Sunday 3 February 2008


The arrival of a new issue of CADS is always a cause for celebration as far as I’m concerned. CADS is a magazine for crime and detective story fans produced by the tireless Geoff Bradley, and the latest issue is CADS 53. It’s a magazine to which I contribute reviews and the occasional article, but the reason why I recommend it – to all crime fans, but especially those with an interest in the books of the past – is the astonishing diversity of its contents, and the vast knowledge of contributors such as Tony Medawar, Marv Lachman, Bob Adey and Philip Scowcroft.

Bob, for instance, is the world’s leading authority on ‘locked room mysteries’, and has written a wonderfully entertaining survey of them. Tony keeps coming up with fresh bits of information – when he discovered that the Golden Age novelist Cecil Waye was really a pseudonym for the popular (especially amongst collectors of rare books) John Rhode, the value of Waye’s books on the second hand market suddenly shot up. They are now almost impossible to find.

There’s some great stuff in issue 53. One of the highlights is ‘Detective Writers’ Detection’ by Tony Medawar. He has unearthed a series of articles about unsolved real-life mysteries, printed in a newspaper called ‘The Star’ (no relation to the modern tabloid, I presume) in 1937. Famous authors and criminal investigators were asked to come up with solutions to crimes and readers were offered a prize if they came up with a better alternative explanation. The description of the cases and the solutions is packed with interest; and in fact, only one of the cases has actually been solved in the intervening 70 years.

Each issue of CADS is an absolute bargain; if you’re interested in a copy, email Geoff Bradley:

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