Month: March 2021

My Book Notes: The First Time He Died (1935) by Ethel Lina White

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

The Orion Publishing Group, Murder Room, 2015. Book Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 923 KB. Print Length: 240 pages. ASIN: B00TONP5PY. eISBN: 978-1-4719-1704-2. First published in 1935 by Collins Crime Club.

hbg-title-9781471917042-9Publisher Description: Charlie Baxter has never been a success. Yes, he’s popular with women, but he’s not exactly a party guy. A cheerful loser, that’s Charlie.
He has even made a hash of his ‘death’. For, having almost exhausted a legacy left to him by a rich aunt, he has planned to insure his life and then ‘die’. But he has failed to foresee the ramifications of his sinister scheme. And he has reckoned without people cleverer than him – the insurance company, for one.
Then there’s his wife, Vera, who is playing along for her own benefit …

My Take: After I finished reading the excellent short story by Ethel Lina White, “An Unlocked Window”, I decided to dig further into the work of this author, for I’m convinced she will soon become one of my favourite novelist. So far, and thanks to Kate Jackson, aka Armchair Sleuth, at Crosseximing Crime, I’ve added to my TBR list, the following titles: Fear Stalks the Village (1932); Some Must Watch (aka The Spiral Staircase, 1933); and The First Time He Died (1935). Since there’s no need to read them in order of publication, I chose to begin with The First Time He Died.

My first thought to describe this book will be to say that I found it extremely original. It isn’t exactly an “inverted mystery”, but it does share with them certain features. From the outset we know what will happen, and the same title warns us about it. To put it simply, the plot revolves around a plan to fraudulently cash the life insurance of one Charlie Baxter. This plan will be developed with the connivance of Charlie’s wife, Vera together with a family friend residing in their household. However, as time passes, the hope to collect the policy before running out of money fades out and, Charlie, under a new identity, will have to engineer a similar scam.

Let me add here Kate Jackson’s words in her excellent review:

Whilst a dark ending is foreshadowed you’re never sure what is on the cards, nor who will be holding the winning hand at the close of the novel and when I finally reached the end I found it to be a very powerful and dramatic finale and certainly not one you would predict from the opening chapters.

The First Time He Died has been reviewed, among others, at The Passing Tramp, and Crossexaminig Crime.

3509

(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. Collins Mystery (UK) (1935)

About the Author: Ethel Lina White (1876 – 1944) was born in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales the daughter of the builder and inventor William White and his second wife Charlotte Eliza, who both came from Clifton, near Bristol. She spent her childhood in Fairlea Grange, an innovative house built by her father which incorporated his own patented damp-proofing process, the interior of which later shaped elements of her novel Some Must Watch (1933). She started writing as a child, contributing essays and poems to children’s magazines. Later she began to write short stories, but it was some years before she embarked on books. After the end of World War I, she moved to London, where she worked in the Social Security Administration. She later gave up this activity in favour of writing. Her first three, published between 1927 and 1930, were mainstream novels. Her first crime novel, published in 1931, was Put Out the Light. and she went on to be one of the best-known crime writers of the 1930s and 1940s in Britain and the US. Her novel The Wheel Spins (1936) was made into the acclaimed film, The Lady Vanishes, by Alfred Hitchcock in 1938. Nevertheless, she faded into obscurity after her death, but in her days she was as well known as such writers like Dorothy L. Sayers and Agatha Christie. She died in London aged 68. Recent years, however, have seen a revival of interest in her oeuvre.

Suggested Books: Fear Stalks the Village (1932); Some Must Watch (APA The Spiral Staircase, 1933); Wax (1935); The First Time He Died (1935); The Wheel Spins (1936) (filmed in 1938 by Alfred Hitchcock as The Lady Vanishes; remade in 1979 and again for TV in 2013); The Elephant Never Forgets (1937; While She Sleeps (1940); She Faded into Air (1941) The Man Who Loved Lions (APA The Man Who Was Not There, 1943)

The Orion Publishing Group publicity page 

A Forgotten Woman Crime Novelist by Christine Poulson

Ethel Lina White at Golden Age of Detection Wiki

Ethel Lina White at ‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name?’

The First Time He Died, de Ethel Lina White

Descripción del editor: Charlie Baxter nunca ha tenido éxito. Sí, es popular entre las mujeres, pero no es precisamente el alma de la fiesta. Un perdedor alegre, ese es Charlie.
Incluso ha hecho una chapuza de su “muerte”. Porque, habiendo casi agotado un legado que le dejó una tía rica, ha planeado asegurar su vida y luego “morir”. Pero no ha podido prever las ramificaciones de su siniestro plan. Y ha contado con personas más inteligentes que él, la compañía de seguros, por ejemplo.
Luego está su mujer, Vera, que le hace el juego en su propio provecho …

Mi opinión: Después de terminar de leer el excelente cuento de Ethel Lina White, “An Unlocked Window”, decidí profundizar más en el trabajo de esta autora, porque estoy convencido de que pronto se convertirá en una de mis novelistas favoritas. Hasta ahora, y gracias a Kate Jackson, también conocida como Armchair Sleuth en Crosseximing Crime, he añadido a mi lista de libros por leer los siguientes títulos: Fear Stalks the Village (1932); Some Must Watch (APA The Spiral Staircase, 1933, traducida como La escalera de caracol); y The First Time He Died (1935). Como no es necesario leerlos por orden de publicación, elegí comenzar con The First Time He Died.

