Bloggers and books, Part Two: crime fiction classics

August 2, 2014 at 12:17 am (books, Mystery fiction)

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Trent's Last Case 1487963

Death Walks In Eastrepps by Beeding, Francis Hull3

tragedy-at-law Crooked Hinge

Wednesday on his blog, author Martin Edwards posted his choice for the Ten Best novels of  the Golden Age of crime writing. This generated considerable buzz among the Usual Suspects. Mystery aficionados that we are, some of us had to admit that we’d not even heard of several books on the list, much read them. And when you start trying to hunt them down, as I did, you find,  precious few in print, at least here in the U.S. Even used copies are not exactly thick on the ground, and as far as finding them in e-book format – well, good luck with that.

I’ve had some little experience with a couple of these titles. The Suspects discussed Murder Must Advertise a while back; that is not the Sayers title I would choose. Trent’s Last Case I read years ago and enjoyed a great deal. That would make it onto my own list of Golden Age favorites. And what else would be on my list? Ah well, I might as well succumb to the temptation:

1. Death in a White Tie by Ngaio Marsh
2. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
3. Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers
4. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers
5. Dancers in Mourning by Margery Allingham
6. Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey
7. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey
8. Trent’s Last Case by E.C. Bentley
9. The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie (Miss Marple short stories)
10. The Labors of Hercules by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot in a series of linked stories)
11. The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie

Yes I know; it’s supposed to be the top ten, not the top eleven. And I have multiple entries for several authors, nearly all of them fairly well known. But you see, I am nowhere near as well read in Golden Age crime fiction as Martin Edwards is. I look forward to improving the situation.

Martin did an additional post on Agatha Christie. I understand why;  she really is in a class by herself. I didn’t do that here, but I would liked to have added The Body in the Library, A Caribbean Mystery, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and Five Little Pigs to my own list. ( As regards And Then There Were None, I’m a dissenter, for various reasons.)

Meanwhile, Martin’s selections and his pithy annotations have evoked in me that well known hunger. I’m supposed to be purchasing only e-books at present, but I sense that resolution faltering….


  1. kdwisni said,

    Allingham’s Tiger in the Smoke would be on my Top Ten. Actually, I adore all her books though they are mostly forgotten.

  2. starrmark said,

    Roberta, One of the things that hit me immediately was the lack of women in Martin’s list; I could relate to almost all of your list.
    Last week a dear friend greeted us with a housewarming gift of Chateau Marquis d’Alesme Margaux and reminded me of Lord Peter Wimsey’s admonition to Harriet in Have His Carcase that she must choose a gown in claret, yes an 18xx Margaux.
    The wine was incredible, perfect for a relaxed evening on our new patio among friends.
    And I have gone back to read Have His Carcase. How could I have gone so long without rereading Sayers? How could I have forgotten her exquisite way with words and humor?
    Although Have His Carcase was not on your list, I highly recommend curling up with Sayers and a nice bottle of Margaux.

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