson

This is not an author I have tried before, but the archaeological theme of the story attracted my attention, as this is a milieu which has been deployed well within the crime fiction genre. Currently, this is only cheaply available on Kindle. Paperback copies are pricier.

Book No. 10: The Hangman’s Guests (1931) by Stuart Martin

This was also included in the Harper Sealed Mystery series. This was a wildcard choice but again it was the blurb from the Biblio Website which made it sound intriguing and unusual:

‘Dartpark Prison on the night before a hanging. From the condemned man’s cell come the gay strains of a concertina, while near by the hangman and the chaplain are engaged in a word-duel as vital to each as the noose to the prisoner. The hangman traces the history of the Bloodstone — a huge diamond associated with death and terror — through his last five executions. He suspects the chaplain of some sinister connection with the diamond’s disappearance. The chaplain in turn suspects the hangman. One of them is guilty; which will make the first betraying gesture?’

Book No. 11: Murder on Leave (1946) by G. V. Galwey

This is a new-to-me author and there is not a lot of information about the story online, but I thought the wartime setting in Scotland sounded intriguing, with the mystery involving a murdered nurse and prisoners of war. If anyone has read it do let me know whether you thought it was any good.

Book No. 12: Reunion with Murder (1941) by Timothy Fuller

I am fond of a comic crime novel and the blurb from Goodreads to this one gives the impression that the plot might have some humorous veins within it:

‘Jupiter Jones of the fine arts department, Harvard, the amateur detective and central character in all timothy filler’s novels, is confronted with a murder case on the eve of his wedding day, the body of Sherman North is found on the Syonsett golf course the morning after a big college reunion party and the discovery reported to the detective by his best man. Jupiter reluctantly agrees to investigate by trailing the movements and carefully studying the motives of his suspects, he soon outdistances the police and finally leaves his wedding reception to present them with the solution.’

Book No. 13: The Nightwalkers (1947) by James Norman

The protagonist in this story wakes up in hospital only to learn that they are missing 6 years’ worth of memories and when this type of plot is done well, I find it to be a psychologically tense and interesting reading experience. Does anyone know if Norman achieves this? The setting in China also made this book sound intriguing.

Book No. 14: The Man with my Face (1948) by Samuel W. Taylor

This is another mystery with a premise which revolves around a person having to face a psychologically demanding experience, in which the basics of their life are questioned. The Goodreads blurb describes it thus:

‘Who Am I?
I walked in the front door of my house. Cora, my wife, looked up at me sharply. “Who are you?” she asked. “Are you jo …” I didn’t finish. A man sat opposite her and as he turned toward me I wanted to scream.
This Guy Was Me!
Chick Graham entered his comfortable suburban home one evening to find himself already sitting in his own front room! Everyone treated him as a dangerous impostor. And when even his dog rejected him, he began to question his sanity.’

It is these types of mystery stories which get you wondering how you would tackle being in such a situation yourself.

Book No. 15: The Sleeper (1955) by Holly Roth

Looking at the other Roth titles that Green Penguin originally reprinted, this was the new-to-me title which grabbed my attention the most. This was aided by the way one Goodreads user reviewed the story:

‘Ostensibly a Cold War spy story, but actually a parable about trust. A writer is asked to record the story of a man convicted of treason. The traitor kills himself, which seems unlikely given the man’s character, but the authorities come to believe that the suicide was a signal to the enemy: the writer and a woman acquaintance of the prisoner are soon burglarized – the enemy is looking for a message left by the traitor. A push-pull romance develops between the writer and the woman, but he cannot convince himself that the woman was not in cahoots with the traitor. She in turn, does not trust the motivations of the writer, believing him to be playing her along through the direction of US military intelligence.’

This suggests a story with taut psychological tension as two characters try to figure the other out, and hopefully before something irrevocably bad happens!

Book No. 16: The Sleeping Bride (1959) by Dorothy Eden

In keeping with other titles in this list, this story is one of psychological suspense and I am a firm believer that strong suspense novels do not forgo good plotting. Charlotte Armstrong is testament to that, as is Jean Potts and I am always on the hunt for new authors to add to that list. With that in mind, aspects of this book’s plot made me wonder if Eden is an author I need to check out. If so, Penguin Modern Classics can you pretty please include her in your forthcoming reprints?

Book No. 17: Exit Charlie (1955) by Alex Atkinson

With conflicting ratings on Goodreads, this is a wild card choice, but who can resist a theatre-set mystery?

