Five on Friday with Martin Edwards @medwardsbooks #FiveOnFriday

Today I’m delighted to feature crime author and editor Martin Edwards. I had heard of Martin long before I started reading his Lake District Mysteries. When I worked as a librarian, his mum used our library and was always very proud when he’d had a new book published. At the time I didn’t read crime novels, but maybe Mrs Edwards sowed the subliminal seeds. Needless to say, she had every reason to be proud and his career has gone from strength to strength.  I was lucky to meet him briefly at last year, but took my chance to invite him to join us when I met him again recently at the East Riding Festival of Words.

 

Martin 2017 1

 

About Martin

Martin Edwards’ latest novel, Gallows Court, has been nominated for both the 2019 eDunnit award for best crime novel and the CWA Historical Dagger. He was recently honoured with the CWA Dagger in the Library for his body of work and has received the Edgar, Agatha, H.R.F. Keating and Poirot awards, two Macavity awards, and the CWA Short Story Dagger. He is consultant to the British Library’s Crime Classics and President of the Detection Club. He has published eighteen novels including the Harry Devlin series and the Lake District Mysteries, nine non-fiction books, sixty short stories, and edited forty anthologies.

Over to Martin

 

Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?

 

I’m strongly tempted to pick 5 (or more!) by my favourite composer, Burt Bacharach, whose music has steered me through good times and occasionally not such good times since my teens and continues to delight me.

But I’ll settle for Walk on By (Dionne Warwick). Plus:

America (Paul Simon) because it captures the mood of my youth

All I Ask of You (Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford) because it was played at our wedding

Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) because it gave me the title of my first novel, All the Lonely People

You’re So Vain (Carly Simon) because it’s a witty lyric coupled with a great tune

 

Highlight 5 things (apart from family and friends) you’d find it hard to live without.

 

Crime fiction,

Chocolate,

Coffee,

Music,

Football

 

Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?

 

Don’t worry about stuff that doesn’t matter

Keep fit

Don’t be so shy

Learn how to play the piano

Travel to new places whenever you get the chance

 

Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you.

 

I wrote my first crime story aged ten

I used to write song lyrics when I was a student

I once saw the Beatles live (opening a carnival, not singing….)

I was interviewed on BBC Radio at age thirteen

I was once a lawyer acting for the Football Association

 

What are the first 5 things you’d have on your bucket list?

 

Many of the things that often seem to feature on other people’s bucket lists – snorkelling, ski-ing, skydiving, running a marathon, climbing Kilimanjaro and so on – have as much appeal for me as a trip to the dentist. Probably much less, given that my dentist is a very pleasant woman. Especially in recent years I’ve tried as much as possible to live for the moment, and I don’t believe in having regrets. So my bucket list would simply involve travel trips that I’ve not got round to yet:

A Nile cruise (shades of Agatha Christie)

Petra (ditto)

The Giant’s Causeway (so near, yet so far!)

Mount Rushmore

A cruise around Alaska

 

Thanks so much for sharing with us today Martin, it’s been great to discover more about you. I have to say I’m with you with the snorkelling, ski-ing etc. Bizarrely, as someone who set the questions, I also don’t have a bucket list but take my opportunities when I can (including pouncing on authors for this feature!).  I also love America by Paul Simon and was privileged to see him several years ago when he got very emotional singing this (Trump had just been elected). One of my biggest thrills on visiting New York was landing at Newark airport, resulting in a journey on the New Jersey turnpike! I really hope you get to complete your travel desires. I think the Nile cruise should be finished with a stay at the Old Winter Palace in Luxor which featured in the film Death on the Nile. 

 

Martin’s Books

Jacob Flint Series

 

Mortmain HallMortmain Hall (due April 2020)

“You died once… Tell me who arranged your resurrection, or before the day’s out, you’ll be dead and gone forever.”

1930. A chilling encounter on London’s Necropolis Railway leads to murder. At the Old Bailey, a man accused of a ‘blazing car’ killing escapes the gallows after a surprise witness gives sensational evidence. And journalist Jacob Flint finds himself framed for murder.

To save himself, Jacob needs to discover what links these strange events to a remote estate on a northern coast, Mortmain Hall.

