Bodies From the Library: Lost Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Agatha Christie and Other Masters of the Golden Age

by Tony Medawar, ed.
Collins Crime Club, July 2018, $16.99

Medawar, a contemporary scholar of classical detective fiction in the class of Martin Edwards and Curtis Evans, presents both an anthology of obscure short stories and a knowledgeable who’s-who reference on the contributors, some not extensively written about elsewhere. The introduction is a good brief history of Golden Age detection, followed by an account of its contemporary revival through reprints, newer writers, TV series, and the annual British Library conference that gives the volume its title. An especially interesting (and obscure) inclusion is Nicholas Blake’s “Calling James Braithwaite,” a previously unpublished 1940 BBC radio play notable for its very extensive notes of sound effects to bring alive its shipboard setting. Other contributors and subjects of the editor’s excellent notes: J.J. Connington, Leo Bruce, Freeman Wills Crofts, Georgette Heyer, John Rhode, Cyril Hare, Vincent Cornier, Arthur W. Upfield, A.A. Milne, Anthony Berkeley, Christianna Brand, Ernest Bramah, H.C. Bailey, Roy Vickers, and the headliner, Agatha Christie, whose contribution is the little-known 1922 tale “The Wife of the Kenite,” first published in an Australian magazine.

(Reviewed from the ebook edition.)

Jon L. Breen
Teri Duerr
Medawar, ed.
July 2018
Collins Crime Club