Mi primer pensamiento para describir este libro será decir que lo encontré extremadamente original. No es exactamente un “misterio invertido”, pero comparte con ellos ciertas características. Desde el principio sabemos lo que va a pasar, y el mismo título nos advierte de ello. En pocas palabras, la trama gira en torno a un plan para cobrar fraudulentamente el seguro de vida de un tal Charlie Baxter. Este plan se desarrollará con la connivencia de la mujer de Charlie, Vera, junto con un amigo de la familia que reside en su hogar. Sin embargo, a medida que pasa el tiempo, la esperanza de cobrar la póliza antes de quedarse sin dinero se desvanece y Charlie, bajo una nueva identidad, tendrá que diseñar una estafa similar.

Permítanme agregar aquí las palabras de Kate Jackson en su excelente reseña:

Aunque se presagia un final oscuro, nunca estás seguro de lo que está en juego, ni de quién tendrá la mano ganadora al final de la novela y cuando finalmente llegué a terminarla, descubrí que era un final muy poderoso y dramático y ciertamente, no era uno que se pudiera anticipar a partir de los capítulos iniciales.

Acerca del autor: Ethel Lina White (1876 – 1944) nació en Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Gales, hija del constructor e inventor William White y de su segunda esposa Charlotte Eliza, ambos de Clifton, cerca de Bristol. Pasó su infancia en Fairlea Grange, una casa innovadora construida por su padre que incorporó su propio proceso patentado de impermeabilización y cuyo interior, más tarde, dio forma a elementos de su novela Some Must Watch (1933). Comenzó a escribir cuando era niña, colabroando con ensayos y poemas en revistas infantiles. Más tarde comenzó a escribir relatos, pero pasaron algunos años antes de que se embarcara en libros. Después del final de la Primera Guerra Mundial, se mudó a Londres, donde trabajó en la Administración de la Seguridad Social. Posteriormente abandonó esta actividad a favor de la escritura. Sus tres primeras, publicadas entre 1927 y 1930, fueron novelas convencionales. Su primera novela policíaca, publicada en 1931, fue Put Out the Light y llegó a ser una de las escritoras de novelas policíacas más conocidas de las décadas de 1930 y 1940 en Gran Bretaña y Estados Unidos. Su novela The Wheel Spins (1936) se convirtió en la prestigiosa película, The Lady Vanishes, de Alfred Hitchcock en 1938. No obstante, cayó en el olvido después de su muerte, pero en su tiempo era tan conocida como escritoras de la talla de Dorothy L. Sayers y Agatha Christie. Murió en Londres a los 68 años. Sin embargo, en los últimos años se ha visto un resurgimiento del interés por su obra.

Libros recomendados: Fear Stalks the Village (1932); Some Must Watch (1933 APA The Spiral Staircase, traducida como La escalera de caracol); Wax (1935, traducida como El museo de la muerte y Pánico entre cera; The First Time He Died (1935);  The Wheel Spins (1936 APA The Lady Vanishes, traducida como La dama desaparece); The Elephant Never Forgets (1937); While She Sleeps (1940); She Faded into Air (1941); y The Man Who Loved Lions (1943, APA The Man Who Was Not There).

Ethel Lina White en Leer sin prisa

My Book Notes: The Murder on the Enriqueta (1929) by Molly Thynne

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

Dean Street Press, 2016. Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 877 KB. Print Length: 249 pages. ASIN:B01KQ317RA. ISBN: 978 1 911413 54 7. First published in 1929 by Hutchinson.

News travels quickly and mysteriously on board ship. By the time lunch was over, the rumour began to spread that Mr. Smith’s death had not been due to natural causes.

51B UCkpiUL._SY346_

Book Description: The bibulous Mr Smith was no pillar of virtue. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the Enriqueta, he met someone he knew on board at midnight – and was strangled. Chief Inspector Shand of the Yard, a fellow traveller on the luxury liner, takes on the case, ably assisted by his friend Jasper Mellish. At first the only clue is what the steward saw: a bandaged face above a set of green pyjamas. But surely the crime can be connected to Mr Smith’s former – and decidedly shady – compatriots in Buenos Aires?

The Murder on the Enriqueta (1929: originally called The Strangler in the US) is a thrilling whodunit, including an heiress in peril and a jazz age nightclub among its other puzzle pieces. This new edition, the first in many decades, includes an introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.

