Mis Comentarios de Libros: Antología policíaca, 2015 de Rafael Bernal

This post is bilingual, scroll down to access the English language version

Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2015. Formato: Versión Kindle. Tamaño: 857 KB. Páginas: 299. ASIN : B015RR31HE. ISBN: 978-607-16-3175-6 (mobi). Prólogo de Martín Solares.

9786071629661_BERNAL_ANTOLOGÍA POLICIACA.inddDescripción: Antología policíaca se desenvuelve entre enigmas, asesinatos y personajes cuyos hábitos concuerdan con los perfiles exactos de un sospechoso. Con acercamientos a la corriente inglesa representada por Chesterton y Agatha Christie la obra policíaca de Rafael Bernal está repleta de suspenso, ironía y un humor inteligente que, juntos, aportan un ritmo constante. Este libro reúne lo mejor de la producción del llamado “género negro” del escritor mexicano: “El extraño caso de Aloysius Hands”, “De muerte natural”, “El heroico don Serafín” (1946) y “Un muerto en la tumba” (1946), “La muerte poética” (1947), “La muerte madrugadora” (1948) y “La declaración” (1967).

Del prólogo: En este libro el lector encontrará las pistas necesarias para investigar el origen de ese misterio fascinante que constituye la obra de Rafael Bernal: un escritor capaz de crear narraciones policiacas impecables y uno de los pocos que consiguieron crear una forma literaria absolutamente original y con ello renovar la literatura mexicana. A casi cincuenta años de su muerte, la influencia de su obra sigue creciendo a un ritmo viral entre sus miles de lectores. También, por fin, comienza a ser traducido a otros idiomas y recupera el lugar que merece. Que el Fondo de Cultura Económica recupere en un solo volumen sus primeros relatos policiacos, por lo general imposibles de localizar, es digno de celebrarse, …. (Martín Solares)

Mi opinión: Rafael Bernal y García Pimentel fue un dramaturgo, novelista, poeta, historiador, guionista y diplomático mexicano. Nacido en la Ciudad de México, el 28 de junio de 1915, murió en Berna, Suiza, el 17 de septiembre de 1972. Completó el bachillerato en el Loyola College de Montreal, Canadá. En la Ciudad de México, estudió en el Colegio Francés de San Borja y en el Instituto de Ciencias y Letras. Fue un viajero incansable: de 1930 a 1938 realizó una gira por los Estados Unidos, Europa y Canadá; de 1956 a 1960, visitó Centroamérica, Colombia, Venezuela y Cuba; a partir de 1961 continuó su viaje en misiones diplomáticas; así conoció Perú, Filipinas, algunos países del este y Suiza. Durante muchos años se dedicó al periodismo en radio y televisión, medios en los que fue pionero. Colaboró ​​en las páginas informativas y editoriales de Novedades, Excelsior, La Prensa Gráfica, Orden, Revista de América, Comment, Unitas de Filipinas, entre otras. En el cine hizo algunas adaptaciones y fue productor. Su novela El complot mongol (Joaquín Mortiz, 1969), mis comentarios están aquí, fue llevada al cine y está considerada por muchos la novela fundacional del género negro en México. En el centenario de su nacimiento, la editorial mexicana Fondo de Cultura Económica recogió en esta antología sus primeras y únicas incursiones en la novela policíaca clásica. Son relatos breves de desigual extensión: “El extraño caso de Aloysius Hands”, “De muerte natural” y “El heroico don Serafín” publicados con anterioridad en 3 novelas policiacas (Editorial Jus, 1946); “Un muerto en la tumba” (Editorial Jus, 1946); “La muerte poética” y “La muerte madrugadora” cuentos publicados por la revista Selecciones Policiacas y de Misterio en sus números 5 y 15, de 1947 y 1948, respectivamente; y “La declaración” (1967). Hasta la fecha, casi todos ellos eran imposibles de localizar en otro lugar.

El personaje de Teódulo Batanes, antropólogo de profesión, aparece en “De muerte natural”; “Un muerto en la tumba”; “La muerte poética”; y “La muerte madrugadora”, y está inspirado en la imagen del padre Brown, con profundas raíces mexicanas. En mi opinión, estos cuentos son principalmente bocetos en los que el escritor está aprendiendo su oficio, aunque esto no les resta mérito. Los encontré muy entretenidos y, sin dudarlo, mi favorito es “La declaración”. Muy recomendable.

