In GAD We Trust – Episode 19: Reissue! Repackage! Repackage! [w’ Various People]

On the back of the Reprint of the Year Award run by Kate at CrossExaminingCrime, I thought it might be interesting to see what those of us who submit titles for that undertaking would choose to bring back from the exile of being OOP.

To that end, I invited various bloggers to nominate a single title and the complete work of an author to reprint, and the responses of those who responded — Kate @ CrossExaminingCrime, Aidan @ Mysteries Ahoy!, Brad @ AhSweetMystery, John @ Countdown John’s Christie Journal, John @ Pretty Sinister, and Steve @ In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel — have been collected for your listening pleasure below. So, get out a pen and paper, load up your secondhand bookseller of choice, and prepare to have your appetite whetted and your bank balance depleted as the cognoscenti of classic mystery fiction tell you what’s on their whislists.

You can listen to the podcast on iTunes here, on Spotify here, or on Stitcher here, or by using the player below. 

My thanks to all involved, to Jonny Berliner for the music, to you for being an audience, and to the publishers both mentioned in the above and overlooked for enabling a brilliantly rich vein of classic mysteries to continue to pour onto all our bookshelves.

Following this episode’s debut (?), John has gone on to write about The Crime in the Crystal (1933) by Robert Hare, and James Scott Byrnside tracked down and reviewed Murder Mansion, a.k.a. House of Murder (1934) by Aidan’s choice J.H. Wallace. Just to futher whet your appetites, like…

If you haven’t voted in the Big Ol’ Agatha Christie 2021 Spoiler Discussion Poll you can find it here; closes on Monday, results and schedule next Saturday.

Stay safe, hope your vaccine notifcation shows up soon, more podcast in a fortnight.

~

All episodes of In GAD We Trust can be found on the blog by clicking here.

42 thoughts on “In GAD We Trust – Episode 19: Reissue! Repackage! Repackage! [w’ Various People]

  1. Very pleased to hear ‘inverted mystery’ crop up several times during people’s presentations. Added a few more titles to the wishlist as a consequence.
    I have to say that if the Rhode reprints materialize I will be a very happy (and substantially poorer) man for it…

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    • Steve made The Robthorne Mystery sound amazing before, and I’m very keen to read it, and Martin Edwards has reviewed it today and made it sound wonderful, too. Here’s hoping something comes of these Rhode/Burton reissues — when he’s good, there’s a lot to enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Before even listening to this excellent podcast, I would have said Death of Jezebel as the single book to reprint. Good to see Brad and John to highlight Brand. It is criminal that her works are difficult to find.

    I like Aidan’s choice of JH Wallis (Murder Mansion was good fun) and Kate’s pick with Yolanda Foldes although the latter remains impossible to find.

    Podcasts / blog postings like this one are invaluable as I learn of titles that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. Today I found affordable copies of John’s selection of Marion Randolph and Puzzle Doctor’s Martin Porlock and look forward to reading both.

    Finally, good choice on James Ronald. I enjoyed They Can’t Hang Me and was pleased that I spotted the culprit immediately in the wonderful Murder in the Family. I am still looking for Six Were to Die.

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    • I read the Cherry Tree Books edition of Six Were to Fie, which was not only rendered in about size 3 font but also turns out to be the dited version (a lot of Ronald’s books were, it seems, reissued in abridged form…); happy hunting, I’m really pleased you enjoyed the two you’ve read as much as you did.

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    • I’m fairly astounded, gvien how unvavailable we all insist these books are, at how many people have just gone online and bought some. Are all y’all secretly millionaires or something?!

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  3. So well done everyone! Sounds like almost everyone had written up a script for their presentations. Here I am a former actor and I just winged it. Next time I’ll follow the wiser choice of having a prepared script and that will eliminate my horrible habit of stammering and bursting out in laughter when speaking extemporaneously.

    Yes! Yes! Yes! to reprinting Mystery of Friar’s Pardon. One of my all time favorite locked room mysteries. Very clever plot. One of the few drownings in a locked room with no water in the genre. Plus the climax takes place at a seance, one of my favorite detective novel tropes.

    And another triple yes to the entire work of James Ronald. (… well, maybe not House of Horror under his “Michael Crombie” alter ego…) But everything else — including the remaining five Crombie novels — must be reprinted. Why They Can’t Hang Me was never reprinted is an genuine mystery to me. It’s yet another of the *absolute best* of the impossible crime subgenre. He can also be one of the wittiest of Golden Age writers.

    I looked up Yolanda Foldes. I may have to read Mind Your Own Murder in a foreign language. The only copies available for sale are the German or French translations. The only copy in English in the USA is in the Harry Ransom Research Center which houses a huge detective fiction collection at Univ of TX/Austin. And they don’t circulate those books. Have to read them in person at the library. …sigh… Hope someone takes up Kate’s suggestion and we get an English reprint of Mind Your Own Murder.