My Take: On board the SS Enriqueta, during a voyage across the Atlantic from Buenos Aires to Liverpool, a man is found strangled one night. Chief Inspector Shand of Scotland Yard, who happens to be aboard the luxury ship, becomes interested in the case. The crew member who found the body could only see an individual with a green pyjama rushing away from the crime scene, but could not identified him. No passenger was carrying a pyjama of such kind. Upon arriving at Liverpool, Shand, annoyed for not having been able to find the culprit, is glad to leave the investigation in hands of the local authorities. At Liverpool, Shand encounters his friend and former Scotland Yard colleague Jasper Mellish who has come to greet Lady Dalberry who, newly widowed, was travelling in the same vessel and is related by marriage to Mellish’s ward, Carol Summers. Carol, when coming of age, will become one of the wealthiest woman in England. The action soon shifts to London, where Miss Summers has agree to share a luxury flat with Lady Dalberry, against the opinion of her legal guardian. Someone is going to be willing to get Carol’s fortune and will stop at nothing to achieve it.  

I found The Murder on the Enriqueta quite entertaining and well written, although in my view, it is more a thriller than a detective novel. The story is nicely plotted, although it suffers from certain simplicity vis-à-vis what it may seems at least at the beginning. In a sense, the outcome has somehow disappointed me and it has not surprise me as it should. Maybe my expectations, after its first chapters, were too high. In any case I enjoyed more The Crime at the ‘Noah’s Ark’ and I have the feeling that the two other novels featuring Dr Constantine will be more to my taste.

The Murder on the Enriqueta has been reviewed, among others, at The Passing Tramp.

About the Author: Mary ‘Molly’ Harriet Thynne was born in 1881, a member of the aristocracy, great-granddaughter of Thomas Thynne, 2nd Marquess of Bath and also descended from the 4th Earl of Jersey and the 2nd Duke of Portland. On her mother’s side she was great-niece of the American painter James McNeil Whistler. Her father was Charles Ernest Thynne, Assistant Solicitor to His Majesty’s Customs, and her mother Annie Harriet Thynne (born Haden Whistler). She grew up in Kensington and at a young age met literary figures like Rudyard Kipling and Henry James.

Her first novel, An Uncertain Glory, was published in 1914, but she did not turn to crime fiction until The Draycott Murder Mystery, the first of six golden age mysteries she wrote and published in as many years, between 1928 and 1933. The last three of these featured Dr Constantine, chess master and amateur sleuth par excellence.

Molly Thynne never married. She enjoyed travelling abroad, but spent most of her life in the village of Bovey Tracey, Devon, where she was finally laid to rest in 1950.

Bibliography: The Draycott Murder Mystery aka The Red Dwarf (1928), The Murder on the Enriqueta aka The Strangler (1929), The Case of Sir Adam Braid (1930), The Crime At the ‘Noah’s Ark’: a Christmas Mystery (1931), Death in the Dentist’s Chair (1932) and He Dies and Makes no Sign (1933).

Dean Street Press publicity page

Thynne Is In! The Dean Street Press Molly Thynne Mystery Reissues

The Murder on the Enriqueta, de Molly Thynne

Las noticias viajan misteriosa y rápidamente a bordo del barco. Cuando terminó el almuerzo, comenzó a extenderse el rumor de que la muerte del Sr. Smith no había sido debida a causas naturales.

Descripción del libro: El bebedor Sr. Smith no era un pilar de virtudes. Cruzando el Océano Atlántico en el Enriqueta, se encontró con alguien que conocía a bordo a medianoche y fue estrangulado. El inspector jefe Shand de Scotland Yard, un compañero de viaje en el transatlántico de lujo, se hace cargo del caso, con la hábil ayuda de su amigo Jasper Mellish. Al principio, la única pista es lo que vio el sobrecargo: una cara vendada sobre un pijama verde. ¿Pero seguramente el crimen puede estar relacionado con los antiguos, y decididamente dudosos, compatriotas de Smith en Buenos Aires?

The Murder on the Enriqueta (1929: originalmente llamado The Strangler en los EE. UU.) Es una novela policíaca emocionante, que incluye a una heredera en peligro y un club nocturno de la era del jazz, entre otras piezas de rompecabezas. Esta nueva edición, la primera en muchas décadas, incluye una introducción del historiador de literatura policíaca Curtis Evans.

Mi opinión: A bordo del SS Enriqueta, durante un viaje a través del Atlántico desde Buenos Aires a Liverpool, un hombre es encontrado estrangulado una noche. El inspector jefe Shand de Scotland Yard, que se encuentra a bordo del lujoso barco, se interesa por el caso. El miembro de la tripulación que encontró el cuerpo solo pudo ver a un individuo con un pijama verde que se alejaba corriendo de la escena del crimen, pero no pudo identificarlo. Ningún pasajero llevaba un pijama de ese tipo. Al llegar a Liverpool, Shand, molesto por no haber podido encontrar al culpable, se alegra de dejar la investigación en manos de las autoridades locales. En Liverpool, Shand se encuentra con su amigo y antiguo colega de Scotland Yard, Jasper Mellish, que ha venido a dar la bienevenida a Lady Dalberry, quien, recién enviudada, viajaba en el mismo barco y está relacionada por matrimonio con la pupila de Mellish, Carol Summers. Carol, cuando llegue a la mayoría de edad, se convertirá en una de las mujeres más ricas de Inglaterra. La acción pronto se traslada a Londres, donde Miss Summers acordó compartir un piso de lujo con Lady Dalberry, en contra de la opinión de su tutor legal. Alguien estará dispuesto a hacerse con la fortuna de Carol y no se detendrá ante nada para lograrlo.