Fondo de Cultura Económica página de publicidad

Rafael Bernal

Antología Policíaca by Rafael Bernal

Description: Antología policíaca (Police anthology) unfolds between enigmas, murders and characters whose habits match the exact profile of a suspect. With approaches to the English current represented by Chesterton and Agatha Christie, Rafael Bernal’s detective work is full of suspense, irony and an intelligent humour that, together, provide a constant rhythm. This book brings together the best of the production of the so-called “detective fiction” of the Mexican writer: “The Strange Case of Aloysius Hands”, “Natural Death”, “The Heroic Don Serafín” (1946) and “A Dead Man in the Grave” (1946), “Poetic Death” (1947), “Early Morning Death” (1948) and “The Statement” (1967).

From the Prologue: The reader will find in this book the necessary clues to investigate the origin of that fascinating mystery which is the work of Rafael Bernal: a writer capable of creating impeccable police narratives and one of the few who managed to create an absolutely original and thereby renewing Mexican literature. Almost fifty years after his death, the influence of his work continues to grow at fast pace among his thousands of readers. Here to, at last, it begins to be translated into other languages regaining the place it deserves. It is worth celebrating that Fondo de Cultura Económico recovers in a single volume his first detective stories, usually impossible to find …. (Martín Solares)

My view: Rafael Bernal y García Pimentel was a Mexican playwright, novelist, poet, historian, screenwriter, and diplomat. Born in Mexico City, on 28 June 1915, he died in Bern, Switzerland, on 17 September 1972. He completed his high school studies at Loyola College in Montreal, Canada. In Mexico City, he studied at Colegio Francés de San Borja and the Instituto de Ciencias y Letras. He was a tireless traveller: from 1930 to 1938, he toured the United States, Europe, and Canada; from 1956 to 1960, he visited Central America, Colombia, Venezuela and Cuba; from 1961 onwards he continued his journey on diplomatic missions; thus he got to know Peru, the Philippines, some eastern countries and Switzerland. For many years he devoted himself to journalism on radio and television, media in which he was a pioneer. He collaborated on the informational and editorial pages of Novedades, Excelsior, La Prensa Gráfica, Orden, Revista de América, Comment, Unitas de Filipinas, and others. In the cinema he made some adaptations and was a producer. His novel The Mongolian Conspiracy (Joaquín Mortiz, 1969), my book notes are here, was brought to the big screen and is considered by many the founding novel of the “noir” genre in Mexico. On the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Mexican publishing house Fondo de Cultura Económica collected in this anthology his first and only incursions into classic detective fiction. They are short stories of unequal length: “The Strange Case of Aloysius Hands”, “Natural Death”, “The Heroic Don Serafín” published previously in 3 Novelas policíacas (Editorial Jus, 1946); “A Dead Man in the Grave” (Editorial Jus, 1946); “Poetic Death” and “Early Morning Death” published in the magazine Selecciones Policiacas y de Misterio numbers 5 and 15, in 1947 and 1948, respectively; and “The Statement” (1967). To date, almost all of them were impossible to locate elsewhere.

The character of Teódulo Batanes, an anthropologist by trade, features in “Natural Death”; “A Dead Man in the Grave”; “Poetic Death” and “Early Morning Death”, and is modelled after the image of Father Brown, with deep Mexican roots. In my view, these short stories are mainly sketches in which the writer is learning his trade, although this does not detract from their merit. I found them very entertaining and, without hesitation, my favourite is “The Statement”. Highly recommended.

Rafael Bernal

Mexican Detective Fiction

descargaDetective fiction in Mexico, compared to other countries like Argentina, Cuba or Chile, emerged relatively late. From 1946 to 1961, Selecciones Policiacas y de Misterio offered its readers stories by the most prominent authors of the genre, through its association with the famous Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, thus creating a space for Mexican writers such as: Antonio Helú (1900 – 1972); Rodolfo Usigli (1905 – 1979); the Barcelona journalist, writer and art critic, exiled in Mexico since 1939 Enrique F. Gual (1907 – 1973); Rafael Bernal (1915 – 1972); and María Elvira Bermúdez (1916 – 1988).

