A couple of days before Christmas, I was interviewed on the phone by a journalist from one of the main national newspapers. He was asking me why I thought there was such a revival of interest in Golden Age detective fiction at the moment. I came up with a number of reasons, but I'd also love to know the opinions of readers of this blog. Why - assuming that you agree there is such a revival - do you think it's happening right now? As for the journalist (someone I've often read, but never spoken to previously) I was impressed to learn that he'd just read no fewer than eight Golden Age books, including several British Library Crime Classics - in quick succession - and he'd very much enjoyed them.
Among a number of Christmas treats was a unique one, as far as I am concerned. Someone who has a wonderful collection of Golden Age rarities allowed me the chance to read an unpublished manuscript of a novel of detection by a well-regarded Golden Age writer. Quite thrilling, and definitely a privilege. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and I'm not completely sure why it was never published (though naturally I'm tempted to guess/invent a story about it.). I'd love to see the story published, and I'm in discussions about this possibility,but it's far from straightforward, and I really don't know if it will happen. I will say more about this book at a later date.
Now that my work on The Golden Age of Murder is pretty much completed, I'm also doing some more reading as I work on more anthologies for the British Library. These are aimed mainly at readers who are relatively unfamiliar with Golden Age fiction, and of course it is exceptionally difficult to find good stories that are not well-known to fans However, I've set myself an informal goal of including in each book a minimum of two stories (preferably more) that are genuinely obscure and unlikely to have been read by more than a small number of people.
In this aim I've been assisted by a number of friends, and also one or two correspondents whom I've never met. And now, I wonder, are there any readers of this blog who can point me in the direction of an enjoyable but more or less unknown Golden Age short story (treating the Golden Age here very broadly, so as to extend beyond the inter-war period) and with a setting in a country house or the countryside generally? If so, I'd love to hear from you.