Josephine Bell (1897 - 1987) Pseudonym of Doris Bell Collier Ball. Bell was born in
Manchester, England. She was a physician and married a physician. She started writing mystery novels in 1936, and many of her mystery novels had a
medical background. Although she was popular in England, her novels did not appear in the United States until 1955.
A bibliography of her books may be found here.
V.C. Clinton-Baddeley (1900 - 1970) Victor Vaughn Reynolds Geraint Clinton Clinton-Baddeley had a varied life. He received an MA at Cambridge. Following this, he was an editor for the Encyclopedia Britannica, an actor, an author of original plays, adaptations, operettas, and radio scripts, and the owner-manager of Jupiter Records which featured recordings of poetry. It was only in the last four years of his life that he started writing detective fiction. His series detective was Dr. R. V. Davie who was an English professor at Cambridge University. The first book in the series was Death's Bright Dart which was published in 1967. A bibliography of his books is at Classic Crime Fiction. He has a varied listing at the Internet Movie Database.. You may hear Clinton-Baddeley read on YouTube. (Yes, his name is spelled wrong on YouTube)
James Hadley Chase (1906 - 1985) is the pen name of Rene Brabazon Raymond who produced more than eighty novels, and who may be the king of thriller writers in England. He was born in London. He worked selling encyclopedias door to door, and as a traveler for a book wholesaler. In 1939, he wrote No Orchids for Miss Blandish which became a phenomenal best seller. He served as a squadron leader in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He wrote in the style of American hard-boiled detective novels, and his books were set in the United States although Chase was only there a very few times. For more information, see this article at Crime Time. Many of his books were made into movies and a list may be found at The Internet Movie Database.. A bibliography of his books is at Fantastic Fiction.
E. X. Ferrars (1907-1995) - This is a pseudonym for Morna Doris MacTaggert. Ms. Ferrars was born in Rangoon, Burma and grew up in England. In 1928, she earned a degree in journalism from University College in London. She wrote several series in the best traditions of the cozy mystery. Biographical information.
Julian Symons (1912-1994) British author of mysteries, poetry, biographies, and
criticism. Though he wrote several mystery novels, Symons greatest contribution to the mystery genre was as a historian and critic. He was long an advocate of the crime novel as opposed to the more conventional puzzle mystery. A short biography and a bibliography may be found here. More information will be found in his obituary in the New York Times.
Ellis Peters (1913 - 1995) Pseudonym of Edith Pargeter. Ellis Peters wrote 90 books but it was only with the publication of the Brother Cadfael novels that she achieved wide spread recognition. The first Cadfael novel A Morbid Taste for Bones was published in 1977.
Edith Pargeter - A bibliography of her books may be found at Wikipedia.
Dick Francis (1920 - 2010) was born in Tenby in southern Wales. He was riding horses by age five. He dropped out of school at age fifteen. He served as a pilot in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He became a professional jockey in 1948, and became one of the top jockies in England. In 1957, he retired from racing and started writing. He started as racing correspondent for the London Sunday Express. He published his first novel Dead Cert in 1962. His horse racing novels were extremely popular and he won the Silver Dagger Award from the Crime Writers Association, and in 1996, he was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. A bibliography of his books may be found at the Fantastic Fiction web site.
Edmund Crispin (1921 - 1978). Crispin is the pen name of Robert Bruce Montgomery. His series mysteries featuring
amateur detective Gervaise Fen are some of the wittiest and most literate novels in the genre. Crispin was born in Chesham Bois, and attended St. John's College at Oxford
University. He wrote his first Fen novel, The Case of the Gilded Fly in 1944 while still an undergraduate at Oxford. After graduation, he worked for a short time as a teacher, and was
a reviewer of mystery novels for the Sunday Times. Under his Montgomery name, he published songs, choral pieces, and film scores and is best know for the scores for the Carry
On movies. A biography and bibliography may be found at the Golden Age of Detection web site.
Margaret Yorke (1924 - 2012) Yorke is the pen name of Margaret Beda Nicholson. Yorke wrote a short series of mysteries featuring amateur sleuth Patrick Grant, but most of her books were stand-alone novels of crime, psychological suspense, and revenge. She wrote over 50 books, and has won the CWA Golden Dagger award and the Diamond Dagger award. A biography and bibliography may be found at Wikipedia. More information may be found in her obituary in the Guardian.
