Friday, 11 July 2008


The arrival of a new issue of CADS, the fanzine edited by Geoff Bradley, is always a cause for rejoicing as far as I’m concerned. I first met Geoff at the 1990 Bouchercon in London, and soon after that I came across CADS. I’ve been hooked on it ever since.

In this issue, I’ve contributed a few reviews of older books (by Boileau and Narcejac, Durbridge, Rupert Penny and Milward Kennedy) but the real meat is in the articles, and as usual, they are a varied assortment. As usual, the emphasis is not on contemporary crime, and this is a good thing: there are plenty of sources of information about current novels, and much less about the hidden gems of the past. CADS fills the gap admirably.

There are two articles extolling the work of H.C. Bailey. Bailey was a major writer of the Golden Age, ranking, in some estimations, alongside Christie and Sayers, but time has not treated his reputation well. I’ve read a few Bailey short stories, featuring his sleuth Reggie Fortune, and I have a couple of his novels (one features his other series character, a rascally solicitor – shock, horror! – with the improbable name of Joshua Clunk) which I haven’t got round to reading. The recommendations of Nick Fuller and Barry Pike, both of whom are reliable commentators on Golden Age detective fiction, made me resolve to push Bailey up the to-be-read pile.

Among other things, this issue includes an interesting article about Ronald Knox, who laid down ten famous commandments for detective novelists, and a piece by Philip Scowcroft about one of my all-time favourites, Anthony Berkeley. Philip is an immensely knowledgeable crime reader, and he and I collaborated a while back on an article for CADS about the late Cyril Hare. His memory for books read long ago is astonishing and he it was who once pointed me in the direction of Dorothy Bowers, a talented novelist of whom I’d never before heard. This is the merit of fanzines like CADS – they highlight fresh possibilities, reminding readers that just because a writer is forgotten, it doesn’t mean that he or she was not worth reading.


Anonymous said...

Martin, congratulations on the dagger! Wow, that is brillant. When can one buy the short story? I must read it.

I'm so delighted for you.

Anonymous said...

Is it this one?

ie book 6? I can't find an online table of contents listing anyhere, so don't know which volume to buy. I guess the most recent, but? Write a post with a picture so we know -- as I am sure you are doing already ;-)

Kerrie said...

Well done on your CWA short story award Martin

Patricia said...

Congrats on your award for The Bookbinder's Apprentice!

(Slavery museum you described in your last entry sounds very intriquing.)

Vicki said...

I am interested in obtaining a copy of the article about Ronald Knox. Could you point me in the right direction, please?
Best wishes,
Vicki McCaffrey
Pres., Ronald Knox Society

Peter Rozovsky said...

Belated congratulations on your Dagger. I'm proud to sort of know you.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, everyone. I've emailed you, Vicky, with contact details for the editor of CADs.