To me reintroducing older mysteries to classic mystery fans, whether on my blog or in new editions of the books themselves, is always enjoyable. It has been a driving passion of mine the last fifteen years to bring vintage mysteries back to light.
classic mystery comes back in a big way
One of the most interesting cases concerns Jefferson Farjeon's Mystery in White, which I reviewed three and a-half years ago on my blog, in what was, I believe, the first piece on the novel on the internet and, quite possibly, the first review of the novel since the 1930s. (For that matter my very first blog post was about Farjeon.)
Back in June 2012 I received a nice email from the literary executor of the estate of the Farjeon siblings telling me that she had been looking to inform delegates to a conference whether there was anything accessible on the net about Jefferson Farjeon, so she was glad to come across my pieces. She agreed with me that Farjeon deserved something rather better than literary oblivion.
As readers of this blog are likely to know, something better indeed came to Farjeon, when, two-and-a-half years later, Mystery in White was reprinted by the British Library to much success, with tens of thousands of copies of the novel sold, as I understand it. The introduction to the reissue is not by me, of course, but here are the detective novels and series I have introduced (links provided):
J. J. Connington novels reprinted by Orion Books' The Murder Room series. This was a direct offshoot of the publication of my 2012 book, Masters of the "Humdrum" Mystery, on the school of so-called "Humdrum" detective novelists (so dubbed by Julian Symons), the most prominent representatives of whom were Cecil John Charles Street (John Rhode/Miles Burton), Freeman Wills Crofts and J. J. Connington.
The nine Todd Downing novels reprinted by Coachwhip. All but the first one have a uniform introduction, but that first one, Murder on Tour, has a special introduction that incorporates additional information I discovered about Todd Downing since the publication of my 2013 book on Todd Downing's crime writing and reviewing, Clues and Corpses.
A uniform introduction to the two detective novels by Willoughby Sharp, Murder of the Honest Broker and Murder in Bermuda (Coachwhip).
A uniform introduction to the two detective novels by Anita Blackmon, Murder a la Richelieu and There Is No Return (Coachwhip).
An introduction to the one detective novel by Kirke Mechem, The Strawstack Murder Case (Coachwhip).
A uniform introduction to the he three detective novels by Emma Lou Fetta, Murder in Style, Murder on the Face of It and Dressed to Kill (Coachwhip).
A uniform introduction to the two detective novels by Medora Field, Who Killed Aunt Maggie? and Blood on Her Shoe (Coachwhip).
An introduction to the one detective novel by Alfred Meyers, Murder Ends the Song (Coachwhip).
Two individual introductions to the Golden Age detective novels of Ianthe Jerrold, The Studio Crime and Dead Man's Quarry (Dean Street Pres)
Information Received, Death among the Sunbathers, Crossword Mystery, Mystery Villa and Death of a Beauty Queen--have been out for a couple of months and just out now are the next five in the series: Death Comes to Cambers, The Bath Mysteries, Mystery of Mr. Jessop, The Dusky Hour and Dictator's Way.
I am also completing introductions for DSP's reissue of twelve Golden Age detective novels by Annie Haynes (1865-1929), Agatha Christie's contemporary female crime writer at The Bodley Head (the English publisher of Christie's first five mystery novels).
These reissues will begin with the Inspector Stoddart series: The Man in the Dark Beard (1928), The Crime at Tattenham Corner (1929), Who Killed Charmian Karslake? (1929) and The Crystal Beads Murder (1930), and be followed by the three novels in Haynes' Inspector Furnival series--The Abbey Court Murder (1923), The House in Charlton Crescent (1926) and The Crow's Inn Tragedy (1927)--and her five stand-alones: The Bungalow Mystery (1923), The Secret of Greylands (1924), The Blue Diamond (1924), The Witness on the Roof (1925) and The Master of the Priory (1927). Below is a sample of what one of the reissues will look like.
Also, at long last, I will be doing an introduction for Crippen & Landru, a project I'm very pleased to have come to fruition (more on this soon).
I also have some more projects with Coachwhip concerning American authors, so stay tuned!
Note: you will find out much more about all the authors mentioned above by searching their names on my blog.