Category: Brian Flynn

Brian Flynn (1885 – 1958)

Yesterday I mentioned, almost in passing, a new (to me) writer, Brian Flynn.

Among the Dean Street Press books, I’d particularly like to highlight two series. The first is the set of books by Brian Flynn, the second is those by E. and M.A. Radford. They benefit from excellent introductions by two fans who have done a good deal of admirable work in the field. Steve Barge (who blogs as The Puzzle Doctor) is a passionate Flynn fan, while Nigel Moss has long admired the work of the Radfords. I haven’t yet read enough of either novelist to be able to judge them for myself (where does the time go?), but the enthusiasm of Steve and Nigel is a recommendation in itself. (Martin Edwards at ‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name?’).

Today I would like to restate my previous post here.

flynnBrian Flynn was born in 1885 in Leyton, Essex. He won a scholarship to the City Of London School, and while he went into the civil service (ranking fourth in the whole country on the entrance examination) rather than go to university, the classical education that he received there clearly stayed with him. Protracted bouts of rheumatic fever prevented him fighting in the Great War, but instead he served as a Special Constable on the Home Front. Flynn worked for the local government while teaching “Accountancy, Languages, Maths and Elocution to men, women, boys and girls” in the evenings, and acting as part of the Trevelyan Players in his spare time. It was a seaside family holiday that inspired him to turn his hand to writing in the mid-twenties. Finding most mystery novels of the time “mediocre in the extreme”, he decided to compose his own. Edith, the author’s wife, encouraged its completion, and after a protracted period finding a publisher, it was eventually released in 1927 by John Hamilton in the UK and Macrae Smith in the U.S. as The Billiard-Room Mystery. The author died in 1958. In all, he wrote and published 57 mysteries, the vast majority featuring the super-sleuth Anthony Bathurst. (Source:  In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel and Dean Street Press).

For additional information please check Steve Barge’s blog In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel, and write down Brian Flynn in his search engine. Particularly Brian Flynn and Me – The Return Of A Forgotten Author.

Bibliography: The Anthony Bathurst Mysteries: The Billiard-Room Mystery (1927), The Case of the Black Twenty-Two (1928), The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye (1928), The Murders Near Mapleton (1929), The Five Red Fingers (1929)*, Invisible Death (1929)*, The Creeping Jenny Mystery aka The Crime at the Crossways (1929), Murder En Route (1930), The Orange Axe (1931), The Triple Bite (1931), The Padded Door (1932), The Edge of Terror (1932), The Spiked Lion (1933), The League of Matthias (1934), The Horn (1934), The Case of the Purple Calf aka The Ladder of Death (1934), The Sussex Cuckoo (1935), The Fortescue Candle (1936), Fear and Trembling aka The Somerset Murder (1936), Tread Softly (1937), Cold Evil (1938), The Ebony Stag (1938), Black Edged (1939), The Case of the Faithful Heart (1939), The Case of the Painted Ladies (1940), They Never Came Back (1940), Such Bright Disguises (1941), Glittering Prizes (1942), Reverse the Charges (1943), The Grim Maiden (1944), The Case of Elymas the Sorcerer (1945), Conspiracy at Angel (1947), The Sharp Quillet (1947), Exit Sir John (1947), The Swinging Death (1948), Men for Pieces (1949), Black Agent (1950), Where There Was Smoke (1951), And Cauldron Bubble (1951), The Ring of Innocent (1952), The Seventh Sign (1952), The Running Nun (1952), Out of the Dusk (1953), The Feet of Death (1954), The Doll’s Done Dancing (1954), The Shaking Spear (1955), The Mirador Collection (1955), The Toy Lamb (1956), The Dice Are Dark (1956), The Hands of Justice (1957), The Wife Who Disappeared (1957), The Nine Cuts (1958), and The Saints Are Sinister (1958).

* This is slightly odd, as The Five Red Fingers is the first book published by John Long, while Invisible Death was the last title published by John Hamilton. Despite this, and the fact that the first edition of The Five Red Fingers refers to Flynn as the author of “The Silver Troika”, presumably an early title for Invisible Death, the events of The Five Red Fingers are referred to in Invisible Death. Hence the order as presented above is correct, both in publication date and in the order the books take place.

