Lord Bygrave left the Ministry on Friday evening, with plans for a fortnight's holiday in the country. But the following morning he had seemingly vanished into thin air. Now Scotland Yard are struggling to find evidence of foul play in the absence of tangible clues. A national newspaper is offering a reward for information about the Minister's disappearance - whether Bygrave be dead or alive.
Anthony "Algernon" Vereker, Lord Bygrave's friend and executor, joins Scotland Yard in their investigation of the mystery. So begins the first of five ingenious and effervescent detective novels featuring Vereker, an amiable and eccentric artist with a razor-sharp mind. Missing or Murdered (1929), is republished here for the first time in over 70 years. It includes a new introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
Paul Ashby is excited to be heading off on holiday to the South of France. But on the day before departure he is entrusted with a strange mission - to find a missing young man. When he arrives in St. Antoine, he falls quickly in with the local artistic set, including alluring Adelaide Moon and Argentian playboy Hernandez de Najera. Also present is eccentric painter Benvenuto Brown who suspects de Najera of murder most foul, and a Scotland Yard detective looking for the 'slosher', a noted jewel thief. Are thief and killer one and the same, and what is the connection to the missing boy? Benvenuto and Paul will travel from exotic watering spots to the dangerous backstreets of Marseilles in their search for the solution to this clever and elegant whodunit.
The Crime Coast (also known as Strange Holiday) was originally published in 1931. This new edition features an introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
Lady Judith Carew acted furtively on the night of the Denboroughs' party. Her secret assignation at 9:30pm was a meeting to which she took a loaded revolver. The Abbey Court apartment building would play host to violent death that very night, under cover of darkness. The killer's identity remained a mystery, though Lady Carew had a most compelling motive - and her revolver was left in the dead man's flat...
Enter the tenacious Inspector Furnival in the first of his golden age mysteries, originally published in 1923. Though there are many clues, there are just as many red herrings and the case takes numerous Christie-esque twists before the murderer can be revealed. This new edition, the first printed in over 80 years, features an introduction from crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
On a fog-bound London night, a soirEe is taking place in the studio of artist Laurence Newtree. The guests include an eminent psychiatrist, a wealthy philanthropist and an observant young friend of Newtree's, John Christmas. Before the evening is over, Newtree's neighbour is found stabbed to death in what appears to be an impossible crime. But a mysterious man in a fez has been spotted in the fog asking for highly unlikely directions...
The resourceful John Christmas takes on the case, unofficially, leading to an ingenious solution no one could have expected, least of all Inspector Hembrow of Scotland Yard.
The Studio Crime is the first of Ianthe Jerrold's classic whodunit novels, originally published in 1929. Its impact led to her membership of the elite Detection Club, and its influence can be felt on later works by John Dickson Carr, Ngaio Marsh and Dorothy L. Sayers among others.
Betty Morrison, a lawyer's wife, is flung into the society of an ancient Edinburgh family, the Warrielaws. There's Neil the Rip, Cora the Siren, Rhoda the Business Woman, and Alison the little Beauty - not to mention the formidable, elderly Jessica and her meek sister Mary. The family all possess unusual gold-green eyes - and harbour a precious and historic jewel, a bauble under constant threat of theft. The alarmed Betty will become a crucial witness in a case that includes mysterious disappearances of gems and people, as well as wholesale murder.
The Warrielaw Jewel was originally published in 1933. This new edition features an introduction by crime fiction historian Martin Edwards.
In his London townhouse, city magnate Sir Christopher Clarke is found lying murdered. At the other end of the house his safe hangs open and rifled, and earlier in the day he had visited his solicitors in order to make a drastic change in his will. Later it is discovered that there has been fraud connected with the dead man, and this is but one of the many complications with which Superintendent Mitchell is faced. Fortunately he has the assistance of young Constable Owen, a talented young Oxford graduate who, finding all other careers closed to him by the 'economic blizzard' of the early thirties, has joined the London Police force.
Information Received is the first of E.R. Punshon's acclaimed Bobby Owen mysteries, first published in 1933 and the start of a series which eventually spanned thirty-five novels.
"What is distinction? The few who achieve it step - plot or no plot - unquestioned into the first rank... in the works of Mr. E.R. Punshon we salute it every time." Dorothy L. Sayers
Presteignton Hydro is a drably genteel spa resort, populated by the aged and crippled who relish every drop of scandal they observe or imagine concerning the younger guests. No one however expects to see gossip turn to murder as their juniors die one by one - no one, that is, except the killer. The crusty cast of characters make solving the case all the harder for Inspector Palk - until the enigmatic sleuth Mr. Winkley arrives to lend a hand.
Knock, Murderer, Knock! was Harriet Rutland's sparkling debut mystery novel, first published in 1938. This edition, the first in over seventy years, features a new introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
George Sanders is frankly bored.