The Murder on the Enriqueta me pareció bastante entretenida y bien escrita, aunque en mi opinión es más un thriller que una novela policíaca. La trama está muy bien urdida, aunque adolece de cierta sencillez frente a lo que pueda parecer al menos inicialmente. En cierto sentido, el resultado me ha decepcionado de alguna manera y no me ha sorprendido como debería. Quizás mis expectativas, después de sus primeros capítulos, eran demasiado altas. En cualquier caso, disfruté más de Crimen en la posada «Arca de Noé», y tengo la sensación de que las otras dos novelas protagonizadas por el Dr. Constantine serán más de mi agrado.

Acerca del autor: Mary “Molly” Harriet Thynne nació en 1881, aristócrata, bisnieta de Thomas Thynne, segundo marqués de Bath y también descendiente del cuarto conde de Jersey y del segundo duque de Portland. Por parte de su madre, era sobrina nieta del pintor estadounidense James McNeil Whistler. Su padre era Charles Ernest Thynne, procurador adjunto de la Aduana de Su Majestad, y su madre Annie Harriet Thynne (de soltera Haden Whistler). Creció en Kensington y desde muy joven conoció a figuras literarias como Rudyard Kipling y Henry James.

Su primera novela, An Uncertain Glory, se publicó en 1914, pero no se pasó ala literatura policíaca hasta The Draycott Murder Mystery, el primero de los seis misterios de la edad de oro que escribió y publicó en otros tantos años, entre 1928 y 1933. Los tres últimos protagonizados por el Dr. Constantine, maestro de ajedrez y detective aficionado par excellence.

Molly Thynne nunca se casó. Disfrutaba viajando al extranjero, pero pasó la mayor parte de su vida en el pueblo de Bovey Tracey, Devon, donde finalmente reposó en 1950.

Bibliografía: The Draycott Murder Mystery, aka The Red Dwarf (1928), The Murder on the Enriqueta, aka The Strangler (1929), The Case of Sir Adam Braid (1930), The Crime At the ‘Noah’s Ark’: a Christmas Mystery  (Spanish title: Crimen en la posada «Arca de Noé», 1931), Death in the Dentist’s Chair (1932) y He Dies and Makes no Sign (1933).

My Book Notes: “An Unlocked Window” (1934) s.s. by Ethel Lina White

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

“An Unlocked Window” is a short story by Ethel Lina White included in Murder at the Manor: Country House Mysteries Edited and Introduced by Martin Edwards. British Library Crime Classics, 2016. Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 696 KB. Print Length: 385 pages. ASIN: B018K97F50. ISBN: 9781464205736. First published in 1934

novel_193404_tnMy Take: “An Unlocked Window” is a short story by Ethel Lina White originally published in April 1934 in The Novel Magazine illustrated by Vernon H. Smith. The story unfolds in an isolated house in the middle of the country side, where two nurses, Nurse Cherry and Nurse Silver, care for Professor Glendower Baker. Professor Baker is recovering himself  from gas poisoning and needs constant attention. In the house also live Mr and Mrs Iles, in charge of the domestic works. Cherry, the younger nurse, tries to get along with the oldest nurse, Silver, who has just recently incorporated to help her. However, Nurse Silver is very critical with everything she does. To make thing worse, Nurse Cherry has forgotten to close the last oxygen cylinder of their patient and they have been left without a spare one for the night. Thus, Mr Iles goes to fetch a new one and leaves the three women alone warning them to not forget to close firmly all doors and windows. It’s been reported there’s a murderer on the loose who has recently strangled three nurses in the zone. And the three women alone get ready to spend the night with all windows and doors locked.

“An Unlocked Window” is an excellent suspense story, wonderfully written. This has been the first story by Ethel Lina White I have read, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

This story served as the basis for the 49 minutes telefilm of the same title aired on 15 February 1965 as the 17th episode of the third season of the TV series The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, directed by Joseph M. Newman. James Bridges, who penned the teleplay, won an Edgar Award the next year for this adaption. It counted with the cinematographer Stanley Cortez, the music score of Bernard Herrmann and a fantastic cast including Dana Wynter, T.C. Jones,  Louise Latham and John Kerr. “An Unlocked Window” was remade in the pilot episode of season one of Alfred Hitchcock Presents released on 20 October 1985,  condensed to a half-hour running time, directed by Fred Walton and starring Annette O’Toole and Bruce Davison. This second version is well below the original.   

Curtis Evans at The Passing Tramp: ‘Personally, I prefer Ethel Lina White to the much lauded Francis Iles (Anthony Berkeley Cox) and would love to see more of her books back in print.  It surprises me that feminist mystery genre criticism, which has done so much for the cause of the Crime Queens, has done so little for Ethel Lina White.’