Antonio Helú founded and edited the magazine Selecciones Policiacas y de Misterio (1946-1957) to encourage the diffusion of detective fiction in Mexico, and the publishing house Albatros, where he published well-known European, North American and Hispanic American authors. His novel La obligación de asesinar was published in 1957.

Rodolfo Usigli’s Ensayo de un crimen (1944) is usually considered the founding novel of the genre in Mexico. It was adapted to the cinema by Luis Buñuel in 1955, under the title of Ensayo de un Crimen or La vida criminal de Archibaldo de la Cruz (English title: The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz)

Enrique F. Gual published El crimen de la obsidiana (1942); El caso de los Leventherys (1944); Asesinato en la plaza (1945); and La muerte sabe de modas (1945).

Rafael Bernal, by many the first writer to follow in Mexico the detective fiction tradition, published several stories, short novels and three long works: Un muerto en la tumba (Jus, 1946); Su nombre era muerte (Jus, 1947) and probably his best novel El complot mongol (Joaquín Mortiz, 1969). His short novels (“El extraño caso de Aloysius Hands”, “De muerte natural”, and “El heroico don Serafín”) were collected in a book titled 3 novelas policíacas (Jus, 1946).

I’m reading at present Rafael Bernal’s Antología policiaca (Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2015) containing: “El extraño caso de Aloysius Hands”, “De muerte natural”, “El heroico don Serafín” (1946) , “Un muerto en la tumba” (1988), “La muerte poética” (1947), “La muerte madrugadora” (1948) y “La declaración” (1967). Stay tuned.

María Elvira Bermúdez, one of the first storytellers and theorists of detective fiction in Mexico, published a full-length novel Diferentes razones tiene la muerte in 1953.

(Source: Enciclopedia de la Literatura en México)

Please note this is a work in progress. I’ll appreciate any comments on possible errors and/or omissions.

A Crime is Afoot Leisure Reading April 2021

leisure_reading

I read last month:

The Moving Finger, 1942 (Miss Marple #3) by Agatha Christie

Whose Body? 1923 (Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery # 1) by Dorothy L. Sayers

“Chinoiserie” (1935) a s.s. by Helen McCloy

The Deadly Truth, 1941 (Dr Basil Willing #3) by Helen McCloy

The Man in the Moonlight, 1940 (The Dr Basil Willing Mysteries Book #2), by Helen McCloy

Through a Glass, Darkly, 1950 (Dr Basil Willing # 8) by Helen McCloy

“The Silent Informer”aka “Murder Stops the Music”, 1957 (Dr Basil Willing s.s.) by Helen McCloy

Mr Splitfoot, 1968 (Dr. Basil Willing #12) by Helen McCloy

Two-Thirds of a Ghost, 1956 (Dr Basil Willing # 11) by Helen McCloy

My Book Notes: Two-Thirds of a Ghost, 1956 (Dr Basil Willing # 11) by Helen McCloy

Esta entrada es bilingüe. Desplazarse hacia abajo para ver la versión en español

St. Swithin Press, 2012. Book Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 654 KB. Print Length: 256 pages. ASIN: B008D2INTW. ISBN: 978-1-927551-08-0. First published in the US by Random House, 1956 and by Gollancz, 1957 in the UK.

51vrz3l4DyLDescription: Amos Cottle was a valuable property—a first-rate novelist who produced four best sellers in four years. He had to be protected. From himself (he was an ex-alcoholic). And from his wife (she was a gold-digging siren and she spelled trouble). His publisher and his agent thought Amos’s problems were solved when they clawed the beautiful Vera out of his hair and shipped her off to Hollywood. But they were wrong. For there came a night when Vera returned. That was the night Amos had to have a drink. It was too bad he never lived to sober up.

