Read detective stories along with us

This month we are reading Detective Stories. (After last month’s World War I fiction I thought some light relief was called for.)

I pulled out a selection of the many detective novels we hold in the collection. Reading Group members chose books by well-known writers Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh and Margery Allingham (I am reading Allingham’s ‘The Fashion in Shrouds’ (1938)) and those lesser known: John Templer, Ronald Knox, C. H. B. Kitchin, J. C. Masterman. My favourite book title is definitely ‘No Orchids for Miss Blandish’ by James Hadley Chase (1939) – perhaps because it reminds me of the song ‘Miss Otis Regrets’…

If you are reading a detective novel at the moment you could check whether is it in our collection, and if it is, you could contribute a plot summary to our catalogue, and a review to the blog. See the page ‘Tell us about these novels’ for details of how to contribute to our data collection. Or email me ( to send in a review to post on the blog.

Here’s a full list of what we’re reading this month:

Margery Allingham, ‘The Fashion in Shrouds’ (1938)
Anthony Berkeley, ‘Trial and Error’ (1937)
Agatha Christie, ‘N or M?’ (1941)
C. H. B. Kichin, ‘Crime at Christmas (1934)
Dorothy L. Sayers, ‘Clouds of Witness’ (1926)
James Hadley Chase, ‘No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1939)
Cyril Hare, ‘Tragedy at Law’ (1942)
Cyril Hare, ‘An English Murder (1951)
J. C. Masterman, ‘An Oxford Tragedy’ (1933)
Hilaire Belloc, ‘But soft: we are observed!’ (1928) A parody of the detective genre – I’m looking forward to hearing what our reader thought of this one! I love parodic writing – I’ve ordered the collection ‘Parody Party’ (1936) after reading this account of it on the blog Vulpes Libris.

Ronald A. Knox, ‘The Three Taps: A Detective Story without a Moral (1927)
William Le Queux, ‘The Day of Temptation’, (1899)
G. D. H. and Margaret Cole, ‘The Murder at Crome House’ (1927)
Caryl Brahms and S. J. Simon, ‘A Bullet in the Ballet’ (1937)
Ngaio Marsh, ‘Enter a Murderer’, (1949)
John Templer, ‘Jaggers, Air-Detective’ (1936)

2 thoughts on “Read detective stories along with us

  1. I’ve just received my Penguin edition of ‘Trent’s Last Case’ which I want to use for one of my posts. I’ll gladly send you the link. ‘Jaggers, Air Detective’ sounds wonderful!

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