Mike Grost on Ethel Lina White: ‘Her short story gem “An Unlocked Window” shows some similarities with both Rinehart and her followers, such as nurse detectives, night scenes, lonely country houses, mysterious bad men on the prowl.’

About the Author: Ethel Lina White (1876 – 1944) was a British crime writer. Born in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales, White started writing as a child, contributing essays and poems to children’s papers. Later she began to write short stories, but it was some years before she wrote books. Her first three, published between 1927 and 1930, were mainstream novels. Her first crime novel, published in 1931, was Put Out the Light. She worked at the Ministry of Pensions and died in London.

Recommended Works by Kate Jackson: Fear Stalks the Village (1932); Some Must Watch (aka The Spiral Staircase, 1933); and The First Time He Died (1935). 

A Forgotten Woman Crime Novelist by Christine Poulson

“An Unlocked Window”, de Ethel Lina White

Mi opinión: “An Unlocked Window” es un relato breve de Ethel Lina White publicado originalmente en abril de 1934 en The Novel Magazine con ilustraciones de Vernon H. Smith. La historia se desarrolla en una casa aislada en medio del campo, donde dos enfermeras, la enfermera Cherry y la enfermera Silver, cuidan al profesor Glendower Baker. El profesor Baker se está recuperando de una intoxicación por gas y necesita atención constante. En la casa también viven el Sr. y la Sra. Iles, encargados de las labores domésticas. Cherry, la enfermera más joven, intenta llevarse bien con la enfermera de mayor edad, Silver, que se ha incorporado recientemente para ayudarla. Sin embargo, la enfermera Silver es muy crítica con todo lo que hace. Para empeorar las cosas, la enfermera Cherry se ha olvidado de cerrar el último cilindro de oxígeno de su paciente y se han quedado sin uno de repuesto para pasar la noche. Por ese motivo el señor Iles va a buscar uno nuevo y deja a las tres mujeres solas advirtiéndoles que no olviden cerrar firmemente todas las puertas y ventanas. Se ha informado que hay un asesino suelto que recientemente estranguló a tres enfermeras en la zona. Y las tres mujeres solas se preparan para pasar la noche con todas las ventanas y puertas cerradas.

“An Unlocked Window” es una excelente historia de suspense, maravillosamente escrita. Esta ha sido la primera historia de Ethel Lina White que he leído, y estoy seguro de que no será la última.

Esta historia sirvió de base para el telefilme de 49 minutos del mismo título que se emitió el 15 de febrero de 1965 como el episodio 17 de la tercera temporada de la serie de televisión The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, dirigida por Joseph M. Newman. James Bridges, quien escribió el guión para la televisión, ganó un premio Edgar al año siguiente por esta adaptación. Contó con el director de fotografía Stanley Cortez, la banda sonora de Bernard Herrmann y un elenco fantástico que incluía a Dana Wynter, T.C. Jones, Louise Latham y John Kerr. Una nueva versión “An Unlocked Window” apareció en el episodio piloto de la primera temporada de Alfred Hitchcock Presents emitido el 20 de octubre de 1985, condensado en una duración de media hora, dirigido por Fred Walton y protagonizado por Annette O’Toole y Bruce Davison. Esta segunda versión está muy por debajo de la original.

Curtis Evans en The Passing Tramp: “Personalmente, prefiero a Ethel Lina White al muy elogiado Francis Iles (Anthony Berkeley Cox) y me encantaría ver más de sus libros impresos. Me sorprende que la crítica feminista del género de misterio, que tanto ha hecho por la causa de las Reinas del Crimen, haya hecho tan poco por Ethel Lina White”.

Mike Grost sobre Ethel Lina White: “Su joya del cuento “An Unlocked Window” muestra algunas similitudes tanto con Rinehart como con sus seguidores, como enfermeras detectives, escenas nocturnas, casas de campo aisladas, misteriosos malechores al acecho”.

Acerca del autor: Ethel Lina White (1876 – 1944) fue una escritora británica de misterio. Nacida en Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Gales, White comenzó a escribir cuando era niña, contribuyendo con ensayos y poemas a periódicos infantiles. Más tarde comenzó a escribir cuentos, pero pasaron algunos años antes de que escribiera libros. Sus tres primeras obras, publicadas entre 1927 y 1930, fueron novelas convencionales. Su primera novela policíaca, publicada en 1931, fue Put Out the Light. Trabajó en el Ministerio de Pensiones y murió en Londres.


Obras recomendadas por
Kate Jackson: Fear Stalks the Village (1932); Some Must Watch (aka The Spiral Staircase, traducida como La escalera de caracol, 1933); y The First Time He Died (1935). 

Ethel Lina White en Leer sin prisa

Elizabeth Daly (1878 – 1967)

Elizabeth Daly was an American writer of mystery novels whose main character, Henry Gamadge, was a bookish author, bibliophile, and amateur detective. A writer of light verse and prose for Life, Puck, and Scribner’s magazines in her earlier years, Daly published her first Gamadge novel, Unexpected Night, at age 60. Between 1940 and 1951, she published 16 novels featuring Gamadge.

