Wednesday 27 December 2023


I hope your Christmas festivities were enjoyable and that you're continuing to make the most of the holiday season. Among other things, I've tried out the Cryptic Killers game (excellent), watched the latest Vera and the oldest Death on the Nile and generally consumed more chocolates than are good for me - but at least none of them were poisoned...

Meanwhile, the arrival through the post of the latest issue of Geoff Bradley's 'irregular magazine of comment and criticism about crime and detective fiction', is always a cause for joy. However, the publication of CADS 91 is also tinged with sadness, as Geoff has announced that issue 92 will be the last. It's a shame that CADS won't reach its century, but it's been a very fine innings indeed. Geoff has produced the magazine for 38 years, an astonishing length of time, and he deserves the thanks of all mystery fans - in particular those with a taste for the Golden Age - for his hard work and the quality of the material he has consistently assembled. It's a wonderful achievement.

CADS 91 is, as always, a great read. The contributions are varied and always interesting, and the contributors include some of the most knowledgeable enthusiasts around, including Michael Wilson, Robert Smith, Liz Gilbey, Jamie Sturgeon, Arthur Robinson, Philip Scowcroft, Clint Stacey, Philip Gooden, B.A. Pike, John Cooper, Kate Jackson, and Geoff himself. One notable absentee, alas, is the late Marvin Lachman, the subject of an excellent tribute by Geoff.

One article of particular interest to me, naturally, was Melvyn Barnes' excellent study of the British Library's Crime Classics series. I was also truly delighted to see two of my own novels included in John Cooper's 'The Best Detective Novels I Have Read'. They keep some company with some wonderful books, and the fact that the two novels John highlights are Harry Devlin cases (Yesterday's Papers and The Devil in Disguise) is gratifying. I am, of course, excited about my more recent books, but it's incredibly rewarding to think that my earlier efforts still find favour.

There are lots of good things in this issue, and if you're a fan of classic crime and you're not familiar with CADS, I do encourage you to take a look. Some back issues are still available from Geoff. As regards my own contributions, they are a couple of shortish pieces in this issue, originally conceived as a single piece, about 'Criminal Associations' - the stories behind a couple of the inscribed books in my personal collection, one by Celia Fremlin and the other by Marie Buchanan. 

Finally, a special word of thanks from me to Colin Edwards, who kindly supplied me with his index to the contents of CADS over the years - a really helpful guide to a magazine that is both informative and entertaining to read. CADS may be coming to an end, but I've got no doubt I shall continue to refer to back issues for the foreseeable future.


Trevor Smith said...

Although I only found out about CADS a few years ago (I think from your blog), I have already added a large number of titles to my 'wants' list.
It is a shame it's coming to an end, but a big thank you to Geoff for the amount of time he has invested in producing the magazine, and the enjoyment he's given to its readers.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Trevor. A very good endorsement!