I'm delighted that Harper Collins have republished Donald Henderson's Mr Bowling Buys a Newspaper in their splendid Detective Story Club series. It's an interesting book by an extremely interesting author. And it was lauded by, among others, Raymond Chandler. He referred to the book in his famous essay "The Simple Art of Murder", and separately he said: "I think it is one of the most fascinating books written in the last ten years."
Many years ago, it was Chandler's essay that caused me to search out the book, but it wasn't easy to find. He pointed out that it hadn't sold many copies, and added "There is something wrong with the book business". Well, the book business is certainly odd at times, and always unpredictable. Henderson was unlucky, although at last he's receiving his due, a nicely produced and very reasonably priced hardback reprint.
I hope the book does really well, because Henderson and his work deserve to be better known. Another book of his, Goodbye to Murder, was published as a Pan paperback, but other than that I'd never seen any of his other novels until last year, when I came across several. And my interest has in part been inspired by Paul Harding, who has researched Henderson's life, and allowed me to see Henderson's unpublished memoir, "The Brink". I've written the intro to this new edition, and the information Paul shared with me was not only fascinating but really helpful.
Henderson had a life that was often sad, and he died in his mid-forties, just when his career might finally have been about to take off. But he really could write, and I hope and expect that this won't be the last of his books to gain a fresh life in the twenty-first century.