Born Elizabeth T. Daly on October 15, 1878 in New York City, she was the daughter of Joseph F. Daly, a New York Supreme Court justice, and Emma Barker Daly. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in 1901 and from Columbia University with an M.A. in 1902. Daly was an honorary member of the Mystery Writers of America. died in St. Francis Hospital on Long Island on September 2, 1967, age 88.

Charles Shibuk, in St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writers, said that Daly was Agatha Christie’s favorite American mystery writer. Daly successfully used many of the literary conventions employed by Christie and other writers of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, he said, and “was always both civilized and literate”. The Mystery Writers of America, referring to her as “the grande dame of women mystery writers”, awarded her a “Special Edgar” in 1961. (Source: Wikipedia)

Her books are currently being reissued by Felony and Mayhem Press, and are available in Kindle editions from Amazon.

More information may be found at the Golden Age of Detection web site.

Bibliography: Unexpected Night, (1940); Deadly Nightshade, (1940); Murders in Volume two, (1941); The House Without the Door, (1942); Evidence of Things Seen, (1943); Nothing Can Rescue Me, (1943); Arrow Pointing Nowhere, (1944) aka  Murder Listens In; The Book of the Dead, (1944); Any Shape or Form, (1945); Somewhere in the House, (1946); The Wrong Way Down, (1946) aka Shroud for a Lady; Night Walk, (1947); The Book of the Lion, (1948); And Dangerous to Know, (1949); Death and Letters, (1950); The Book of the Crime, (1951).

Curtis Evans has written regarding  Elizabeth Daly:

In a prolific burst of creativity between 1940 and 1951 Elizabeth Daly (1878-1967) published sixteen detective novels–all with her series detective, the erudite and gentlemanly New York bibliophile Henry Gamadge–that were quite well received in her day and have maintained a loyal and not insignificant following over the decades since.

Of late even paperback reprints of Daly’s novels have become rather hard-to-find and pricey –there are just a handful of second-hand copies of Night Walk available on Abebooks, for example, all expensive–but fortunately over the last few years that fine press Felony and Mayhem has been reprinting her work.

I think [Night Walk is], one of Daly’s best efforts. Even Jacques Barzun, who thought Daly had about a 50/50 batting average, so to speak, was an admirer of this tale.

Read the entire article at The Passing Tramp.

12049

(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets, LLC. Hammond Hammond (UK), 1950)

Book Description: Frazer’s Mills is a small, isolated village where everyone knows everyone else and things haven’t changed much (and the mills have been closed for quite some time). When murder suddenly intrudes upon this sedate rural backwater, Henry Gamadge arrives to solve the mystery and restore order. Night Walk is particularly remarkable for its tense opening chapters describing a prowler who walks around the village rattling doors and frightening the residents, as well as the descriptions of the local types who populate it. Originally published in 1947. (Source: Felony and Mayhem Press)

My Book Notes: The Case of the Late Pig, 1937 (Albert Campion Mysteries #8) by Margery Allingham

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

Vintage Digital, 2013. Book Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 1425 KB. Print Length: 128 pages. ASIN: B00B4D73KC. ISBN: 9781448138111. Originally published as the anchoring novella of Mr Campion: Criminologist, this novel has been published subsequently as an individual title, although the former collection continued to be published in paperbound editions well into the 1960s.

51WEKpbNcdLBook Description: ‘Pig’ Peters was the bully who had made Albert Campion’s life a misery at prep school. And Peters is definitely dead according to the obituary in the paper so Campion attends his funeral. So how could he have died again, six months later? The investigation takes Campion back to rural Suffolk, but this is a very different affair from the early picaresque adventures like Mystery Mile and Sweet Danger. It seems that ‘Pig’ Peters has died twice… Soon after this, other corpses start to turn up just as Peter’s body goes missing.  The Case of the Late Pig is a black comedy, and the author’s unerring light touch – the story is, uniquely, told by Campion himself – neatly contrasts the drama and the humour. The book packs in plenty of incident with Campion not only trying to solve all the murders but also having to battle his own problems on the romantic front. (Source: Margery Allingham website)

My Take: The Case of the Late Pig is the 8th or 9th book in Albert Campion Mysteries Series by Margery Allingham, depending of how you count them. In essence it is a novella, 128 pages in my edition, and, if my information is correct, it was first published in Mr Campion: Criminologist before being published as an individual title in 1937. The story is also unusual as the only one in the canon told in the first person by Albert Campion himself.

The story opens when, almost simultaneously, Lugg was reading him The Times obituary and Campion had his attention place on an anonymous letter that said: ‘Peters’ – R.I. Peters, aged 37, on Thursday the 9th, at Tethering, after a short illness. Funeral, Tethering Church, 2.30 Saturday. No flowers. Friends will accept this as the only intimation.’ The name caught Campion’s attention. Pig Peters and he had gone to school together, Peters was the class bully and Campion had promised him he’d go to his funeral, though he’d never seen him again. However what encouraged Campion to go to Pig’s funeral was the fact that Tethering was only a few miles away from Kepesake where Colonel Sir Leo Pursuivant, Chief Constable of the county, lived together with his daughter Janet, for whom Campion felt a major attraction. All this happened in January and matters would have remained like this, if Janet wouldn’t had ring him up in June to see him asap. Thus Campion finds out that Pig Peters, now known as Oswald Harris, has died six months after having been buried. And the circumstances that surrounds this his second death, are very suspicious in the eyes of the County Police.

