Sunday 23 November 2008


It’s always a good week when the latest issue of CADS arrives. I have a copy of every magazine that Geoff Bradley has produced over a twenty-year span, and each of them contains something unexpected and fascinating. CADS 55 is no exception.

The headline item is ‘Detective Writers in England’, an article Agatha Christie wrote for publication in a Russian magazine in 1945 at the request of the Ministry of Information. It’s been freshly discovered by that tireless researcher Tony Medawar, and is an interesting read. It is by no means bland (she refers to Lord Peter Wimsey as ‘a good man spoiled’ and describes his beloved Harriet as ‘tiresome’) and is a real find.

Just as good is an article by David Ellis about Roy Horniman’s Israel Rank, an inexplicably overlooked masterpiece that formed the basis of that wonderful film Kind Hearts and Coronets.

There are many other gems. Two articles covered authors about whom I knew nothing – Mildred Davis and A. Fielding. I was especially tempted by Josef Hoffmann’s article to read something by Davis. Does any reader of this blog know her work.

I greatly enjoyed the first part of Nick Kimber’s article about the fascinating, maddening S.S. Van Dine, and the other authors covered in detail include Arthur Upfield, John Rhode (an excellent piece by Ian H.Godden) and Harry Kemelman. The focus is on traditional mysteries, but there are reviews of some newer books, and I was pleased to see an article by fellow blogger Rafe McGregor. Rafe is one of the rising generation of crime writers and commentators and a name to look out for.

I’ve long been a contributor to CADS, and this issue includes a couple of reviews of my own. But the reason I like it is because Geoff Bradley’s labour of love has created, in an overcrowded world of crime commentary, something with a unique flavour. If you are interested in buying a copy, Geoff’s email is


Xavier said...

I was especially tempted by Josef Hoffmann’s article to read something by Davis. Does any reader of this blog know her work.

I do, but I guess it doesn't come quite as a surprise. :D
I particularly recommend her first novel, The Room Upstairs, a nicely creepy piece of work she wrote at the tender age of eighteen. Also recommended are "They Buried A Man", "The Dark Place" and "The Voice on the Telephone" - but everything she wrote is worth reading. She ranks with the best in suspense fiction - Armstrong, Curtiss, Highsmith, Millar, etc - I guess she didn't become a household name because of her limited output.

You can download the 1955 novella "Suicide Hour" at her website managed by Richard Aylesworth:

Martin Edwards said...

Xavier, many thanks. I take any recommendation from you very seriously! So I shall immediately start to seek out Mildred's work. I've never downloaded a story from the internet before, but maybe this is a good one to start with!

RKA said...

Hi: I'm Richard Aylesworth, webmaster of the Mildred Davis website "". I notice that the date you were referred to my site may be in that long period when the site was down (and so was I). My apologies if you were disappointed. The site is up again and you will find a complete bibliography there, as well as the free download of the novella.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Richard. Good to hear from you.