At Mortmain Hall, an eccentric female criminologist hosts a gathering of people who have narrowly escaped the consequences of miscarriages of justice. But the house party culminates in tragedy when a body is found beneath the crumbling cliffs.

Is the death an accident or the result of an ingenious plot to get away with murder? An eclectic mix of suspects and victims includes a radical publisher risen from the grave, a fake medium with a sinister past, and a cricketer mauled to death by an escaped lion.

Jacob sets out to uncover the labyrinthine secrets of Mortmain Hall, alongside a woman whose relentless quest for the truth might just bring down the British establishment…

Who can we turn to, if justice betrays us?

 

 

Gallows CourtGallows Court

LONDON, 1930.

Sooty, sulphurous, and malign: no woman should be out on a night like this. A spate of violent deaths – the details too foul to print – has horrified the capital and the smog-bound streets are deserted. But Rachel Savernake is no ordinary woman. To Scotland Yard’s embarrassment, she solved the Chorus Girl Murder, and now she’s on the trail of another killer.

Jacob Flint, manning The Clarion‘s crime desk, is looking for the scoop that will make his name. He’s certain there is more to the Miss Savernake’s amateur sleuthing than meets the eye.

Flint’s pursuit of his story will mire him ever-deeper into a labyrinth of deception and corruption. Murder-by-murder, he is swept ever-closer to that ancient place of execution, where it all began and where it will finally end: Gallows Court.

 

Lake District Mysteries

 

The Coffin TrailThe Coffin Trail (Book 1)

You can never bury the past…

Oxford historian and TV personality Daniel Kind and his new lover, Miranda, both want to escape to a new life. On impulse they buy Tarn Cottage in Brackdale, an idyllic valley in the Lake District But though they hope to live the dream, the past has a way of catching up.

When DCI Hannah Scarlett launches a cold case review into an old crime, Brackdale’s skeletons start to rattle. Daniel and Hannah soon find themselves risking their lives as they search for a ruthless killer who is prepared to murder again to hide a shocking secret.

 

 

The Cipher GardenThe Cipher Garden (Book 2)

‘I thought you were dead…’

In the peaceful village of Old Sawrey, in the idyllic Lake District, Warren Howe is brutally slaughtered with his own scythe by a mysterious hooded figure. The police have several suspects, but there is insufficient evidence to make an arrest.

Years later an anonymous tip-off sparks the interest of DCI Hannah Scarlett, who heads the local Cold Case Review Team. With the help of historian Daniel Kind, Hannah digs deeper in the quest for truth and discovers that, in Old Sawrey, old sins cast long shadows. Following the killer’s trail, Hannah arrives at a shocking conclusion, one that will change lives forever.

 

 

The Arsenic LabyrinthThe Arsenic Labyrinth (Book 3)

‘You’d never believe it to look at me now, but once upon a time I killed a man’

Historian Daniel Kind is finding winter in the Lake District tough, especially as his relationship with Miranda seems to be on the rocks. Far from the bright lights of London, Miranda feels increasingly isolated, and Daniel fears that she will just up and leave. She wouldn’t be the first. Years ago, Emma Bestwick left her cottage and never came back, her disappearance never resolved, much to the chagrin of DCI Hannah Scarlett, head of the local Cold Case Review Team.

But recently there are been calls to the local newspaper dropping hints about Emma’s death. With the case reopened, Hannah and Daniel are thrown together again, and soon discover that someone is desperate to preserve the secrets of the past, whatever the cost.

 

 

The Serpent PoolThe Serpent Pool (Book 4)

They halted close to the water’s edge. This was their destination. This was the Serpent Pool. And here, six years ago, Bethany Friend’s body had been found.

The Lake District’s cold case specialist, DCI Hannah Scarlett, is determined to uncover the truth behind an apparent suicide in the Serpent Pool some years ago. Why would Bethany, so afraid of water, drown herself? Hannah fears that her partner, bookseller Marc Amos, is keeping dark secrets. Does he hold the key to Bethany’s past – and why was his best customer burnt to death in an Ullswater boathouse?

