Fielding, A. (?? – ??)

The identity of the author is as much a mystery as the plots of the novels. Two dozen novels were published from 1924 to 1944 as by Archibald Fielding, A. E. Fielding, or Archibald E. Fielding, yet the only clue as to the real author is a comment by the American publishers, H.C. Kinsey Co. that A. E. Fielding was in reality a “middle-aged English woman by the name of Dorothy Feilding whose peacetime address is Sheffield Terrace, Kensington, London, and who enjoys gardening.” Research on the part of John Herrington has uncovered a person by that name living at 2 Sheffield Terrace from 1932-1936. She appears to have moved to Islington in 1937 after which she disappears. To complicate things, some have attributed the authorship to Lady Dorothy Mary Evelyn Moore nee Feilding (1889-1935), however, a grandson of Lady Dorothy denied any family knowledge of such authorship. The archivist at Collins, the British publisher, reports that any records of A. Fielding were presumably lost during WWII. Birthdates have been given variously as 1884, 1889, and 1900. Unless new information comes to light, it would appear that the real authorship must remain a mystery. (Source: Amazon)

Further reading:

  • William F. Deeck’s article on The Charteris Mystery at Mystery*File.
  • Curtis Evans’ article on “A. Fielding”–Queen of Crime? at The Passing Tramp.
  • Curtis Evans’ article on The Case of the Two Pearl Necklaces (1936) at The Passing Tramp.
  • Curtis Evans’ article on A. Fielding and The Eames-Erskine Case (1924) at The Passing Tramp.
  • Steve Lewis’ article on The Net Around Joan Ingilby at Mystery*File.
  • Steve Lewis’ article on The Cautley Conundrum is at Mystery*File.
  • A survey of her detective fiction and their contemporary reviews at Ontos.
  • A bibliography can be found at the Golden Age of Detection Wiki.

Bibliography: The Eames Erskine Case (1924); Deep Currents (1924); The Charteris Mystery (1925); The Footsteps That Stopped (1926); The Clifford Affair (1927); The Cluny Problem (1928); The Net Around Joan Ingilby (1928); Murder at the Nook (1929); The Mysterious Partner (1929); The Craig Poisoning Mystery (1930); The Wedding-Chest Mystery (1930); The Upfold Farm Mystery (1931); Death of John Tait (1932); The Westwood Mystery (1932); The Tall House Mystery (1933); The Cautley Conundrum (1934); The Paper Chase (1934); Tragedy at Beechcroft (1935); The Case of the Missing Diary (1935); The Case of the Two Pearl Necklaces (1936); Mystery at the Rectory (1936); Scarecrow (1937); Black Cats Are Lucky (1937); Murder in Suffolk (1938); and Pointer To A Crime (1944).


(Facsimile Dust Jacket, Alfred A. Knopf (USA), 1925)

The Eames-Erskine Case, first published in 1925, is a classic British ‘golden-age’ murder mystery, and introduces the character of Scotland Yard’s Chief Inspector Pointer, the first of two dozen novels featuring the Chief Inspector. From the dustjacket: “The publication of this first novel by A. Fielding marks the advent of a new star in the field of mystery-story writing. From the discovery of the strangled, still-warm body of Reginald Eames in a hotel wardrobe, until all of the multitudinous mysteries in connection with the case are finally unraveled in one of the most startling denouements in modern fiction, the author displays the touch of the born writer of mystery stories.”

When the body of a young man is found in the wardrobe of a London hotel it is at first assumed to be a case of suicide by drug overdose. But Chief Inspector Pointer has his doubts. Why, for instance, would the dead man choose to expire in the rather inconvenient confines of a piece of furniture? And who was the dead man, anyway? Soon these and other questions lead Pointer onto the trail of a completely different crime. Written by an author whose identity is as great a mystery as his/her novels. The Eames-Erskine Case is the first of nearly two dozen mysteries from the 1920’s and 1930’s to feature Chief Inspector Pointer. (Goodreads)

The Eames-Erskine Case has been reviewed, among others, by Curtis Evans at The Passing Tramp, and by Kate Jackson aka ArmchairSleuth at CrossExaminingCrime.

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