Lionized the world over as the ultimate on-screen bounder, cad and ladies' man, he is in serious danger of becoming typecast as the particular kind of gentleman sleuth seen in his long-running film series The Saint and The Falcon. George would actually be quite happy at home, tinkering with his inventions, but if he must act he wants something he can sink his teeth into.
Now George's firecracker agent, Melva, has got him the part of a lifetime - the lead in a hot new western, starring alongside screen goddess Carla Folsom. But when shooting begins, someone takes the term a little too literally, and the dead body of an extra is found. That wasn't in the script - and neither was George's unwilling debut as real-life private detective, only this time he's also been cast as the police's number one suspect. Before you can shout 'action' the game is afoot and the victims start to mount up, with George remaining just one step ahead of the law until the final denouement.
Crime on My Hands, the debut George Sanders mystery, is a suspenseful and highly entertaining backstage crime novel, which perfectly captures the wit and charm of George Sanders, especially his quintessentially polished, sardonic dialogue. Anyone who loves All About Eve, or enjoys golden age crime fiction, will find Crime on My Hands irresistible.
For eight years Basil Thomson headed the famous C.I.D., New Scotland Yard. He knew the Yard inside out. Now in this tale of mystery and detection we are taken behind the scenes. We are shown the greatest detection machine in the world in motion, and see how the Yard tracked down its man.
Stand, then, with young P.C. Richardson on the misty corner of Baker Street, while the traffic of the city swings by, and fate lays at his feet the beginning of his career. Out of the fog brakes shriek, a big car jolts to a stop, and from beneath the wheels the crowd disentangles a bundle of old clothes, within which is a man quite dead; a man who had said to someone, "Very well, then; I'll call a policeman"--and was killed. Work with him to the ingenious solution, when he takes from his pocket the clue holding the fate of a human life.
Richardson's First Case was originally published in 1933. This new edition, the first in over seventy years, features an introduction by crime novelist Martin Edwards, author of acclaimed genre history The Golden Age of Murder.
A howling gale ... A lonely farmhouse ... the tread of a mysterious stranger ... and then the corpse of a beautiful blonde, seemingly stopped in the act of writing.
This is all a bit much for local bobby PC Gunnet, especially when it seems the dead - and aristocratic - woman shouldn't even have been there in the first place. But nonetheless the owner of the farm, John Leslie, is convicted, and his guilt looks certain. Certain, that is, until the eccentric Allen "Hatter" Fayre, an old India hand, begins to look more deeply into the case and discovers more than one rival suspect in this classic and satisfying puzzler.
The Draycott Murder Mystery, a whodunit hinging enigmatically on the evidence of a fountain pen, was first published in 1928. This new edition, the first for many decades, includes a new introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
Now that Marian has broken their engagement, Lindsay Trevor finds danger welcome, even though it means dyeing his hair red and impersonating his cousin Froth as Restow's secretary.
Who is this Restow, huge, good-natured - is he fabulously rich or desperately poor? Is he the mysterious Vulture, that master of deceit and manipulation? And there is Restow's wife, the big, tempestuous snake-charmer Gloria; Dalton, the lean, black, spider-like librarian, and Elsie Manning, Froth's friend, who is afraid - of what? When Marian comes back into his life most unexpectedly, Lindsay enters a desperate struggle against the Vulture, with Marian's life at stake.
Danger Calling was originally published in 1931, and was the second novel to feature the series character of Benbow Smith. This new edition features an introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
Ambrose Minstrel, the inventor, is undoubtedly eccentric. But even his oddities cannot account for the strange events at Meade House. Young Hugo Ross, Minstrel's new secretary, feels that all the dark happenings centre somehow on himself - cryptic remarks and veiled glances between Minstrel and his assistant, stealthy footsteps in the dead of night, the offer of a small fortune for the worthless field glasses. And then there is the unknown girl who had called from the dark, the rest of her statement swallowed by the night? But in spite of all his caution, Hugo Ross is drawn into a despicable plot involving government intrigue and espionage. With his own life on the line, how much is he willing to risk for his country?
Fool Errant was originally published in 1929, and introduced the eccentric, elderly series character of Benbow Smith. This new edition features an introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
Young Jeremy Ware is suspected of stealing important papers, and Colonel Garrett of the Secret Service (last seen in Danger Calling) consults Benbow Smith about it. Even Rosalind Denny, still grieving for her late husband, suspects Jeremy. But when the young man, trying to exonerate himself, meets a beautiful sleepwalker in a cellar, matters quickly progress to a case of murder...
Walk with Care was originally published in 1933, and was the third novel to feature the series character of Benbow Smith (not to mention his delightfully perspicacious parrot, Ananias). This new edition features an introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.