Non-Series: Tragedy at Trinket (1934)

Writing As Charles Wogan
: The Hangman’s Hands (1947),
The Horror At Warden Hall
(1948), and
Cyanide For The Chorister
(1950). (Source: In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel)

My original intention was to read first Murder En Route (1930) here, but finally I decided to follow Steve’s advice who recommends to start reading this series with The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye (1928).

Without further ado, another one of the books I have on top of my TBR list right now is Murder En Route (1930),

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(Facsimile Dust Jacket, Grosset & Dunlap (USA), 1932 reprint)

Book Description: “Education’s like murder. It will out.”

Anthony Bathurst drops into a Glebeshire church and when it transpires that the vicar is acquainted with the medical examiner on a case of murder, Bathurst is hooked. He is soon on the trail of a most bizarre murderer. Who could have slain the slightly mysterious, yet quite unsuspicious, man on the top of a local bus? Bathurst assembles a band of helpers, with the reluctant help of Inspector Curgenven, to get to the bottom of a most perplexing case. And the vicar himself helps narrate the story of what is a seemingly impossible crime.

Murder en Route was originally published in 1930. This new edition includes an introduction by crime fiction historian Steve Barge.

What others have said:

Jim F Norris @ Pretty Sinister Books: ‘Being one of Flynn’s earliest mystery novels Murder En Route was published in both UK and US editions. But obviously both are as rare as a wooden nickel these days. However, if you are lucky enough to stumble across a copy I’d snap it up in an instant. I enjoyed it immensely and it proves that the obscure writers can dish up an engrossing, ingenious and thrilling detective story to match any of the greats of the Golden Age.’

TomCat @ Beneath the Stains of Time: ‘Overall, Murder en Route is a solidly plotted and fascinating detective novel about a victim who’s as elusive as his murderer, but all of the clues are there for you to pick up and put together, if you can – making it my favorite entry in the series so far. Highly recommended!’

Steve Barge @ In Search of the Classic Mystery: ‘Overall, this is a nicely complex yet clear plot, with some good twists and turns, with the overall picture being an imaginative one. The reader may guess some parts of it, but there are clues there as to what’s going on, and it’s written with Flynn’s light touch making it, as ever, a very enjoyable read, from the opening sections on the bus to the exciting and somewhat unlikely finale. Yes, some characters suffer from the mystery-novel syndrome of not doing the obvious thing due to it making a better story – Flynn is hardly alone in committing this sin – but this is a clever and fun read. Who could ask for more?’

Kate Jackson @ crossexaminingcrime: ‘This is not the first story to use a vicar-type character to narrate a story. In the same year this book was published we also had Christie’s The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) and two years later we would have Gladys Mitchell’s The Saltmarsh Murders. Initially I was not very taken with the narration style of the rector in Murder En Route, finding it at times a bit ponderous, however as the plot unfolds I found he grew on me. Furthermore, for those who love a good cliff hanger, Flynn has plenty of these in store, making it so tempting to read just one more chapter, to find out what happens next…’

Les Blatt @ Classic Mysteries: ‘Between his first mystery, written in 1927, and his last, in 1958, the author, Brian Flynn, wrote more than fifty mysteries. And yet, his name has slipped into complete and, in my opinion, undeserved oblivion. Dean Street Press has begun republishing some of Flynn’s work, including Murder en Route, and there is a great deal there to enjoy. … The new edition from Dean Street Press of Brian Flynn’s Murder en Route includes a very informative and useful introduction, both to this book in particular and to Flynn’s work in general, from mystery historian Steve Barge. If you don’t know Brian Flynn’s work – and I certainly didn’t – I would recommend Murder en Route as a good place to start.’

My Book Notes: The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye, 1928 (Anthony Bathurst Mysteries Book #3) by Brian Flynn

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Dean Street Press, 2019. Book Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 1072 KB. Print Length: 202 pages. ASIN:B07XQQ1G7F. eISBN: 978-1-913054-40-3. Originally published in 1928. This new edition includes an introduction by crime fiction historian Steve Barge.

51qg9LQ12DL._SY346_Book Description: “Anonymity is such a terribly strong position in which to entrench one’s self. To you I am Sheila Delaney – to me you are – an unknown quantity.”
At the Hunt Ball in Westhampton, Sheila Delaney dances the night away with a stranger – a man who wanted only to be known as Mr X. At the end of the evening, he departs as mysteriously as he appeared.
Months later, private investigator Anthony Bathurst is approached by the Crown Prince of Clorania over a nasty blackmail case.
At the same time a sea-side dentist finds that the girl he was treating has been found dead, apparently injected with cyanide.
The three events prove to be intimately related, and Anthony Bathurst and Chief Detective-Inspector Bannister find themselves on the trail of an exceptionally ruthless murderer.