I wouldn’t want to add anything more, not to spoil an excellent argument. Suffice is to say this is a pretty good story that I’d quite enjoyed reading and it is well told. There are few indications of whom and how could have committed the crime. I can assure you that, occasionally, you may find yourselves quite at lost regarding the course that the events will take. Do not despair, eventually everything will fit into place, but you will have to wait until the very last chapter to find out what had actually happened.

The Case of the Late Pig has been included in Martin Edwards’ The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books.

The Case of the Late Pig has been reviewed, among others, at At the Scene of the Crime, Tipping My Fedora, ‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name?’, Goodreads John’s reviews, Cross-Examining Crime, Classic Mysteries, Northern Reader, Mystery File, and Fiction Fan’s Book Reviews.

60

(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. Doubleday The Crime Club (USA), 1937)

About the Author: Margery Louise Allingham was born in Ealing, London on 20th May, 1904 into a family who had been writers for several generations. Shortly after her birth her family moved to Layer Breton, near Colchester, and she was to spend the greater part of her life in this area of Essex. She was encouraged to write by her father and by the age of thirteen had a story published in her aunt’s magazine called Mother and Home.  She attended the Perse School, Cambridge, where she wrote and produced a costume play. Upon returning to London in 1920 she studied drama and speech training at Regent Street Polytechnic, which helped her manage a stammer which she had since childhood. At this time she first met her future husband, Philip Youngman Carter, whom she married in 1927. He collaborated with her and designed the jackets for many of her books. Her first novel, Blackkerchief Dick, was published in 1923, when she was 19. Her breakthrough occurred in 1929 with the publication of The Crime at Black Dudley. This introduced Albert Campion, initially as a minor character. Campion returned in Mystery Mile, thanks in part to pressure from her American publishers, who had been taken with the character. Campion proved so successful that Allingham made him the centrepiece of another 17 novels and more than 20 short stories, continuing into the 1960s. Allingham suffered from breast cancer and died at Severalls Hospital, Colchester, England, on 30 June 1966, aged 62. Her final Campion novel, Cargo of Eagles, was completed by her husband at her request, and was published in 1968.

Selected Bibliography: Police at the Funeral (Albert Campion Mysteries #4, 1931); Sweet Danger (Albert Campion Mysteries #5, 1933: US title Kingdom of Death / The Fear Sign); Death of a Ghost (Albert Campion Mysteries #6, 1934); Flowers for the Judge (Albert Campion Mysteries #7, 1936: US title Legacy in Blood); The Case of the Late Pig (Albert Campion Mysteries #8, 1937: originally appeared in Mr Campion: Criminologist; Dancers in Mourning (Albert Campion Mysteries #9, 1937: US title Who Killed Chloe?); The Fashion in Shrouds (Albert Campion Mysteries #10, 1938); Traitor’s Purse (Albert Campion Mysteries #11, 1941: US title The Sabotage Murder Mystery); More Work for the Undertaker (Albert Campion Mysteries #13, 1948); The Tiger in the Smoke (Albert Campion Mysteries #14, 1952); The Beckoning Lady (Albert Campion Mysteries #15, 1955: U.S. title: The Estate of the Beckoning Lady); and Hide My Eyes (Albert Campion Mysteries #16, 1958: US title Tether’s End / Ten Were Missing).

A complete list of Margery Allingham bibliography can be found at Golden Age of Detection Wiki.

Penguin UK books publicity page

The Margery Allingham Society

Margery Allingham

A Writer to Remember: Margery Allingham by H.R.F. Keating

The Great Detectives: Albert Campion by Mike Ripley

Margery Allingham at The Grandest Game in the World

Audible

El caso del difunto Pig, de Margery Allingham

Margery-allinghamel-caso-del-difunto-pigDescripción del libro: ‘Pig’ Peters era el matón que le había amargado la existencia a Albert Campion en el colegio. Y Peters está definitivamente muerto según el obituario del periódico, por lo que Campion asiste a su funeral. Entonces, ¿cómo pudo haber muerto de nuevo, seis meses después? La investigación lleva a Campion de regreso a la zona rural de Suffolk, pero este es un asunto muy diferente de las primeras aventuras picarescas como Mystery Mile y Sweet Danger. Parece que ‘Pig’ Peters ha muerto dos veces … Poco después de esto, otros cadáveres comienzan a aparecer justo cuando el cuerpo de Peter desaparece. The Case of the Late Pig es una comedia negra y el toque ligero infalible del autor (excepcionalmente la historia está narrada por el propio Campion) contrasta perfectamente drama y humor. El libro está lleno de muchos episodios con Campion no solo tratando de resolver todos los asesinatos, sino también teniendo que luchar contra sus propios problemas en el frente romántico.