Book No. 18: See You at the Morgue (1941) by Lawrence G. Blochman

This is an author I have been meaning to try for some time (and in fact do have one of his books in my TBR pile). From what I know of his work his writing does not fit into neat categories and I wonder whether that is why he has fallen off the radar, as the only person I know to discuss his work is Xavier whose blog is called: At The Villa Rose. Looking at the blurb for this particular story I am curious to see if his writing is similar to Jonathan Latimer’s, whose work I surprised myself by enjoying last year with Headed for a Hearse (1935).

Book No. 19: Red is for Killing (1941) by George Bagby

Bagby is an American writer who I only came across last year. I am unsure of his writing style but this blurb from the Country House Library website suggests that there may be more than a hint of Craig Rice in his work:

‘When Inspector Schmidt was called to the office of Tidings, the weekly news magazine, to investigate the death of a new editorial writer, he saw a corpse neatly arranged to give the impression of accidental death; he found a pair of bedroom slippers waiting to ease his aching feet, and he was surrounded immediately by a group of the craziest characters it had ever been his misfortune to meet. He referred to it always as the case of the screwballistics, whose solution was done with mirrors, but in between his introduction to the case and his solution, he did the cleverest sleuthing, and the fastest moving, of his interesting and murder-studded life.’

If so, then I wonder if he might be an author for me. When compiling this list, I was reminded that the aim is not to create a list of 20, 5 out of 5 reads – a task which would be pretty hard since I haven’t even read the books. Discovering new authors always involves an element of risk, you get some dud reads, but you also get some gems, and it is only through publishers reprinting a wide variety of mysteries that we can engage with this goal effectively.

Book No. 20: The Man in the Net by Patrick Quentin

For the final title for this list, I went for a writing duo who deserve to be wider known and more widely available. On the original Green Penguin edition cover this story is described as ‘drastic domestic mystery story verging on nightmare’, with the protagonist John Hamilton being viewed with much suspicion as the locals increasingly believe he is responsible for the murder of his wife.

To conclude this list there are three authors I wish to mention who are featured in the original Green Penguin series: Erle Stanley Gardner, G. D. H. and Margaret Cole and John Bingham. Whilst the Coles were included the fewest times, Gardner was a frequent author in the series, and I had read remarkably few of them. It was hard to one to put in the list, so instead I thought it would be interesting to see which Gardner from the original Green Penguin series, you think should get reprinted in the revived series. In addition, when it came to the Coles, they are a writing duo I wish to read more by as I am curious about them, but again I was unsure which was the best to start with. There were Green Penguin editions of The Murder at Crome House (1927) and Death of a Millionaire (1925). Are either of these showing the Coles at their best? Finally, with John Bingham, he is an author I am aware of, but I am unsure what his work is like and again was interested to see which Green Penguin edition of his books you think deserve a new edition.

Over to You

Well, those are my two lists, and I am sure that I have missed many authors and books that you love and included dozens which you don’t like at all, so do let me know which Green Penguin titles you think should be brought back in the comments section below.


  1. The appearance of more reprints is always great news!
    I’ll sound shallow for this, but I wonder what they’ll do with the covers? Perhaps something like the variants that included images, from the original line?

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha don’t worry I wondered the same thing. I think the covers for the first ten are available to see on line. Looking at the Rampo one it is not like the traditional 1930s ones. The shade of green reminds me of the William Haggard green penguins.


  2. Fascinating lists. Rampo is an great author, but I wish someone would translate DOGRA MAGRA by Kyusaku Yumeno, Murder at the House of Black Death by Mushitaro Oguri and An Offering to Emptiness by Hideo Nakai. They are called three greatest anti-mysteries in Japan. By the way The Public School Murder was written by R. C. WOODThorpe, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are quite right, the missing “wood” was a typo, which has now been corrected. Thank you for the further suggestions for Japanese mysteries. What do you mean exactly by ‘anti-mysteries’? Is that another term for an inverted mystery?


      • Hi. I don’t know who invented this word in Japan, but “anti-mystery” as I understand it means “a mystery with meta-fictional elements,” “a mystery that starts out as a mystery, but as the story goes, turns out to be something else,” “a mystery with some excessive element(s) which derails the story off the track of conventional mystery format.” Dogra Magra written in multiple styles describes a labyrinthine reality; Murder at the House of Black Death is a gothic novel so pedantically written that it gives you a sense of unreality; An Offering to Emptiness is also very pedantic and blurs the distinction between reality and fiction.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this. I always wondered if we would see green penguin re-prints so this is good news indeed. Vintage green penguins are rare, but occasionally I find ones in decent condition. I have had the best luck at Skoob Books in the Bloomsbury area whenever I get to London. Let’s hope that the re-prints continue past the first ten that you mention.