My Take: Publisher Tony Kane and his wife, Philippa, throw a last-minute party at their Connecticut home to celebrate the return of Hollywood actress Vera Vane. Vera is the wife of best-selling author Amos Cottle. Guests include Amos literary agent, Gus Vesey and his wife Meg whose income depends heavily on Amos success; Maurice Lepton, a literary critic who praises Amos books; Emmett Avery, a literary critic who despises them; Dr Basil Willing, an author published by Tony Kane, and his wife Gisela; a pair of devoted readers the Puseys, mother and  son; and Vera Vane who, lured by Amos fame, has returned to claim her share of the pie after having her contract with the film studios terminated.

Amos, a former alcoholic, has managed to stay sober in recent years thanks to the efforts of both his agent and his publisher. However, with the return of his wife Vera, whom he had not divorced despite the time they have lived apart, Kane and Vesey foresee that Amos could relapse. Their worst omens are are fulfilled when Amos shows up at the party with clear signs of being drunk. At one point during the party, while the guests play a parlour game known as Two-Third of a Ghost, Amos falls dead. Amos Cottle was poisoned with cyanide. ‘The alcohol he had taken masked the usual symptoms –heavy breathing and spasmodic movements.’

Although the murder took place in Connecticut, most of the people who attended the party live in New York or have their offices there. For this reason, close cooperation between Connecticut Sate Police and New York City Police is needed, and Dr Basil Willing has been asked to act as a kind of liaison officer between the two police forces. The first problem Dr Willing faces is figuring out whom is going to benefit from Amos death since, in most cases, it seems to involve killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. But the investigation becomes much more complicated when it is discovered that Amos Cottle had never existed before becoming a best-selling author. The biography on the back cover of his books had been fabricated. Who was Amos Cottle really?

The book title, as the reader will soon realise, does not only have to do with the parlour game at the Kanes’ party, but it has more than one meaning. The story is based on very suggestive premises, and  Helen McCloy, she herself an author, a mystery book critic and an editor, has a first hand knowledge on the atmosphere in which the action unfolds. All this are reasons enough for the book to turn out being attractive, if on top of that the story is well-written. Consequently, I can forgive some flaws, on which I don’t want to enter into too much detail. I found inconsistent, in my view, that someone like Amos Cottle would have conducted a television programme and I don’t quite understand the reasons to murder him.  A pity, since otherwise it is a superb story.

I wonder if this is not one of the most personal books by Helen McCloy and if she did not used it to give us her own views

“Damn few authors have experienced personally the things they write about. That’s one difference between a pro and an amateur. An amateur can’t write about something that isn’t direct experience. A real writer can write about anything –that’s his job. No one really cares if he’s technically accurate in every petty detail. The only thing that matters is making real to the average reader who doesn’t know any more about technicalities than the average author. Emotions are what concern a fiction writer. No facts, but the way people respond to facts inside themselves. That takes imagination –something a lot more rare than factual knowledge.”

Two-Thirds of a Ghost has been reviewed, among others, at Only Detect, Clothes in Books, ahsweetmysteryblog, and The Grandest Game in the World.

About the Author: Helen Worrell Clarkson McCloy (1904-1994). Born in New York City, Helen McCloy was educated in Brooklyn, at the Quaker Friends’ school, and later studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. From 1927-1932 she worked for Hearst’s Universal News Service after which she freelanced as an art critic and contributor to various publications, including the London Morning Post. Shortly after her return to the US she published her first novel, Dance of Death, in 1938, featuring her popular series detective-psychologist Basil Willing. The novel Through a Glass Darkly, a puzzle in the supernatural tradition of John Dickson Carr, is the eighth in the Basil Willing series and is generally acknowledged to be her masterpiece. In 1946 McCloy married fellow author Davis Dresser, famed for his Mike Shayne novels. Together they founded Halliday & McCloy literary agency as well as the Torquil Publishing Company. The couple had one daughter, Chloe, and their marriage ended in 1961. Although McCloy was known primarily as a mystery novelist, she published under the pseudonym Helen Clarkson also a science fiction story, The Last Day (1959), regarded as the first really technically well-informed novel on the subject. McCloy went on in the 1950s and 1960s to co-author the review column for a Connecticut newspaper. A rather prolific author, McCloy won Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine awards for the short stories “Through a Glass, Darkly” (reprinted in The Singing Diamonds, 1965) and “Chinoiserie” (reprinted in 20 Great Tales of Murder, 1951). In 1950, she became the first female president of Mystery Writers of America (MWA) and in 1953, she was honoured with an Edgar® Award from the MWA for her critiques. She helped to establish MWA’s New England Chapter in 1971, and was named an MWA Grand Master in 1990. Her contributions to the genre are recognized today by the annual Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship to nurture talent in mystery writing—in fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and screenwriting. Helen McCloy died in Boston, Massachusetts, on 1 December 1994. aged 90. Although, based on other sources, she died in 1992. In 1987, critic and mystery writer H. R. F. Keating included her Basil Willing title Mister Splitfoot in a list of the 100 best crime and mystery books ever published.