Hannah still carries a torch for Daniel Kind, who is researching Thomas De Quincey and the history of murder. Once Daniel and Hannah suspect connections between Bethany’s drowning and a current sequence of killings, death comes dangerously close to home.

 

 

The Hanging WoodThe Hanging Wood (Book 5)

When Orla Payne was seven years old, her brother Callum mysteriously vanished. Shrouded in complicated family matters, namely their parents’ divorce and the suicide of their uncle, there were no clear leads about his disappearance. The case was eventually dismissed, as the police concluded their uncle killed himself out of guilt over murdering Callum, despite the fact that the boy’s body was never found.

Twenty years later, Orla is still haunted by the tragedy and remains convinced of her uncle’s innocence. Through working at the residential library, a position she took in order to be near the Hanging Wood where the terrible events took place, Orla gets to know historian Daniel Kind. It is he who recommends she contact DCI Hannah Scarlett, head of the local Cold Case Review Team, to see if she’ll be able to help in finding out the truth.

But Orla’s drunken, incoherent phone call leaves Hannah confused and she’s left doubting if there is anything to be done on such a long-dead case. But when Orla is found dead, she reconsiders, partly out of sense of duty and partly out of guilt, and discovers that investigating the past can throw up some very dangerous truths indeed.

 

 

The Frozen ShroudThe Frozen Shroud (Book 6)

The question that haunts us all. Just what is it that drives someone to kill?’

In Ravenbank, a remote community in the Lake District, Hallowe’en is particularly chilling. It is a time for telling the story of the Faceless Woman, a young housemaid brutally murdered in a nearby lane, her corpse discovered with a makeshift shroud frozen to her battered face. And five years ago, the tale became even more unsettling when another woman was murdered in exactly the same grisly manner.

Daniel Kind, a specialist in the history of murder, becomes fascinated by the old cases, and begins to wonder whether the obvious suspects really did commit the crimes. While Daniel attends a Hallowe’en party in Ravenbank, death returns for a third time to the beautiful but eerily isolated spot. Once more, the victim is a woman – and once more her damaged face is shrouded from view.

The latest horrifying murder presents DCI Hannah Scarlett, head of the Cold Case Review Team, with the toughest challenge of her career. Is the case linked to the two earlier killings – and if so, how? Hannah and Daniel join forces in an attempt to solve the puzzling mystery. But in doing so, both may be forced to confront ghosts from their own pasts . . .

 

 

The Dungeon HouseThe Dungeon House (Book 7)

Hannah Scarlett’s cold case team are looking into the three-year-old mystery of the disappearance of Lily Elstone. Their investigation coincides with the disappearance of another teenage girl, Shona Whiteley, whose father Nigel lives in the Dungeon House, despite its tragic history – twenty years earlier, his uncle Malcolm Whiteley shot his wife and apparently killed his daughter before shooting himself. But as Hannah’s team dig down into the past, doubts arise about what exactly happened at the Dungeon House twenty years ago…

 

Harry Devlin Series 

 

All the Lonely PeopleAll the Lonely People (Book 1)

All the Lonely People was the curtain-raiser to a successful eight-book series featuring Liverpool solicitor Harry Devlin and was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger. Devlin finds himself number one suspect in a murder case that is far too close to home. The victim is his estranged wife, Liz, who is found murdered in a dingy alleyway. Determined to find her killer and prove his innocence, Harry begins a journey that takes him into the city’s underworld and shatters forever his illusions about the woman he loved. Now beautifully presented in eBook format, avid readers of crime will love reading this gripping, well-written thriller.

 

 

Suspicious MindsSuspicious Minds (Book 2)

Harry Devlin is in trouble. The wife of his best client, Jack Stirrup, has vanished and the police suspect foul play. Stirrup claims she’s still alive, but Harry wonders if he has something to hide. When Stirrup’s daughter and her boyfriend go missing, Harry finds himself hunting a brutal murderer…

 

 

 

 

I Remember YouI Remember You (Book 3)

When Liverpool solicitor Harry Devlin watches fire destroy the studio of his client, tattooist Finbar Rogan, he suspects it is no accident. And when a bomb is planted under Finbar’s car, Harry is left in no doubt. Someone hates Finbar enough to want him dead. Meanwhile, another client is provoking Devlin’s curiosity. Why should Rosemary Graham-Brown and her husband suddenly be so anxious to leave their luxurious home and emigrate to Spain? After a brutal murder occurs, the two puzzles become interlinked. Piecing the clues together, Harry finally comes face to face with the shocking truth at a fatal confrontation on a foggy Hallowe’en.