Mi opinión: El caso del difunto Pig es el octavo o noveno libro de la serie de misterios protagonizados por Albert Campion de Margery Allingham, dependiendo de cómo los cuente. En esencia, es una novela corta, 128 páginas en mi edición y, si mi información es correcta, se publicó por primera vez en Mr Campion: Criminologist antes de publicarse como título individual en 1937. La historia también es inusual ya que es la única en el canon narrada en primera persona por el propio Albert Campion.

La historia comienza cuando, casi simultáneamente, Lugg le estaba leyendo el obituario del Times y Campion tenía su atención puesta en una carta anónima que decía: “’Peters’ – RI Peters, de 37 años, el jueves 9, en Tethering, tras una breve enfermedad. Funeral, Tethering Church, sábado a las 2.30. No enviar flores. Los amigos aceptarán esto como única invitación.” El nombre llamó la atención de Campion. Pig Peters y él habían ido a la escuela juntos, Peters era el matón de la clase y Campion le había prometido que iría a su funeral, aunque nunca lo había vuelto a ver. Sin embargo, lo que animó a Campion a ir al funeral de Pig fue el hecho de que Tethering estaba a solo unas millas de Kepesake, donde el coronel Sir Leo Pursuivant, jefe de policía del condado, vivía junto con su hija Janet, por quien Campion sentía una gran atracción. Todo esto sucedió en enero y las cosas habrían permanecido así, si Janet no lo hubiera telefoneado en junio para verlo lo antes posible. Así Campion descubre que Pig Peters, ahora conocido como Oswald Harris, ha muerto seis meses después de haber sido enterrado. Y las circunstancias que rodean a esta su segunda muerte, son muy sospechosas a ojos de la Policía del Condado.

No quisiera agregar nada más, para no estropear un excelente argumento. Basta decir que esta es una historia bastante buena que disfruté mucho leyendo y está bien contada. Hay pocos indicios de quién y cómo pudo haber cometido el crimen. Puedo asegurarles que, de vez en cuando, pueden encontrarse bastante perdidos con respecto al curso que tomarán los acontecimientos. No se desesperen, eventualmente todo encajará en su lugar, pero tendrán que esperar hasta el último capítulo para descubrir qué sucedió realmente.

El caso del difunto Pig ha sido incluido en The Story of Crime Classics in 100 Books, de Martin Edwards.

Acerca del autor: Margery Louise Allingham nació en Ealing, Londres, el 20 de mayo de 1904 en una familia de varias generaciones de escritores. Poco después de su nacimiento, su familia se mudó a Layer Breton, cerca de Colchester, y ella pasaría la mayor parte de su vida en esta zona de Essex. Su padre la animó a escribir y, a los trece años, publicó una historia en la revista de su tía titulada Mother and Home. Asistió a la Escuela Perse, Cambridge, donde escribió y produjo una obra de teatro. Al regresar a Londres en 1920, estudió arte dramático y dicción en Regent Street Polytechnic, lo que la ayudó a controlar un tartamudeo que tenía desde la infancia. En ese momento conoció a su futuro esposo, Philip Youngman Carter, con quien se casó en 1927. Él colaboró ​​con ella y diseñó las cubiertas de muchos de sus libros. Su primera novela, Blackkerchief Dick, se publicó en 1923, cuando tenía 19 años. Su primer éxito lo tuvo en 1929 con la publicación de The Crime at Black Dudley. En ella nos presenta a Albert Campion, inicialmente como un personaje secundario. Campion regresó en Mystery Mile, gracias en parte a la insistencia de sus editores estadounidenses, que se habían enamorado del personaje. Campion tuvo tanto éxito que Allingham lo convirtió en la pieza central de otras 17 novelas y más de 20 cuentos, hasta la década de 1960. Allingham sufrió de cáncer de mama y murió en el Hospital Severalls, Colchester, Inglaterra, el 30 de junio de 1966, a la edad de 62 años. Su última novela portagonizada por Campion, Cargo of Eagles, la terminó su marido a petición suya y se publicó en 1968.

Bibliografía seleccionada: Policía en el funeral (Police at the Funeral, 1931); El signo del miedo / Crimen en el gran mundo (Sweet Danger / The Fear Sign / Kingdom of Death, 1933); La muerte de un fantasma (Death of a Ghost, 1934); Flores para el juez (Flowers for the Judge, 1936); El caso del difunto Pig / El caso del cerdo difunto / El hombre que murió dos veces (The Case of the Late Pig, 1937); Duelo en el ballet (Dancers in Mourning / Who Killed Chloe?, 1937);  La moda en mortajas (The Fashion in Shrouds, 1938); Traitor’s Purse / The Sabotage Murder Mystery (1941); Más trabajo para el enterrador (More Work for the Undertaker, 1948); El tigre en la niebla / El tigre de Londres (The Tiger in the Smoke, 1952); The Beckoning Lady / The Estate of the Beckoning Lady, (1955) y Hide My Eyes / Tether’s End / Ten Were Missing (1958).