Sunday, 16 March 2008

Old-Time Detection

Thanks to a note in the latest issue of CADS, I became aware of a privately published American fan magazine called ‘Give me that Old-Time Detection’ and the publisher, Arthur Vidro, has kindly supplied me with a couple of back numbers.

This is a magazine slimmer than CADS, but on roughly similar lines. Some of the contributors are familiar to CADS readers – authorities on Golden Age writing such as Tony Medawar, Marv Lachman and Charles Shibuk.

One of the issues (#10) focuses on that witty and innovative writer Anthony Berkeley, founder of the Detection Club and, under the name of Francis Iles, an early practitioner of psychological suspense. One gem is the re-publication of a 1926 short story, under Berkeley’s real name, called ‘Over the Telephone’. As the editor says, it foreshadows the first Iles novel, Malice Aforethought, which is an absolute classic of the genre.

I wrote an article for ‘Mystery Scene’ recently about Berkeley, and Philip Scowcroft coincidentally wrote about him for CADS. But he’s such an interesting writer that I’ll talk more about him in a future post on this blog.

Meanwhile, fans of the Golden Age may like to check out Arthur Vidro’s magazine. It’s a labour of love.

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