Hazel Holt (1928 - 2015) - British author of a very enjoyable series which features Sheila Malory, author and
amateur detective, in a small English town. Ms. Holt has also written the biography of Barbara Pym. A bibliography of her books may be found at Fantastic Fiction. There is an interview with Ms. Holt at the Coffeetown Press web site.
Antonia Fraser (1932 - ) grew up in Oxford. She is the daughter of Francis Aungier Pakenham who became the Earl of Longford in 1961. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Oxford. She was married to Sir Hugh Charles Patrick Joseph Fraser in 1956. Later they were divorced, and she married the playwright Harold Pinter. She wrote a number of biographical works on figures from English history, but is know to mystery readers for her series about Jemimah Shore who is a British television reporter. The first Jemima Shore book, Quiet at a Nun was published in 1977. She received the Gold Dagger award from the Crime Writers Association for her nonfiction book The Gunpowder Plot. A bibliography of her works may be found at Fantastic Fiction
Jonathan Gash (1933 - ) is the pen name of John Grant. Grant was born in Bolton. He studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians. While studying there, he worked in antiques junk shops and as a stall attendant at a street antique market. Grant has had a general practice, worked at a pathologist, and a microbiologist. He is a fellow of International College of Surgeons and of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine. He published the first Lovejoy novel, The Judas Pair in 1977 which won the Creasy Award for the best first novel. The Lovejoy series ran on television from 1986 to 1994. A bibliography of his works may be found at Fantastic Fiction.
Jill Paton Walsh (1937 - ) - Ms. Walsh has written childrens and adult novels. She has also completed the novel,
Thrones, Dominations, which Dorothy L. Sayers left uncompleted, and has since written other Lord Peter Wimsey novels. She also writes delightful mysteries which tell of the detecting adventures of Imogene Quy, a nurse at a Combridge university. Jill Paton Walsh Web Site.
Sarah Caudwell (1939 - 2000). Sarah Caudwell only wrote 4 mystery novels but they are gems which shouldn't be missed. Her sleuth was professor Hilary Tamar, an Oxford don. It is impossible to tell whether Hilary is a man or
a woman. Tamar investigates crimes with the assistance of the barristers in chambers at Lincoln's Inn, and these are some of the most eccentric and wittiest characters in mystery literature. The four books are
Thus was Adonis Murdered, The Shortest Way to Hades, The Sirens Sang of Murder, and The Sibyl in Her Grave. For more information, read the article A Most Ingenious Legal Mind: Sarah Cauldwell by Martin Edwards. A biography and bibliography may be found at Crime and Mystery Fiction web site.
Lindsey Davis (1939 - ) was born in Birmingham, read English at Oxford, and then worked in the civil service until 1985. She is best known for her series about Marcus Didius Falco, who solves crimes in Rome in the 70's. The first novel of the series, The Silver Pigs was published in 1989. Ms. Davis has won many awards including the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger which honours outstanding achievement in the field of crime writing. For more information, visit her web site
Ruth Dudley Edwards (1944 - ) Author of both mystery fiction and nonfiction. She is the author of several extremely funny satires of the English establishment. She was born in Ireland, but moved to England for college and has lived there ever since. She has worked as a marketing executive, a civil servant, and a journalist. Her novels feature Robert Amiss, a civil servant, and also members of the police force. It is Amiss who usually solves the crime. Her first mystery novel was Corridors of Power. She has been shortlisted several times for CWA Last Laugh award. Her web site
Simon Brett (1945 - ) Brett started his career as a television producer for BBC. His first series featured Charles Paris, a frequently out-of-work and frequently drinking actor who tries to
solve mysteries. Brett also writes a series about Mrs. Pargeter, the well-to-do widow of a gentleman who was engaged in some sort of criminal activity. Mrs. Pargeter has learned some interesting skills from her late husband which help with her detective activities. His newest series is about the English retirement community of Featherington where the crimes are investigated by Carole Seddon and her friend Jude. For more information, visit Simon Brett's web site.
Sarah J. Mason(1949 - ). Perhaps you know her better as Hamilton Crane, the author of the Miss Seeton Mysteries. Miss
Seeton is a wonderfully eccentric retired art teacher who tackles the world of crime with her umbrella. Mason took over this series from the first two writers, Heron Carvic and Hampton Charles. Miss Mason
also writes a series under her own name about Detective Superintendent Trewley and Sargent Stone of the Allingham Police Department
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