 

 

Yesterday's PapersYesterday’s Papers (Book 4)

On Leap Year Day in 1964, an attractive teenager called Carole Jeffries was strangled in a Liverpool park. The killing caused a sensation: Carole came from a prominent political family and her pop musician boyfriend was a leading exponent of the Mersey Sound. When a neighbour confessed to the crime, the case was closed. Now, more than thirty years later, Ernest Miller, an amateur criminologist, seeks to persuade lawyer Harry Devlin that the true culprit escaped scot free. Although he suspects Miller’s motives, Harry has a thirst for justice and begins to delve into the past. But when another death occurs, it becomes clear that someone wants old secrets to remain buried – at any price…

 

 

Eve of DestructionEve of Destruction (Book 5)

When Liverpool solicitor and detective Harry Devlin takes on a client who has been taping his wife’s telephone conversations with her lover, he gets more than he bargained for. The first mystery is the identity of Becky’s boyfriend, whose voice Harry finds oddly familiar. Then, as a case of adultery slides frighteningly into conspiracy to murder, a trespasser makes a shocking discovery: three dead bodies in a converted church. Who are they? Who has killed them, and why? Trapped in a maze where neither victims nor apparent culprit are who they seem to be, Harry must go into the dark places of the human heart to find the answers.

 

 

The Devil in DisguiseThe Devil in Disguise (Book 6)

Harry Devlin is hired by the Kavanaugh Trust to contest the will of their late patron. Charles Kavanaugh has left everything to his new housekeeper, Vera Blackhurst. Then the current Chairman of the Trust is found dead, fallen from a third-floor hotel window. Did he jump or was he pushed?

 

 

First Cut is the DeepestFirst Cut is the Deepest (Book 7)

Harry Devlin is playing a dangerous game when he gets involved with the wife of Liverpool’s most ruthless villain. But he has another reason to look over his shoulder after two lawyers are brutally killed and Harry discovers he is being stalked by a stranger with a secret obsession…

 

 

Waterloo SunsetWaterloo Sunset (Book 8)

IN MEMORY

Harry Devlin

Died Suddenly

Liverpool

Midsummer’s Eve

No one expects to read their own obituary.Liverpool lawyer Harry Devlin never knew five short lines could be so menacing – someone wants him dead and he’s only got seven days to find the killer.

When the mutilated corpse of a young woman washes up on Waterloo Beach, Harry wonders if the premature notice of his demise and the discovery of a dead girl might be connected. Now he’s only got six days…

 

Standalone

 

Take My Breath AwayTake My Breath Away

Lawyer-turned-writer Nic Gabriel is stunned when womanising Dylan Rees, his host at a champagne reception at the Houses of Parliament, is knifed by an ex-girlfriend and bleeds to death in front of him. It’s not just the horrific murder, but the fact that the ex, Ella, had apparently committed suicide over five years ago. Before the party Dylan had made cryptic mention of strange and sudden deaths and now, with his friend’s death, Nic is determined to discover his meaning. His research takes him to Creed, the country’s leading human rights law firm, where Nic meets Roxanne, a young lawyer starting out in her dream job with a secret to hide…

 

Non Fiction

 

The Golden Age of MurderThe Golden Age of Murder

Winner of the 2016 EDGAR, AGATHA, MACAVITY and H.R.F.KEATING crime writing awards, this real-life detective story investigates how Agatha Christie and colleagues in a mysterious literary club transformed crime fiction.

Detective stories of the Twenties and Thirties have long been stereotyped as cosily conventional. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Golden Age of Murder tells for the first time the extraordinary story of British detective fiction between the two World Wars. A gripping real-life detective story, it investigates how Dorothy L. Sayers, Anthony Berkeley, Agatha Christie and their colleagues in the mysterious Detection Club transformed crime fiction. Their work cast new light on unsolved murders whilst hiding clues to their authors’ darkest secrets, and their complex and sometimes bizarre private lives.

