Wednesday, May 22, 2013

80 Years Ago Sunday: The Week in Todd Downing Mystery Reviews

On March 26, 1933 the Oklahoma detective novelist Todd Downing reviewed four mysteries for the Daily Oklahoman newspaper:

The Tuesday Club Murders (The Thirteen Problems), by Agatha Christie
The Hanging Captain, by Henry Wade
Red Warning, by Virgil Markham
Dr. Priestley Lays a Trap (The Motor Rally Mystery), by John Rhode

Short excepts:

The Tuesday Club Murders: Downing applauds the reappearance of "Aunt Jane"--that "no end quick-witted spinster of The Murder at the Vicarage"--in this short story collection.

The Hanging Captain: Downing praises Henry Wade's "eminently sane yarn written in the King's English."

Red Warning: There's "creeping horror" in this tale, Downing notes.  "For shudder addicts."

Dr. Priestley Lays a Trap: "Add and subtract with Dr. Priestley," writes a something less than enthralled Downing.  "For mechanically-minded folk."

Note the stylistic similarities to The Tuesday Club Murders--
Both books were published by Dodd, Mead,
one of the premier American publishers of mystery fiction.

There's much more on Todd Downing--his life, his detective fiction and his mystery review--in my 2013 book Clues and Corpses: The Detective Fiction and Mystery Criticism of Todd Downing.

Personally, I've read all four of these books and I liked them all!

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