01 February 2023

Today in Mystery History: February 1


Today is our 12th exciting journey into the past of our amazing field.  Hang onto your blunt instrument.

February 1, 1878.  H.C. Bailey was born in London.  His most prominent creation was  a surgeon and amateur detective, Reggie Fortune.  He also wrote about an attorney, the unfortunately named Joshua Clunk.

February 1, 1920. British novelist Colin Watson was born.  He wrote about Inspector Purbright and Lucilla Teatime (another interesting name).  He also produced a history of crime novels between the wars called Snobbery with Violence.

 February 1, 1924.  "Night Shots" appeared in Black Mask Magazine.  It was Dashiell Hammett's seventh story about the Continental Op.  

February 1, 1925. Top Notch Magazine featured "The Case of the Misplaced Thumb" (and now the titles are getting weird).  It was Erle Stanley Gardner's first novelette about Speed Dash (another name for the books), a human-fly turned crime fighter.  I don't mean that he was a character from the movie The Fly.  He was an acrobat, able to climb walls unaided.

February 1, 1929. Dashiell Hammett's novel Red Harvest was released.  It was his second novel about the Continental Op.

February 1, 1976. Robert Martin died. In the forties he wrote for Black Mask, Dime Detective, and other pulps.  In the fifties he started writing novels, many about Cleveland private eye Jim Bennett.  Bill Pronzini, who corresponded with him in his later years, called Martin "a genuinely nice man." 

February 1, 1989.  P.D. James' novel Devices and Desires was published.  It was the eighth appearance by Adam Dalgleish.

February 1, 1993.
Publication date for Marissa Piesman's Heading Uptown.  Piesman and her protagonist were both Jewish New York attorneys.  The books were funny.  She used to write them on the subway on the way to work but, alas, she changed jobs , shortened her commute, and stopped writing them.

February 1, 2000. Peter Levi passed away.  This English author was an interesting fella.  He was a Jesuit priest until his forties.  He became Oxford Professor of Poetry and discovered (in California!) a poem he claimed was written by William Shakespeare.  Most scholars disagreed.  He  wrote several mysteries starting with the wonderfully titled The Head in the Soup in 1979. 



1 comment:

  1. Peter Levi may have come up with the best title ever!


Welcome. Please feel free to comment.

Our corporate secretary is notoriously lax when it comes to comments trapped in the spam folder. It may take Velma a few days to notice, usually after digging in a bottom drawer for a packet of seamed hose, a .38, her flask, or a cigarette.

She’s also sarcastically flip-lipped, but where else can a P.I. find a gal who can wield a candlestick phone, a typewriter, and a gat all at the same time? So bear with us, we value your comment. Once she finishes her Fatima Long Gold.

You can format HTML codes of <b>bold</b>, <i>italics</i>, and links: <a href="https://about.me/SleuthSayers">SleuthSayers</a>