Crime novelist and current Detection Club President Martin Edwards rewrites the history of crime fiction with unique authority, transforming our understanding of detective stories, and the brilliant but tormented men and women who wrote them.

 

British Libraries Anthologies edited by Martin Edwards

 

 

The Christmas Card CrimeThe Christmas card Crime and Other Stories

A Christmas party is punctuated by a gunshot under a policeman’s watchful eye. A jewel heist is planned amidst the glitz and glamour of Oxford Street’s Christmas shopping. Lost in a snowstorm, a man finds a motive for murder.

This collection of mysteries explores the darker side of the festive season – from unexplained disturbances in the fresh snow, to the darkness that lurks beneath the sparkling decorations.

With neglected stories by John Bude and E.C.R. Lorac, as well as tales by little-known writers of crime fiction, Martin Edwards blends the cosy atmosphere of the fireside story with a chill to match the temperature outside. This is a gripping seasonal collection sure to delight mystery fans.

 

 

The Measure of MaliceThe Measure of Malice : Scientific Detection Stories

Forensic dentistry; precise examination of ballistics; an expertise in apiology to identify the exact bee which killed the victim?
The detective’s role may be simple; solve the case and catch the culprit, but when the crime is fiendishly well-executed the application of the scientific method may be the only answer.
The detectives in this collection are masters of scientific deduction, employing principles of chemistry, the latest technological innovations and an irresistible logical brilliance in their pursuit of justice. With stories by early masters in the field such as Arthur Conan Doyle and L. T. Meade alongside fine-tuned mysteries from the likes of Edmund Crispin and Dorothy L. Sayers, The Measure of Malice collects tales of rational thinking to prove the power of the brain over villainous deeds.

 

 

Silent NightsSilent Nights : Christmas Mysteries

Christmas is a mysterious, as well as magical, time of year. Strange things can happen, and this helps to explain the hallowed tradition of telling ghost stories around the fireside as the year draws to a close. Christmas tales of crime and detection have a similar appeal. When television becomes tiresome, and party games pall, the prospect of curling up in the warm with a good mystery is enticing – and much better for the digestion than yet another helping of plum pudding.

Crime writers are just as susceptible as readers to the countless attractions of Christmas. Over the years, many distinguished practitioners of the genre have given one or more of their stories a Yuletide setting. The most memorable Christmas mysteries blend a lively storyline with an atmospheric evocation of the season. Getting the mixture right is much harder than it looks.

This book introduces of readers to some of the finest Christmas detective stories of the past. Martin Edwards’ selection blends festive pieces from much-loved authors with one or two stories which are likely to be unfamiliar even to diehard mystery fans. The result is a collection of crime fiction to savour, whatever the season.

 

 

Deep WatersDeep Waters : Mysteries on the Waves

From picturesque canals and quiet lakes to the swirling currents of the ocean, a world of secrets lies beneath the surface of the water.

The stories in this collection will dredge up delight in crime fiction fans, as watery graves claim unsuspecting victims on the sands of an estuary and disembodied whispers penetrate the sleeping quarters of a ship’s captain. How might a thief plot their escape from a floating crime scene? And what is to follow when murder victims, lost to the ocean floor, inevitably resurface?
This British Library anthology collects the best mysteries set on choppy seas, along snaking rivers and even in the supposed safety of a swimming pool, including stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, C. S. Forester, Phyllis Bentley and R. Austin Freeman.

 

 

Blood on the TracksBlood on the Tracks : Railway Mysteries

“Never had I been given a tougher problem to solve, and never had I been so utterly at my wits’ end for a solution.”

A signalman is found dead by a railway tunnel. A man identifies his wife as a victim of murder on the underground. Two passengers mysteriously disappear between stations, leaving behind a dead body.

Trains have been a favourite setting of many crime writers, providing the mobile equivalent of the “locked-room” scenario. Their enclosed carriages with a limited number of suspects lend themselves to seemingly impossible crimes. In an era of cancellations and delays, alibis reliant upon a timely train service no longer ring true, yet the railway detective has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the twenty-first century.

