Eric Elrington Addis, aka ‘Peter Drax’, was born in Edinburgh in 1899, the youngest child of a retired Indian civil servant and the daughter of an officer in the British Indian Army. Drax attended Edinburgh University, and served in the Royal Navy, retiring in 1929. In the 1930s he began practising as a barrister, but, recalled to the Navy upon the outbreak of the Second World War, he served on HMS Warspite and was mentioned in dispatches. When Drax was killed in 1941 he left a wife and two children. Between 1936 and 1939, Drax published six crime novels: Murder by Chance (1936), He Shot to Kill (1936), Murder by Proxy (1937), Death by Two Hands (1937), Tune to a Corpse (1938) and High Seas Murder (1939). A further novel, Sing a Song of Murder, unfinished by Drax on his death, was completed by his wife, Hazel Iris (Wilson) Addis, and published in 1944. (Source: Dean Street Press)
Read more about Peter Drax/Eric Elrington Addis at The Passing Tramp here.
The knife with the carved sheath inlaid with silver, had been driven up to its haft between the shoulders of Captain Geoffrey Hunt.
Johannis Kudorfer, master mariner, is a fraudster and a rogue. But that suits Sam Hartford just fine, because he is a scoundrel himself. When Sam devises a scheme to wreck a ship for the insurance money, Kudorfer is a key collaborator, along with a small gang of other miscreants and dupes, plus Lena the languid cigarette-smoking girl. But Sam is unaware that some of his trusted cohort are playing games of their own—games so treacherous they will end in murder. Detective-Sergeant Woods, suspicious of the con game from the start, will need to call in Chief Inspector Thompson of Scotland Yard to solve this gritty and absorbing case.
Murder by Chance was first published in 1936, and has remained out of print for many decades until this new edition. It includes an introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans. (Source: Dean Street Press)
I’ve just downloaded Murder by Chance onto my Kindle and am planning to read it soon. Stay tuned.