The arrival of a new issue of CADS is always a treat. Geoff Bradley, the editor of this splendid fanzine, cunningly spaces out the issues so that they arrive infrequently but always seem to fill a long-felt need. Incredibly, we are now up to issue 84. I have every copy and they form an invaluable resource, with lots of information about vintage detective fiction that simply isn't available elsewhere. If you love Golden Age fiction, this is an indispensable publication. And it also carries a range of other material, including articles and reviews relating to contemporary books.
In this issue, I was delighted to see an essay by Mike Wilson on the subject of Michael Gilbert's plays. Mike invited me to join his students at Loughborough University in February for a Golden Age workshop. I also gave a talk. It was an enjoyable visit, and I never imagined at the time that it would be my one and only event outside Cheshire this year.
There are plenty of other interesting contributions. Philip Gooden, a thoughtful commentator as well as a crime novelist, writes about Lionel Davidson, while there are two typically snappy articles by Philip Scowcroft and a very interesting piece by Kate Jackson about an Australian mystery competition in the 1950s. Christine Poulson discusses Ethel Lina White and there's a reprint of an old essay by G.K. Chesterton about the Detection Club. Marvin Lachman's obituary column is full of interesting references and John Cooper writes interestingly about the short-lived writing career of Julie Burrows: the reasons why authors who have battled to achieve publication suddenly give up has always fascinated me, although we don't know why Burrows vanished from sight. There's a similar and much more recent mystery concerning Mary Moody, discussed by Lyn McConachie.
There's much else besides, including two essays by me. One discusses Howdunit. The other, much longer, is the most detailed examination to date of the career of Mary Kelly. I've included a lot of information supplied by Mary's husband Denis, with whom I've enjoyed a fascinating correspondence in recent years. My essay is really a tribute to him as well as to Mary.