Both train buffs and crime fans will delight in this selection of fifteen railway-themed mysteries, featuring some of the most popular authors of their day alongside less familiar names. This is a collection to beguile even the most wearisome commute.

 

 

Crimson SnowCrimson Snow : Winter Mysteries

Crimson Snow brings together a dozen vintage crime stories set in winter. Welcome to a world of Father Christmases behaving oddly, a famous fictional detective in a Yuletide drama, mysterious tracks in the snow—-, and some very unpleasant carol singers. The mysterious events chronicled by a distinguished array of contributors in this volume frequently take place at Christmas. There’s no denying that the supposed season of goodwill is a time of year that lends itself to detective fiction. On a cold night, it’s tempting to curl up by the fireside with a good mystery. And more than that, claustrophobic house parties, when people may be cooped up with long-estranged relatives, can provide plenty of motives for murder.Including forgotten stories by great writers such as Margery Allingham, as well as classic tales by less familiar crime novelists, each story in this selection is introduced by the great expert on classic crime, Martin Edwards. The resulting volume is an entertaining and atmospheric compendium of wintry delights.

 

 

Continental CrimesContinental Crimes

A man is forbidden to uncover the secret of the tower in a fairy-tale castle by the Rhine. A headless corpse is found in a secret garden in Paris – belonging to the city’s chief of police. And a drowned man is fished from the sea off the Italian Riviera, leaving the carabinieri to wonder why his socialite friends at the Villa Almirante are so unconcerned by his death. These are three of the scenarios in this new collection of vintage crime stories compiled by Martin Edwards. Detective stories from the golden age and beyond have used European settings – cosmopolitan cities, rural idylls and crumbling chateaux – to explore timeless themes of revenge, deception and haunting. Including lesser-known stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, and J. Jefferson Farjeon – and over a dozen other classic writers – this collection reveals many hidden gems of British crime.

 

 

Murder at the ManorMurder at the Manor : Country House Mysteries

The English country house is an iconic setting for some of the greatest British crime fiction. Short stories are an important part of this tradition, and writers from Agatha Christie to Margery Allingham became famous for the intricate cases which their detectives unravelled in rambling country houses. These stories continue to enjoy wide appeal, driven partly by nostalgia for a vanished way of life, and partly by the pleasure of trying to solve a fiendish puzzle.

This new collection gathers together stories written over a span of about 65 years, during which British society, and life in country houses, was transformed out of all recognition. It includes fascinating and unfamiliar twists on the classic ‘closed circle’ plot, in which the assorted guests at a country house party become suspects when a crime is committed. In the more sinister tales featured here, a gloomy mansion set in lonely ground offers an eerie backdrop for dark deeds, as in Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Copper Beeches’ and W.W Jacobs’s ‘The Well’.

Many distinguished writers are represented in this collection, including such great names of the genre as Anthony Berkeley. Nicholas Black and G.K. Chesterton.

 

 

Miraculous MysteriesMiraculous Mysteries

Locked-room mysteries and other impossible crime stories have been relished by puzzle-lovers ever since the invention of detective fiction. Fiendishly intricate cases were particularly well suited to the cerebral type of detective story that became so popular during the ‘golden age of murder’ between the two world wars. But the tradition goes back to the days of Wilkie Collins, and impossible crime stories have been written by such luminaries as Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham. This anthology celebrates their work, alongside long-hidden gems by less familiar writers. Together these stories demonstrate the range and high accomplishment of the classic British impossible crime story over more than half a century.

 

 

The Long Arm of the LawThe Long Arm of the Law : Classic Police Stories

In classic British crime fiction, dazzling detective work is often the province of a brilliant amateur – whereas the humble police detective cuts a hapless figure. The twelve stories collected here strike a blow for the professionals, with teasing mysteries to challenge hard-working police officers’ persistence and scrupulous attention to detail. As in his previous anthologies for the British Library Crime Classics series, Martin Edwards introduces readers to fascinating neglected gems of British crime writing as well as uncovering lesser-known stories by the great novelists of the golden age.

