the golden age of murder
Martin Edwards’ marvelous The Golden Age of Murder: The Mystery of the Writers Who Invented the Modern Detective Story presents a fascinating cast of characters. Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley, G. K. Chesterton, Gladys Mitchell, Margery Allingham, John Dickson Carr, Christianna Brand, Michael Innes, and a dozen more now obscure mystery writers were members of the Detection Club. Edwards weaves the aspects of their individual stories around the activities of the Club. I had no idea these writers were so quirky! I wanted to drop everything and read some Anthony Berkeley when I learned how snarky he was. The Golden Age of Murder will energize readers and trigger a renewed interest in Golden Age detective novels. And, The Golden Age of Murder should win every mystery award in sight! Don’t miss this extraordinary book!
Members of the Detection Club elected 1930-49
Part One: The Unusual Suspects
The Ritual in the Dark
A Bitter Sin
Conversations about a Hanged Woman
The Mystery of the Silent Pool
A Bolshevik Soul in a Fabian Muzzle
Wearing Their Criminological Spurs
The Art of Self-Tormenting
Part Two: The Rules of the Game
Setting a Good Example to the Mafia
The Fungus-Story and the Meaning of Life
Wistful Plans for Killing Off Wives
The Least Likely Person
The Best Advertisement in the World
Part Three: Looking to Escape
“Human Life’s the Cheapest Thing There Is”
Echoes of War
Murder, Transvestism and Suicide During a Trapeze Act
A Severed Head in a Fish-Bag
“Have You Heard of Sexual Perversions?”
Clearning Up the Mess
What It Means to Be Stuck for Money
Neglecting Demosthenes in Favour of Freud
Part Four: Taking on the Police
Playing Games with Scotland Yard
Why was the Shift Put in the Boiler-Hole?
Trent’s Very Last Case
A Coffin Entombed in a Crypt of Granite
Part Five: Justifying Murder
Knives Engraved with ‘Blood and Honour’
Touching with a Fingertip the Fringe of the Great Events
Collecting Murderers
No Judge or Jury but My Own Conscience
Part Six: The End Game
Playing the Grandest Game in the World
The Work of a Pestilential Creature
Frank to the Point of Indecency
Shocked by the Brethren
Part Seven: Unraveling the Mysteries
Murder Goes One Forever
Constitution and Rules of the Detectives Club
Index of Titles

16 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #326: THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER By Martin Edwards

  1. Deb

    I am so looking forward to reading this! And did you see over on Martin’s blog that he was recently made (elected?) president of the Detection Club?

    1. george Post author

      Deb, you’re going to love THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER! And Martin’s election to President of the Detection Club is just the cherry on top!

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    I have it but haven’t started it yet. I did know some of the authors were “quirky” as you so rightly put it, but will have to read about the others.

    I’m a big fan of Martin Edwards’s Lake District mysteries so I’m glad to have this available here.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, Martin Edwards does a masterful job detailing the wackiness of some of the Detection Club members. It was an eye-opener for me.

    1. george Post author

      Bill, Art Scott told me how much enjoyed THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER which accelerated its rise on my Read Real Soon stack of books. Plenty of forgotten writers are going to be “rediscovered” because of Martin Edwards’ fine book.

    1. george Post author

      Prashant, if your reaction to THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER is anything like mine, you’ll be reading some of these forgotten Golden Age mystery writers!

  3. Art Scott

    Yes, I’ve been touting this to all and sundry. Edwards brings personality and humanity to what could have been just a dull recitation of names and book titles and events. I would normally read a book like this in bits and bobs, but the narrative carried me through start to finish on almost one sitting. He’s also very adroit in not quite blowing the gaff on famous plot gimmicks, while still tipping the wink to mystery buffs who know the secrets. An impressive work of scholarship AND a compelling read.


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