My Take: The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye is the third outing in Anthony Bathurst Mystery series by Brian Flynn, an author who, despite having written and published more than fifty books, fell into oblivion. For years his books turned out extremely difficult to find, even at old and second-hand book shops. Fortunately, thanks to the initiative of Dean Street Press, we have today at our disposal the first ten books in the series, each one of them with an introduction by crime fiction scholar Steve Barge (The Puzzle Doctor), who blogs at In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel. On my part, despite the fact that I already had the first book in the series by another publisher, I decided to follow Steve’s advice who recommends to start reading the series with this novel.

The story revolves around the mysterious murder of a young lady at a dentist’s chair in Seabourne. She arrived at Dr Braston’s dental clinic suffering a severe toothache. The dentist gave her a local anaesthetic and took out smoothly the tooth that was causing her so much pain. Then, he left her in the chair for a few minutes to recover and he went to his workroom to prepare the order of a client, but he found himself locked in upon trying to return. After a while, his cries drawn the attention of his housekeeper who finally pull him out from his involuntary confinement. Though much to his surprise and horror he found the young lady dead on the chair were he had left her. She had been murdered, poisoned by prussic acid. Fortunately, for the local police, one of the “Big Six” of Scotland Yard, Chief Detective-Inspector Richard Bannister is found vacationing at Seabourne and takes charge immediately of the investigation. Meanwhile in London, Anthony Bathurst, a private investigator, receives the visit of a gentleman who wants to consult him an issue of outmost importance. The visitor in question turns out to be the Crown Prince of Clorania who will soon be marrying Princess Imogena of Natalia. This union, it is believed will bind Clorania and Natalia in an irrevocable alliance. However, his Royal Highness is being blackmailed with the disclosure of an affaire that, if it became public, would impede the celebration of the wedding. What can have in common this two so very different events, to give rise to a collaboration between inspector Bannister and Mr Bathurst? Perhaps the key might be on what happened at the Hunt Ball at Westhampton a year ago last February. But, what was it that really happened?

For those who, like me, can find themselves discouraged to continue the reading upon hearing the outlandish names of Clorania and Princess Imogena of Natalia, should not be worried. I can assure you all, as strange as it may seem, that the rest of the story is not affected by this minor eccentricity in the choosing of names by Brian Flynn. In fact, we are confronted with an interesting story that, undoubtedly, ends up grabbing our attention. It is true that I often ask myself to what extent my views can be influenced by the opinions read in some blogs I highly value. In this particular case I also wonder if the excellent introduction by Steve Barge could not have influence me to some degree. Be that as it may, I can assure you I have found The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye extremely entertaining and well written. It contains a subtle example of the author’s ability to misdirect the reader, while playing fair.  All in all,  an excellent example of an interesting novel in the best tradition of the golden age of detective fiction, that has been possible to recover. My appreciation to all those who have made it possible.

My Rating: A (I loved it)

About the Author: Brian Flynn was born in 1885 in Leyton, Essex. He won a scholarship to the City Of London School, and while he went into the civil service (ranking fourth in the whole country on the entrance examination) rather than go to university, the classical education that he received there clearly stayed with him. Protracted bouts of rheumatic fever prevented him fighting in the Great War, but instead he served as a Special Constable on the Home Front. Flynn worked for the local government while teaching “Accountancy, Languages, Maths and Elocution to men, women, boys and girls” in the evenings, and acting as part of the Trevelyan Players in his spare time. It was a seaside family holiday that inspired him to turn his hand to writing in the mid-twenties. Finding most mystery novels of the time “mediocre in the extreme”, he decided to compose his own. Edith, the author’s wife, encouraged its completion, and after a protracted period finding a publisher, it was eventually released in 1927 by John Hamilton in the UK and Macrae Smith in the U.S. as The Billiard-Room Mystery. The author died in 1958. In all, he wrote and published 57 mysteries, the vast majority featuring the super-sleuth Anthony Bathurst. (Source:  Steve Barge’s Introduction and Dean Street Press).