The Dr Basil Willing Mysteries: Dance of Death (1938) (UK title: Design for Dying); The Man in the Moonlight (1940); The Deadly Truth (1941); Cue for Murder (1942); Who’s Calling (1942); The Goblin Market (1943); The One That Got Away (1945); Through a Glass, Darkly (1950); Alias Basil Willing (1951); The Long Body (1955); Two-Thirds of a Ghost (1956); The Singing Diamonds aka Surprise, Surprise (1965) short stories; Mister Splitfoot (1968); Burn This (1980); and The Pleasant Assassin and Other Cases of Dr Basil Willing (Crippen & Landru, 2003) short stories, some of which originally appeared in The Singing Diamonds.

Other Fiction: Do Not Disturb (1943); Panic (1944); She Walks Alone (1948) aka Wish Your Were Dead; Better Off Dead (1949); Unfinished Crime aka He Never Came Back (1954); The Slayer and the Slain (1957); Before I Die (1963); The Further Side of Fear (1967); Question of Time (1971); A Change of Heart (1973); The Sleepwalker (1974); Minotaur Country (1975); Cruel as the Grave (1976) aka The Changeling Conspiracy; The Impostor (1977); and The Smoking Mirror (1979)

Recommended Short Stories: “Chinoiserie” (1935); “Through a Glass, Darkly” (1948) later expanded into a novel of the same name in 1950; “The Singing Diamonds” (1949); “Murder Stops the Music” (1957); and “Murphy’s Law” (1979).

St. Swithin Press publicity page

Helen McCloy at Golden Age of Detection Wiki

Helen McCloy – by Michael E. Grost

Murder in Mind by Christine Poulson

Helen McCloy (1904-1994) – pseudonym Helen Clarkson

Two-Thirds of a Ghost, by Helen McCloy

Descripción: Amos Cottle era un objeto de valor muy valioso: un novelista de primer orden que fabricó cuatro éxitos de ventas en cuatro años. Tenía que estar protegido. De sí mismo (era un exalcohólico). Y de su esposa (era una cazafortunas y auguraba problemas). Su editor y su agente pensaron que los problemas de Amos estaban resueltos cuando le quitaron las garras de la hermosa Vera de encima y la enviaron a Hollywood. Pero estaban equivocados. Porque llegó una noche en la que Vera regresó. Esa fue la noche en que Amos tuvo que tomar una copa. Fue una lástima, nunca vivió para volver a estar sobrio.

Mi opinión: El editor Tony Kane y su esposa, Philippa, organizan con poco tiempo de antelación una fiesta en su casa de Connecticut para celebrar el regreso de la actriz de Hollywood Vera Vane. Vera es la mujer del autor de best-sellers Amos Cottle. Los invitados incluyen al agente literario de Amos, Gus Vesey y su mujer Meg, cuyos ingresos dependen en gran medida del éxito de Amos; Maurice Lepton, un crítico literario que elogia los libros de Amos; Emmett Avery, un crítico literario que los desprecia; El Dr. Basil Willing, un autor publicado por Tony Kane, y su mujer Gisela; un par de devotos lectores los Pusey, madre e hijo; y Vera Vane, quien, atraída por la fama de Amos, ha regresado para reclamar su parte del pastel después de que su contrato con los estudios cinematográficos se rescindiera.

