|Todd Downing (1902-1974)|
the Choctaw Nation's contribution
to Golden Age detective fiction writing
--he also reviewed the stuff
....Likewise, we were tepid about the amateur sleuth, Nigel Strangeways--answered examination questions at Oxford with limericks, found the Duchess of Esk’s diamonds, likes tea and lots of bedclothes, murmurs, “Mon dieu, quel hulerberlu!" Quel, I might even say say, toho-bohu!”--although we are assured that “he is a simple soul, really.”
As frequently happens, superlatively good writing minimizes first novel defects....
|Nicholas Blake/Cecil Day Lewis|
prominent exponent of
classical amateur detection
Of course Nigel Strangeways was Nicholas Blake's contribution to the Golden Age facetious gentleman detective breed, so popularized by Dorothy L. Sayers, S. S. Van Dine, Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh, among others. I like Blake's detective fiction, though I must concede that Raymond Chandler complained about Strangeways too (and Strangeways' brilliant explorer wife for that matter). Downing's primary series sleuth, Customs Agent Hugh Rennert, isn't tough like Chandler's private eye Marlowe, but he is more down-to-earth than them toffs!