The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye has been reviewed, among others, at In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel, Beneath the Stains of Time, crossexaminingcrime, Dead Yesterday, Bedford Bookshelf, Classic Mysteries, The Grandest Game in the World, and Mystery File

Dean Street Press publicity page 

Brian Flynn at In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel

The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye (lit.: El misterio del ojo del pavo real), de Brian Flynn

Descripción del libro: “El anonimato es una posición tremendamente sólida en la que uno puede escudarse. Para ti soy Sheila Delaney, para mí eres un completo desconocido.
En el baile de Hunt en Westhampton, Sheila Delaney baila toda la noche con un desconocido, un hombre que solo quería ser conocido como Sr. X. Al final de la noche, se marcha tan misteriosamente como apareció.
Meses después, el príncipe heredero de Clorania se dirige al investigador privado Anthony Bathurst acerca de un desagradable caso de chantaje.
Al mismo tiempo, un dentista junto al mar descubre que la joven a quien estaba tratando ha sido encontrada muerta, aparentemente inyectada con cianuro.
Los tres sucesos resultan estar íntimamente relacionados, y Anthony Bathurst y el Detective-Inspector Jefe Bannister se encuentran tras la pista de un asesino excepcionalmente despiadado.

Mi opinión: The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye es la tercera entrega de la serie de misterio protagonizada por Anthony Bathurst de Brian Flynn, un autor que, a pesar de haber escrito y publicado más de cincuenta libros, cayó en el olvido. Durante años sus libros resultaron extremadamente difíciles de encontrar, incluso en librerías antiguas y de segunda mano. Afortunadamente, gracias a la iniciativa de Dean Street Press, hoy tenemos a nuestra disposición los primeros diez libros de la serie, cada uno de ellos con una introducción del estudioso de la novela policíaca Steve Barge (The Puzzle Doctor), quien escribe en In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel. Por mi parte, a pesar de que ya tenía el primer libro de la serie de otro editor, decidí seguir el consejo de Steve, que recomienda comenzar a leer la serie por esta novela.

La historia gira en torno al misterioso asesinato de una joven en la silla de un dentista en Seabourne. Ella llegó a la clínica dental del Dr. Braston con un fuerte dolor de muelas. El dentista le dio un anestésico local y sacó suavemente el diente que le causaba tanto dolor. Luego, la dejó en la silla durante unos minutos para recuperarse y se fue a su taller para preparar la orden de un cliente, pero se encontró encerrado al tratar de regresar. Después de un rato, sus gritos llamaron la atención de su ama de llaves, quien finalmente lo sacó de su encierro involuntario. Aunque para su sorpresa y horror, encontró a la joven muerta en la silla donde la había dejado. Ella había sido asesinada, envenenada por ácido prúsico. Afortunadamente, para la policía local, uno de los “seis grandes” de Scotland Yard, el inspector jefe de detectives Richard Bannister se encuentra de vacaciones en Seabourne y se hace cargo inmediatamente de la investigación. Mientras tanto, en Londres, Anthony Bathurst, un investigador privado, recibe la visita de un caballero que quiere consultarle un tema de suma importancia. El visitante en cuestión resulta ser el Príncipe Heredero de Clorania, que pronto se casará con la princesa Imogena de Natalia. Se cree que esta unión unirá a Clorania y Natalia en una alianza irrevocable. Sin embargo, su Alteza Real está siendo chantajeado con la divulgación de un asunto que, si se hiciera público, impediría la celebración de la boda. ¿Qué pueden tener en común estos dos sucesos tan diferentes, para dar lugar a una colaboración entre el inspector Bannister y el Sr. Bathurst? Quizás la clave podría estar en lo que sucedió en el Hunt Ball en Westhampton hace un año en febrero pasado, pero ¿qué fue lo que realmente sucedió?

