Monday, 7 March 2022


One of the beauties of Geoff Bradley's magazine (or fanzine) CADS is that you never quite know what each new issue will bring. There are contributors who feature regularly, such as Marv Lachman, Liz Gilbey, Mike Ripley,  Philip Scowcroft, Barry Pike, and Jamie Sturgeon, as well as others who cover an extraordinarily wide range of subjects. As a result, I always come away from reading each new issue with something else to look out for.

This is certainly true of the latest issue, CADS 87. For instance, I was unaware of the two detective novels of Alison Cairns, which John Cooper (a sound judge) writes about with considerable enthusiasm. I was familiar with Philip Levene, the radio and TV writer whom Melvyn Barnes discusses in a fascinating piece, but I wasn't aware of the full extent of his work. As a result, I've had a chance, thanks to YouTube, to listen to a couple of his entertaining radio plays. And this in turn has led me to other radio discoveries.

One piece I was glad to see again was a long appreciation of Cyril Hare by his son Charles. Many years ago, Charles sent it to me, along with the initial pages of his father's final novel, which he wondered if I might be interested in completing. Unfortunately there wasn't enough material to build on, but it was fascinating to read. Charles died a few years ago, but his article is full of interesting observations.

My own contribution covered some material which I wasn't able to accommodate in The Life of Crime - a piece dealing with correspondence from Fergus Hume, the American writer Elizabeth Fenwick, and W.J. Burley. But there's much more to enjoy in CADS 87, including a piece by Philip Gooden on J.C. Masterman and an article by Pete Johnson about Nicholas Blake's best books. For fans of crime fiction of any vintage, CADS is a great read and a wonderful resource - strongly recommended.  


Michael Lydon said...


Radio 4 Extra is currently re-broadcasting Philip Levene's series "Destination Fire"; it is most enjoyable, perfect mid-evening listening. (If you weren't aware, between 2000-2100 on Radio 4 Extra is the Crime and Thrillers evening, with many a treat.)

I do like Cyril Hare's work, there is something pure and simple about it; his settings are appropriate, his characters engaging and his puzzles puzzling.

Martin Edwards said...

Hello Michael. I wasn't aware of that - so thank you! I really must listen to it, as Levene was a very good entertainer. So too, in a very different, more low-key way, Cyril Hare

Kacper said...

Alison Cairns! Not a name I thought I'd encounter in the blogosphere today. I read one of her two novels a few years ago and I remember liking it but more as a novel than as a mystery.

Martin Edwards said...

Yes, I can imagine. It's quite often the case that the authors who don't stick around for long are as much writers interested in mainstream type fiction rather than specifically the detective novel.

Mike Campbell said...

How do you get hold of a copy - can't find any link online anywhere. I love Cyril Hare's books especially, so would like to read that feature. Thanks.

Martin Edwards said...

Mike - email Geoff Bradley to get the details.