Amos, un exalcohólico, ha logrado mantenerse sobrio en los últimos años gracias al esfuerzo tanto de su agente como de su editor. Sin embargo, con el regreso de su esposa Vera, de quien no se había divorciado a pesar del tiempo que han vivido separados, Kane y Vesey prevén que Amos podría recaer. Sus peores presagios se cumplen cuando Amos se presenta en la fiesta con claros signos de estar borracho. En un momento de la fiesta, mientras los invitados estan jugando un juego de salón conocido como Two-Third of a Ghost, Amos cae muerto. Amos Cottle fue envenenado con cianuro. “El alcohol que había tomado enmascara los síntomas habituales: respiración pesada y movimientos espasmódicos”.

Aunque el asesinato tuvo lugar en Connecticut, la mayoría de las personas que asistieron a la fiesta viven en Nueva York o tienen sus oficinas allí. Por esta razón, se necesita una estrecha cooperación entre la Policía Estatal de Connecticut y la Policía de la Ciudad de Nueva York, y se le ha pedido al Dr. Basil Willing que actúe como una especie de oficial de enlace entre las dos fuerzas policiales. El primer problema al que se enfrenta el Dr. Willing es averiguar quién se beneficiará de la muerte de Amos ya que, en la mayoría de los casos, parece implicar matar a la gallina de los huevos de oro. Pero la investigación se complica mucho más cuando se descubre que Amos Cottle nunca había existido antes de convertirse en un autor de best-sellers. La biografía de la contraportada de sus libros había sido inventada. ¿Quién era realmente Amos Cottle?

El título del libro, como pronto se dará cuenta el lector, no solo tiene que ver con el juego de salón en la fiesta de los Kane, sino que tiene más de un significado. La historia se basa en premisas muy sugerentes, y Helen McCloy, ella misma autora, crítica de libros de misterio y editora, conoce de primera mano el ambiente en el que se desarrolla la acción. Todo esto son razones suficientes para que el libro resulte atractivo, si además la historia está bien escrita. En consecuencia, puedo perdonar algunos defectos en los que no quiero entrar en demasiados detalles. En mi opinión, encontré inconsistente que alguien como Amos Cottle hubiera dirigido un programa de televisión y no entiendo muy bien las razones para asesinarlo. Una lástima, ya que por lo demás es una historia soberbia.

Me pregunto si este no es uno de los libros más personales de Helen McCloy y si ella no lo usó para darnos sus propias opiniones.

“Pocos autores experimentan personalmente aquello sobre lo que escriben. Esa es la diferencia entre un profesional y un aficionado. El aficionado no puede escribir sobre algo sobre lo que no haya tenido una experiencia directa. Un verdadero escritor puede escribir sobre cualquier cosa, en eso consiste su trabajo. A nadie le importa si es técnicamente preciso en cada pequeño detalle. Lo único que importa es hacerlo real para el lector medio que no conoce sobre tecnicismos más que el autor medio. Las emociones son lo que interesa a un escritor de ficción. No hechos, sino la forma en que las personas responden a los hechos en su interior. Eso requiere imaginación, algo mucho más raro que el conocimiento real”.

Acerca del autor: Helen McCloy nació en la ciudad de Nueva York, el 6 de junio de 1904, hija de la escritora Helen Worrell McCloy y William McCloy, editor en jefe del New York Evening Sun. Después de descubrir su afición por Sherlock Holmes cuando era niña, McCloy comenzó a escribir sus propias novelas de misterio en la década de 1930. En 1938 presentó a su psiquiatra-detective, el Dr. Basil Willing, en su primera novela, Dance of Death. El Dr. Basil Willing aparece en 13 novelas de McCloy, así como en varios relatos breves actuando como consultor remunerado del fiscal de distrito de la ciudad de Nueva York. Willing es famoso por decir: “todo criminal deja huellas dactilares psíquicas y no puede usar guantes para ocultarlas”. El Dr. Willing también aparece en el misterio sobrenatural de McCloy de 1955 Through a Glass, Darkly, aclamado como su obra maestra a semejanza de John Dickson Carr. Aunque McCloy era conocida principalmente como una novelista de misterio, también publicó bajo el seudónimo de Helen Clarkson una historia de ciencia ficción,The Last Day (1959), considerada la primera novela realmente bien fundamentada sobre el tema. McCloy pasó a ser coautora de la columna de reseñas de un periódico de Connecticut en las décadas de 1950 y 1960. Escritora bastante prolífica, McCloy ganó los premios Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine por los cuentos “Through a Glass, Darkly” (reeditado en The Singing Diamonds, 1965) y “Chinoiserie” (reeditado en 20 Great Tales of Murder, 1951). En 1950, se convirtió en la primera mujer en presidir la Asociación de Escritores de Misterio de Estados Unidos (Mystery Writers of America, MWA) y en 1953, fue galardonanda con un premio Edgar® de la MWA por sus reseñas. En 1971 contribuyó a crear la sección de la MWA en Nueva Inglaterra, y fue nombrada Gran Maestro de la MWA en 1990. Sus contribuciones al género son reconocidas hoy por la beca anual Helen McCloy/MWA para fomentar el talento en la literatura de misterio, ficción, no ficción, obras dramáticas y guiones. Helen McCloy murió en Boston, Massachusetts, el 1 de diciembre de 1994. a los 90 años. Aunque, según otras fuentes, murió en 1992. En 1987, el crítico y escritor de misterio HRF Keating incluyó su título de Basil Willing Mr Splitfoot en una lista de los 100 Mejores Libros de Crimen y Misterio.