Para aquellos que, como yo, puedan sentirse desanimados para continuar la lectura al escuchar los nombres extravagantes de Clorania y la Princesa Imogena de Natalia, no deben preocuparse. Les puedo asegurar a todos, por extraño que parezca, que el resto de la historia no se ve afectada por esta excentricidad menor de Brian Flynn en la elección de los nombres. De hecho, nos enfrentamos a una historia interesante que, sin duda, termina captando nuestra atención. Es cierto que a menudo me pregunto hasta qué punto mis opiniones pueden verse influenciadas por las opiniones leídas en algunos blogs que valoro mucho. En este caso particular, también me pregunto si la excelente presentación de Steve Barge no podría haber influido en mí hasta cierto punto. Sea como fuere, puedo asegurarles que he encontrado que The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye es extremadamente entretenida y está bien escrita. Contiene un ejemplo sutil de la capacidad del autor para conducir al lector por un rumbo equivocado, mientras juega limpio. Con todo, un excelente ejemplo de una novela interesante en la mejor tradición de la edad de oro de la novela de detectives, que ha sido posible recuperar. Mi agradecimiento a todos los que lo han hecho posible.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Sobre el autor: Brian Flynn nació en 1885 en Leyton, Essex. Obtuvo una beca para la City Of London School, aunque ingresó en el cuerpo de funcionarios civiles del Estado (ocupando el cuarto lugar de todo el país en el examen de ingreso) en lugar de ir a la universidad, la educación clásica que recibió allí claramente le acompañaron siempre. Episodios prolongados de fiebre reumática le impidieron participar activamente en la Primera Guerra Mundial, pero en cambio sirvió como agente especial de la policía en la retaguardia mientras enseñaba “contabilidad, idiomas, matemáticas y expresión oral a hombres, mujeres, niños y niñas” por las tardes, y actuaba formando parte de los Actores de Trevelyan en su tiempo libre. Fueron unas vacaciones familiares junto al mar las que le inspiraron a dedicarse a escribir a mediados de los años veinte. Al encontrar que la mayoría de las novelas de misterio de la época eran “extremadamente mediocres”, se decidió a escribir la suya propia. Edith, su mujer, le animó a terminarla, y tras un período prolongado buscando editor, John Hamilton en el Reino Unido y Macrae Smith en los Estados Unidos la publicaron en el 1927 como The Billiard-Room Mystery. Brian Flynn murió en 1958. En total, escribió y publicó 57 misterios, la gran mayoría protagonizados por el genial detective Anthony Bathurst. (Fuente: Introducción de Steve Barge y Dean Street Press)

Anthony Bathurst – A series by Brian Flynn

Though I may arrive late, one of the publishing events of this year was the release of several books by Brian Flynn. Unfortunately Brian Flynn books until now were, and some still are, very difficult to find. Fortunately, the nice folk at Dean Street Press decided to republish the first ten books: The Billiard Room Mystery (1927); The Case Of The Black Twenty-two (1928); The Mystery Of The Peacock’s Eye (1928); The Murders Near Mapleton (1929); The Five Red Fingers (1929); Invisible Death (1929); The Creeping Jenny Mystery (1930); Murder En Route (1930); The Orange Axe (1931); and The Triple Bite (1931). They all come with an Introduction by crime fiction historian Steve Barge (The Puzzle Doctor), who blogs at In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel.

But who was Brian Flynn? Up to now the only information available in the Internet referred to Brian Flynn (1885-1958), an English author and an accountant in government service, a lecturer in elocution and speech, an amateur actor, who wrote about 50 novels, mostly for the library market. His serial character is Anthony Bathurst. (gadetection) In addition to that you may see also the following post at Mystery File, and the following page at Classic Crime Fiction, but besides that very little was known.

Now we know that Brian Flynn was born in 1885 in Leyton, Essex. He won a scholarship to the City Of London School, and from there went into the civil service. In World War I he served as Special Constable on the Home Front, also teaching “Accountancy, Languages, Maths and Elocution to men, women, boys and girls” in the evenings, and acting in his spare time. It was a seaside family holiday that inspired Brian Flynn to turn his hand to writing in the mid-twenties. Finding most mystery novels of the time “mediocre in the extreme”, he decided to compose his own. Edith, the author’s wife, encouraged its completion, and after a protracted period finding a publisher, it was eventually released in 1927 by John Hamilton in the UK and Macrae Smith in the U.S. as The Billiard-Room Mystery. The author died in 1958. In all, he wrote and published 57 mysteries, the vast majority featuring the super-sleuth Anthony Bathurst. (Source: Dean Street Press)

By the way it was of interest to me to find out that Brian Flynn wrote mainly for what it is called library publishers (publishers whose aim was to produce books which libraries would buy – often by quantity rather than by author. If libraries bought his books, he would keep on writing).  What a difference with Spanish publishers! who would rather destroy their unsold books before giving them away freely to public libraries.

And now, if you allow me, I’m off to reading Murder en Route (The Anthony Bathurst Mysteries Book 8) first, followed by The Murders near Mapleton (The Anthony Bathurst Mysteries Book 8), to put myself in Christmas mood. Stay tuned.

