Bodies From The Library 2021: The Many Faces of Patrick Quentin, Q. Patrick and Jonathan Stagge, by Curtis Evans


Yesterday I managed to attend the Bodies From The Library 2021 conference, via Zoom. Unfortunately I arrived late and I won’t be able to post about the programme in detail. However I manage to attend in full Curtis Evans presentation on The Many Faces of Patrick Quentin, Q. Patrick and Jonathan Stagge, an author, or should I better say authors, that I’ve not read yet but I’m looking forward to reading. In order to start becoming familiar with Patrick Quentin, Q. Patrick and Jonathan Stagge, I would like to suggest a look at my post at Index of Classic Mystery Writers (1841 – 1965) on Quentin, Patrick. Hope you find it useful.

Curtis Evans is the author of Masters of the “Humdrum” Mystery and The Spectrum of English Murder and the editor of Clues and Corpses: The Detective Fiction and Mystery Criticism of Todd Downing, Mysteries Unlocked: Essays in Honor of Douglas G. Greene and the Edgar nominated Murder in the Closet: Queer Clues in Crime Fiction Before Stonewall. He blogs at The Passing Tramp.

To begin with I would like to read Q. Patrick’s The Grindle Nightmare (1935 by Webb ?); Patrick Quentin’s Black Widow (1952 by Wheeler); and Jonathan Stagge’s Death’s Old Sweet Song (1946, by Webb and Wheeler). Stay tuned.

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(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. The Hartney Press, Inc. (USA), 1935)

Patrick Quentin, best known for the Peter Duluth puzzle mysteries, also penned outstanding detective novels from the 1930s through the 1960s under other pseudonyms, including Q. Patrick and Jonathan Stagge. Anthony Boucher wrote: “Quentin is particularly noted for the enviable polish and grace which make him one of the leading American fabricants of the murderous comedy of manners; but this surface smoothness conceals intricate and meticulous plot construction as faultless as that of Agatha Christie.”

It begins with the residents of a rustic New England village finding animals brutally slaughtered over a period of weeks, casting a sinister pall over the town of Grindle Oak.
Then, a young girl goes missing, and her father—not trusting the police—asks local doctor Douglas Swanson to help him find her. But when Swanson turns up to begin the search, he finds the man dead with his hands bound in animal traps and his body mutilated. It appears the madman behind the abominable acts has moved on to more evolved prey.
As more depraved crimes are discovered, a wave of suspicion and distrust sweeps through the town, with outright vigilantism threatening to break out. The good doctor finds himself cast as an unlikely sleuth who must discover what demented desires are driving a killer whose bloodlust is growing greater every day . . .(Source: Goodreads)

The Vultures Gather: The Grindle Nightmare (1935), by Q. Patrick at The Passing Tramp

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