Roger East (1904–1981)


Roger d’Este Burford was a poet, a screenwriter for British films –mostly musicals and crime dramas–, and a crime writer, under the pseudonym Roger East, with a penchant for exotic locations, as well as a British diplomat in Moscow during World War II. Roger Burford was born on 31 January 1904 in Blaby, Leicestershire, England, UK and died on 27 January 1981 in Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England, UK.

Roger Burford was the son of Samuel Francis Burford an analytical chemist, and Clara d’Este Burford (née d’Este Emery). He had an elder brother, Francis Emery Buford (1898-1918), who was killed in action whilst a 2nd Lt. in the 1st. Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, and sister Marjorie Clara Burford (b. 1899).

In the late 1920s, he began a career as a writer of screen scenarios and scripts in the British film industry, first working as a scenario reader for Walter Mycroft at BIP in 1928. He would then become a scenario editor at British Instructional, before returning to BIP as a writer in 1932. He expanded into television in the 1950s, writing the BBC drama Three Steps in the Dark (1953). His abilities as both a crime novelist and screenwriter led him to specialise in TV crime drama for much of the 1960s. He was the lead scriptwriter for the BBC series Maigret (1960–64) and also wrote for the one-off series The Hidden Truth and The Sentimental Agent. He also wrote a single episode for the BBC series Dr Finlay’s Casebook in 1965. (Source: Wikipedia).

Bibliography as Roger East: The Mystery of the Monkey Gland Cocktail (Putnam, 1932); Murder Rehearsal (Collins, 1933); A Candidate for Lilies (Collins, 1934); The Bell is Answered (Collins, 1934); Twenty Five Sanitary Inspectors (Collins, 1935); Detectives in Gum-Boots (Collins, 1936); Pearl Choker (Collins, 1954); Kingston Black (Collins, 1960); and The Pin Men (Hodder & Stoughton, 1963).

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(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. Collins The Crime Club (UK), 1933)

Murder Rehearsal has been reviewed, among others, by William F. Deeck at Mystery File, Martin Edwards at ‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name? and NIck Fuller at The Grandest Game in the World.

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(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. Collins The Crime Club (UK), 1934)

Candidate for Lilies has been reviewed, among others, by J F Norris at Pretty Sinister Books and Martin Edwards at ‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name?’

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(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. Collins The Crime Club (UK), 1934)

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(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. Collins The Crime Club (UK), 1935)

Twenty Five Sanitary Inspectors has been reviewed, among others, by Martin Edwards at ‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name?’, Kate Jackson at Cross-Examining Crime and TomCat at Beneath the Stains of Time.

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(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. Collins The Crime Club (UK), 1936)

Detectives in Gum-Boots has been reviewed by Martin Edwards at ‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name?’

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