Serie de misterio del Dr. Basil Willing: Dance of Death (1938) (UK title: Design for Dying); The Man in the Moonlight (1940); The Deadly Truth (1941); Cue for Murder (1942); Who’s Calling (1942); The Goblin Market (1943); The One That Got Away (1945); Through a Glass, Darkly (1950); Alias Basil Willing (1951); The Long Body (1955); Two-Thirds of a Ghost (1956); The Singing Diamonds (1965) libro de relatos; Mister Splitfoot (1968); Burn This (1980); and The Pleasant Assassin and Other Cases of Dr Basil Willing (Crippen & Landru, 2003) relatos breves, algunos de ellos publicados originalmente en The Singing Diamonds.

Otras Novelas: Unfinished Crime (1954); The Further Side of Fear (1967); The Sleepwalker (1974); The Impostor (1977).

Relatos Breves Recomendados: “Chinoiserie” (1935); “Through a Glass, Darkly” (1948); “The Singing Diamonds” (1949); “Murder Stops the Music” (1957); and “Murphy’s Law” (1979).

Rafael Bernal (1915 – 1972)

rafaelbernalRafael Bernal, born in 1915 in Mexico City, doesn’t come to mind when one thinks of great detective novelists of the 1960s. There is little about him on the Internet in English, and none of his other novels, plays, story collections or histories have been translated. Although he wrote dozens of books, his 1969 novel, The Mongolian Conspiracy, is considered his masterwork. Bernal was a renaissance man: He earned his doctorate in literature from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, and his bachelor’s degree at Loyola in Montreal, in addition to studying at the Colegio Francés de San Borja in Peru and at the Instituto de Ciencias y Letras in Mexico City. Although he was a successful novelist and journalist for TV, radio and film, he ultimately became a Mexican diplomat after years of extensive travel left him with a taste for the jet-set lifestyle. (The cities and countries he traveled to as a tourist or served in as a diplomat reads like a veritable list of exotic locales in Graham Greene novels: Europe, Central America, Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, the U.S., Canada, Honduras, Peru, the Philippines, Japan and Switzerland, where he died while serving his country. He was buried in Geneva. Twenty years after his death his remains returned to Mexico. (Source: Los Angeles Times and El Mundo)

New Directions publicity page

His Name was Death (New Directions Publishing Corporation, Publication date: 11/02/2021)

Rafael Bernal Book Series in Order

Selected bibliography: Un muerto en la tumba (1946); Tres novelas policíacas [A collection of three short stories: El extraño caso de Aloysius Hands”, “De muerte natural”, and “El heroico Don Serafín”] (1946); Su nombre era muerte (1947) [English translation: His Name Was Death]; El complot mongol (1969) [English translation: The Mongolian Conspiracy]; and Antología Policíaca (2015) [A selectiion of short stories including: El extraño caso de Aloysius Hands”, “De muerte natural”, El heroico Don Serafín”, “Un muerto en la tumba”, “La muerte poética”, “La muerte madrugadora”, y “La declaración”].