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Facsimile Dust Jacket, Murder en Route by Brian Flynn, Grosset & Dunlap (USA) (1932)

 

Book Description

51iqX1y4GDL“Education’s like murder. It will out.”

Anthony Bathurst drops into a Glebeshire church and when it transpires that the vicar is acquainted with the medical examiner on a case of murder, Bathurst is hooked. He is soon on the trail of a most bizarre murderer. Who could have slain the slightly mysterious, yet quite unsuspicious, man on the top of a local bus? Bathurst assembles a band of helpers, with the reluctant help of Inspector Curgenven, to get to the bottom of a most perplexing case. And the vicar himself helps narrate the story of what is a seemingly impossible crime.

Murder en Route was originally published in 1930. This new edition includes an introduction by crime fiction historian Steve Barge.

What others have said:

Jim F Norris @ Pretty Sinister Books: ‘Being one of Flynn’s earliest mystery novels Murder En Route was published in both UK and US editions. But obviously both are as rare as a wooden nickel these days. However, if you are lucky enough to stumble across a copy I’d snap it up in an instant. I enjoyed it immensely and it proves that the obscure writers can dish up an engrossing, ingenious and thrilling detective story to match any of the greats of the Golden Age.’

TomCat @ Beneath the Stains of Time: ‘Overall, Murder en Route is a solidly plotted and fascinating detective novel about a victim who’s as elusive as his murderer, but all of the clues are there for you to pick up and put together, if you can – making it my favorite entry in the series so far. Highly recommended!’

Steve Barge @ In Search of the Classic Mystery: ‘Overall, this is a nicely complex yet clear plot, with some good twists and turns, with the overall picture being an imaginative one. The reader may guess some parts of it, but there are clues there as to what’s going on, and it’s written with Flynn’s light touch making it, as ever, a very enjoyable read, from the opening sections on the bus to the exciting and somewhat unlikely finale. Yes, some characters suffer from the mystery-novel syndrome of not doing the obvious thing due to it making a better story – Flynn is hardly alone in committing this sin – but this is a clever and fun read. Who could ask for more?’

Book Description

51yxmyfYP9L._SY346_“This is not suicide, gentlemen. This is murder! Cold-blooded murder! The sooner we get the police here and find Sir Eustace Vernon, the better!”

Christmas Eve at Vernon House is in full swing. Sir Eustace’s nearest and dearest, and the great and the good of Mapleton, are all there. But the season of comfort and joy doesn’t run true to form. Before the night is out, Sir Eustace has disappeared and his butler, Purvis, lies dead, poisoned, with a threatening message in his pocket. Or is it her pocket?

That same evening, Police Commissioner Sir Austin Kemble and investigator Anthony Bathurst are out for a drive. They come across an abandoned car at a railway crossing, and find a body – Sir Eustace Vernon, plus two extraordinary additions. One, a bullet hole in the back of his head. Two, a red bon-bon in his pocket with a threatening message attached.

The Murders near Mapleton was originally published in 1929. This new edition includes an introduction by crime fiction historian Steve Barge.

Curtis Evans @ The Passing Tramp: ‘All in all, I would say The Murders near Mapleton is a meritorious example of the pure puzzle type of detective novel that a certain type of mystery fan still clamors for today.  Let’s help make next year’s yuletide gay by gifting readers with a Brian Flynn.  I have a certain feeling he will be coming back in print.

Steve Barge @ In Seach of the Classic Crime Mystery: ‘A well-crafted mystery that keeps the reader’s attention while sticking to the classic whodunit structure. Sure, it’s not in the same league as Dame Agatha, but it’s a damn sign finer than anything by Dame Ngaio.’

TomCat @Beneath the Stains of Time: ‘Other than those two, relatively minor complaints, The Murders Near Mapleton is a shrewdly plotted, fairly-clued detective novel and deserving to be marked as a long-lost classic of the seasonally-themed mystery novel. A fine addition to the ever-growing list of unjustly forgotten detective stories rescued from obscurity by DSP and look forward to October!’

Kate Jackson @ crossexaminingcrime: ‘Although this book takes place over a couple of weeks, a considerable chunk takes place within 24 hours over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, which gives the story a quick pace and the reader a strong desire to find out what happens next. So, if you’re looking for a new festive mystery read then I highly recommend giving this one a go!’