Short Stories
The Purple Flame and Other Detective Stories

by Frederick Irving Anderson
Crippen & Landru, September 2016, $19

The Purple Flame and Other Detective Stories is a collection of 15 fetching traditional mystery stories by Frederick Irving Anderson. The stories originally appeared in magazines as diverse as Adventure, The Saturday Evening Post, and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine between the years 1912 and 1951. Sleuths Oliver Armiston, “the extinct writer,” and Deputy Inspector Parr appear in the majority of the stories. Armiston is an extinct, or retired, writer because one of his tales was used as a blueprint for a very clever and damaging crime, but, with some insistence from DI Parr, his assistance is usually available to the police for solving the most puzzling crimes. The stories are nicely plotted traditional mysteries with a touch of humor and an appealing social commentary of the era. The collection is edited by Benjamin F. Fisher and includes an informative critical essay about Frederick Irving Anderson.

Ben Boulden
Teri Duerr
September 2016
Crippen & Landru