I'm proud to say that the Detection Club has appointed me as its archivist. Given that I have been fascinated by the history of the crime fiction genre for more years than I care to remember, this is not only an honour, but a role that I'm sure I will find rewarding.
Appropriately enough, a good deal of detective work is bound to be required. Although many crime writers are fascinated by history, only a minority take an interest in the details of the evolution of their genre, and information about the early days of the Club in particular is very hard to come by. To a large extent, this is perhaps understandable for a social group whose main objective has always been simply to have a few convivial dinners each year. Looking back, however, it would be fascinating to know more about the discussions and relationships between people like Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.K. Chesterton, Anthony Berkeley and Hugh Walpole.
To this day, there is continuing uncertainty in many quarters about when the Detection Club actually came into existence. For example, the club's own list of members suggests that it started up in 1932, but that cannot be right, since it published The Floating Admiral in 1931. In fact, I'm pretty sure that it began "officially" in 1930.
I'm keen to gather material for the archives, and if any readers of this blog can help, I'd be delighted to hear from them.