Friday, 30 October 2015

Forgotten Book - Tidings of Joy

Today's Forgotten Book is a collaborative effort from 1936 by two writers who strike me as an interesting if slightly unlikely partnership. Tidings of Joy was one of a handful of titles co-written by George Goodchild and C.E. Bechhofer Roberts. I first came across Goodchild's detective fiction when I was a small boy, while Roberts is someone I discovered much more recently - and I was rather intrigued, and perhaps surprised, to be told by a rare book dealer that his crime fiction is enthusiastically collected by some people.

Goodchild had a long and prolific career, and is best known for his novels and short stories about Inspector McLean. When I was a young boy, my grandmother lived with us, and every week she read "The Weekly News",which I started to read too. McLean stories were a staple of "The Weekly News",and for a time I enjoyed reading them -until, aged about ten,  I realised they were becoming very formulaic indeed.

Roberts was an interesting character, an Englishman with strong German connections at a time when that probably led to a degree of ostracism. He was fascinated by criminology, among many other things. Spiritualism was a particular interest, but he became very sceptical, as is clear from his portrayal of a dodgy duo involved in spiritualism in Tidings of Joy.

The eponymous Joy is a wealthy woman with a habit of widowhood. She and her latest husband, a drunk, are involved in  a car crash, and rescued by a young British doctor called Connell. Joy takes af fancy to the doctor, which he reciprocates at first, before realising she is a dangerous woman to know. The plot thickens from there. It's a light but reasonably unorthodox mystery which I found highly readable. Sayers admired an earlier book by this pair, and I hope to be writing more about them before long.


R.T. said...

As a way of celebrating Halloween, why not visit my latest posting at my crime fiction blog (i.e., a tip-of-the-hat to Sherlock Holmes):

Martin Edwards said...

Hi R.T. - I tried, but for some reason can't find it - a Halloween mystery, really! Any clues?

R.T. said...

Oops! It should be there.