    I would add “The Emperor’s Snuff Box” as well as “The Reader is Warned” and “He Wouldn’t Kill Patience” by John Dickson Carr (and his Carter Dickson pseudonym). I have these three in vintage green penguin editions but would like to see them re-printed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was quite restrained with my Carr nominations. I wasn’t sure if The Emperor’s Snuffbox had been reprinted lately or not. If not, then I agree that it needs to be added to the list, as it is one of my favourite Carr novels.


  4. More reprints are always good news but, I did wonder why Penguin chose the Tey, Le Carre, Deighton & Ambler which they already have in print. The Tey just had a new edition last with an intro by Tana French, I think. I checked the list this morning (I’m a librarian) & ordered what we didn’t already have. I’ll look forward to future lists, hopefully including some of your choices!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wondered the same as many of the authors, as you say, are in print. It feels less valuable to print a new edition of the Tey, for example, as readers can already access the author’s work incredibly easily. But hopefully it will inspire other reprints to follow, and hopefully the titles will be more inspired.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I also was a bit disappointed by the inclusion of Tey since her books are so readily available and frequently re-released. John Dickson Carr’s The Problem of the Green Capsule/The Black Spectacles isn’t currently available on Kindle in America even though it’s one of his most renowned books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The British Library have reprinted The Black Spectacles, but just in paperback form I think. The Mysterious Press might pick up the title later in the year, or it is possible to get the UK via Blackwells. It is strange there is no Kindle version as it is usually the other way round.


  6. The truth about David Cornwell aka John le Carré seems to be that despite being a brilliant author and the undisputed emperor of the espionage fiction genre, he was an imperfect spy. He had more Achilles heels than he had toes and was caught out by Kim Philby.

    An interesting “news article” dated 31 October 2022 exists about some of his perceived shortcomings in this regard (pardon the unintentional quip). It’s entitled Pemberton’s People, Ungentlemanly Officers & Rogue Heroes and can be found on TheBurlingtonFiles website.

    While visiting the site do check out Beyond Enkription. It is an intriguing raw and noir fact-based spy thriller and it’s a must read for espionage cognoscenti but what would it have been like if David Cornwell had collaborated with Bill Fairclough? Even though they didn’t collaborate, Beyond Enkription is still described as ”up there with My Silent War by Kim Philby and No Other Choice by George Blake”. Not surprising really – Fairclough was never caught.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d have to add John Rhode’s “The Murders in Praed Street” and “Night Exercise (1942) (U.S. title Dead of the Night). Miles Burton’s Murder in Crown Passage (1937) (U.S. title The Man with the Tattooed Face) I’d probably like an Alice Tilton’s “The Cut Direct” and Phoebe Atwood Taylor’s ” The Mystery Of The Cape Cod Players”. G D H & M Cole’s “Knife in the Dark” would be fun as well. Of course in a dream come true situation Penguin could go back to the old days when sometimes, if memory serves they would publish ten titles by one author in one go.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes some more Alice Tilton titles would be good, as although I have them all now, it would be nice if they became more easily available so everyone else can enjoy them too! Which author would you want 10 books reprinted from in one go?


  8. This is great news and you put together two interesting lists of recommendations/suggestions.

    From the original series, I would like to see Anthony Berkeley’s Top Storey Murder, G.V. Galwey’s The Lift and the Drop and the Francis Bonnamy novels returning to print. But what really intrigues is the “previously not published by Penguin” part. I would love to have Green Penguin editions of Gardner Low’s Invitation to Kill, Ruth Darby’s Murder with Orange Blossoms, Marion K. Sanders & Mortimer S. Edelstein’s The Bride Laughed Once, Frederica de Laguna’s The Arrow Points to Murder, Victor Luhrs’ The Longbow Murder, Eunice Mays Boyd’s Doom in the Midnight Sun, A & P. Shaffer’s Withered Murder, Mignon G. Eberhart’s From This Dark Stairway, Newton Gayle’s The Sentry-Box Murder and Val Gieldgud’s Death at Broadcasting House.

    There you have my recommendations for one of those 10-book tranches previously not published by Penguin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes the previously not published part is certainly tantalising – I hope it won’t disappoint! Your suggestions are suitably obscure, but I have read one of them – Death at Broadcasting House. I was chuffed I managed to solve that one.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.