Tuesday, 16 June 2009


I mentioned the latest issue of that terrific magazine CADS the other day and I’ve been dipping into it, as usual, with great pleasure. The range of articles is as wide as ever. Examples include an excellent piece by Dick Stewart on Little Dorrit, a book which I have to own up to never having read. There’s a history of the spy story, an examination of the crime novels of Macdonald Hastings by the indefatigable Philip Scowcroft, and an account of the first Dennis Wheatley Convention. I’m not really a fan of Wheatley, but his Murder Dossiers were a fascinating idea, and there is an article about them on my website.

A number of current crime novelists read and contribute to CADS. Among them is Harry Keating, who has written an entertaining piece about the return of Inspector Ghote, his most popular character, in A Small Case for Inspector Ghote? Marvin Lachman continues his features about mystery series characters who have made the transition from printed page to television, and includes a long list of recent genre-related obituaries. There’s an intriguing article by John Herrington called ‘The Case of the Novel that Never Was’, about a banned detective story of the 30s, and a range of short reviews by the phenomenally knowledgeable Bob Adey.

Bob Cornwell contributes an assessment of reviews of crime novels published in 2008, and does an extremely interesting Q&A with Len Deighton, but the emphasis of the magazine is on books and short stories of the past. There’s a continuation of Nick Kimber’s article about S.S. Van Dine and Philo Vance, while an academic with a great interest in crime fiction, B.J. Rahn, writes about ‘The Mystery of Ernest Bramah’.

Bramah, by the way, created the blind detective Max Carrados – but his first book was English Farming and Why I Turned It Up. Later, he published A Guide to the Varieties and Rarity of English Royal Copper Coins. Who says crime writers can’t be versatile?


vegetableduck said...

So is "Little Dorrit" a crime novel now? I just watched the excellent recent adaptation and Andy Serkis' character certainly was a criminal!

Martin Edwards said...

Hi Curt. It's interesting to consider which Victorian classics teeter into our genre. An expert on Elizabeth Gaskell once assured me that Mary Barton is a sort of early crime novel.