 

 

Resorting to MurderResorting to Murder : Holiday Mysteries

Holidays offer us the luxury of getting away from it all. So, in a different way, do detective stories. This collection of vintage mysteries combines both those pleasures. From a golf course at the English seaside to a pension in Paris, and from a Swiss mountain resort to the cliffs of Normandy, this new selection shows the enjoyable and unexpected ways in which crime writers have used summer holidays as a theme.

These 14 stories range widely across the golden age of British crime fiction. Stellar names from the past are well represented – Arthur Conan Doyle and G. K. Chesterton, for instance – with classic stories that have won acclaim over the decades. The collection also uncovers a wide range of hidden gems: Anthony Berkeley – whose brilliance with plot had even Agatha Christie in raptures – is represented by a story so (undeservedly) obscure that even the British Library seems not to own a copy. The stories by Phyllis Bentley and Helen Simpson are almost equally rare, despite the success which both writers achieved, while those by H. C. Bailey, Leo Bruce and the little-known Gerald Findler have seldom been reprinted.

 

 

Serpents in EdenSerpents in Eden : Countryside Crimes

Many of the greatest British crime writers have explored the possibilities of crime in the countryside in lively and ingenious short stories. Serpents in Eden celebrates the rural British mystery by bringing together an eclectic mix of crime stories written over half a century. From a tale poison-pen letters tearing apart a village community to a macabre mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle, the stories collected here reveal the dark truths hidden in an assortment of rural paradises. Among the writers included here are such major figures as G.K.Chesterton and Margery Allingham, along with a host of lesser-known discoveries whose best stories are among the unsung riches of the golden age of British crime fiction between the two world wars.

 

 

Foreign BodiesForeign Bodies

Today, translated crime fiction is in vogue – but this was not always the case. A century before Scandi noir, writers across Europe and beyond were publishing detective stories of high quality. Often these did not appear in English and they have been known only by a small number of experts. This is the first ever collection of classic crime in translation from the golden age of the genre in the 20th century. Many of these stories are exceptionally rare, and several have been translated for the first time to appear in this volume. Martin Edwards has selected gems of classic crime from Denmark to Japan and many points in between. Fascinating stories give an insight into the cosmopolitan cultures (and crime-writing traditions) of diverse places including Mexico, France, Russia, Germany and the Netherlands.

 

 

Capital CrimesCapital Crimes : London Mysteries

With its fascinating mix of people – rich and poor, British and foreign, worthy and suspicious – London is a city where anything can happen. The possibilities for criminals and for the crime writer are endless. London has been home to many of fiction’s finest detectives, and the setting for mystery novels and short stories of the highest quality.

Capital Crimes is an eclectic collection of London-based crime stories, blending the familiar with the unexpected in a way that reflects the personality of the city. Alongside classics by Margery Allingham, Anthony Berkeley and Thomas Burke are excellent and unusual stories by authors who are far less well known. The stories give a flavour of how writers have tackled crime in London over the span of more than half a century. Their contributions range from an early serial-killer thriller set on the London Underground and horrific vignettes to cerebral whodunits. What they have in common is an atmospheric London setting, and enduring value as entertainment.

 

 

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 BooksThe Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books.

The main aim of detective stories is to entertain, but the best cast a light on human behaviour, and display both literary ambition and accomplishment. Even unpretentious detective stories, written for unashamedly commercial reasons, can give us clues to the past, and give us insight into a long-vanished world that, for all its imperfections, continues to fascinate. This book, written by award-winning crime writer and president of the Detection Club, Martin Edwards, serves as a companion to the British Library’s internationally acclaimed series of Crime Classics. Long-forgotten stories republished in the series have won a devoted new readership, with several titles entering the bestseller charts and sales outstripping those of highly acclaimed contemporary thrillers.

 

Keep in touch with Martin via:-

His website

Twitter

 

 

 

13 comments

  1. Martin’s introductions to the British Library crime series books are excellent.
    He wrote his first crime novel when he was 10 – wow that is impressive. I was too busy sliding down mountains and making bullrush whips to sit down for any length of time ….

    Liked by 1 person

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