    I’ve ordered several J. H. Wallis novels on Aidan’s recommendation including The Niece of Abraham Pein. I already have a copy of Cries in the Night and I’ll make sure to put that in my TBR pile for March or April.

    I enjoyed hearing from Steve all the recommendations of the best John Rhode mysteries. There is a bookstore here that has about 20 of the Rhodes novels. I’m hoping The Robthorne Mystery is among them.

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  4. I’m surprised Kate did not mention Juanita Sheridan. Her books were reprinted not so long ago but aren’t in print now. They’re not sell-your-organs pricey, but I wouldn’t mind seeing them slightly easier to get – I would have definitely bought them if they had a modern reprint or some ebooks.
    I thought I could probably guess who people would choose but I’m happy to hear some names I hadn’t come across there, and some reminders to look around for secondhand copies of other books.
    I wonder if the scattered nature of the current Carr reprints harms his #brand (shudder) at all. The British Crime Classics are probably the best series to get an author popular attention. If I had to pick any of his books for the series, I wouldn’t have picked the Bencolins. But both the intros for his most famous detectives are now being published elsewhere, so I don’t know if we will ever see his best works published in the popular series.

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    • I imagine reprinting an author’s works will come down to how popular the first titles reprinted prove to be. I know the AMC range reprinted Craig Rice’s Home Sweet Homicide and then dropped plans to do any more as it (bafflingly…) failed to sell well — a situation thankfully now reveresed enough to see another Rice coming from them in the near future.

      Carr will doubtless be the same; no, the Bencolins aren’t the best, but if they sell in appropriate numbers we might see other titles that are (maybe) non-H.M. and non-Fell: one presumes Poison in Jest is a gimme after Bencolin, then there’s The Burning Court, The Bowstring Murders, The Emperor’s Snuff-Box (that would be an excellent choice, if anyone form the BLCC management is reading this…), Fire Burn.

      I mean, if ECR Lorac sells in suitable quantity to see 10 of her books reprinted, surely Carr can shift a few copies…

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  5. As an extremely slow (and bad) reader, I particularly appreciate this episode (and this podcast in general). I’m not going to get thru nearly enough books in my life as it is, and so I’m greatly appreciative of thoughtful, intelligence guidance on what to read. I offer an enthusiastic “Hear, hear!” to the recommendations of reprinting the entire oeuvres of Carr and Brand… and I’ve yet to read even all of their works yet. I’m definitely going to seek the individual titles mentioned from the other writers.

    Incidentally, there are many obscure film adaptations of obscure mystery writers. For instance, beyond James Ronald’s This Way Out being filmed with Charles Laughton as The Suspect (as well as a later Lux Video Theatre version starring Robert Newton), there is also a 1939 film of They Can’t Hang Me (titled The Witness Vanishes) and most intriguingly (and hard to find), a 1938 film version of Murder in the Family starring an astounding cast including Barry Jones, Evelyn Ankers, Jessica Tandy, Glynis Johns, Wilfred Hyde-White, and— in his film debut— Master Roddy McDowell. I’d love to see THAT!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The sheer range of odd and unexpected film adaptations of GAD works makes my head spin a little. I envy people like yourself and Segio who have such a good overview of this kind of thing, and I’d love to be able to track these down and see how they turned out…but then I remember how many damn books there are still to read and it’s no competition really…!

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    • Scott – I looked online for the 1938 film, Murder in the Family. I see it referenced (e.g., in IMDB, etc.), but I saw no way to view it. Have you seen this film? I am keen to watch it. As you state, the cast is stellar.

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      • No, I’ve tried to track it down to no avail. It’s one of my top wish list GAD adaptations (others include the 1930 and ‘40 versions of House of the Arrow, Fog (1933), The Scarab Murder Case (1936), and The Nursemaid Who Disappeared (1939), which I did see once at the BFI). No record of it being lost, but the one time someone claimed to have it for me, it turned out to be false.

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    • Oh, add Love Letters of a Star, a faithful adaptation of Rufus King’s The Case of the Constant God. Like The Nursemaid Who Disappeared, I’ve seen it once (at Cinecon in 2015), but I’d kill for a copy of my own (look, another good motive).

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  6. Thanks for the recording, which I enjoyed. 😊 The frustrating thing, though, it’s that the recommendations will quite naturally tend to be titles that are hard to get.

    But off the back of the recording, I purchased a copy of Marion Randolph’s novel – though I feel like the reference to that famous novel by that famous GA novelist was potentially too much of a spoiler. 😅

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    • the reference to that famous novel by that famous GA novelist

      Oh, yes, that one….

      (I’m joking, I have no idea what you’re talking about 😄).

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  7. It might be worth pointing out that “The Robthorne Mystery” has recently been republished, though in a slightly mysterious edition whose legal status could be dubious. (The same is also true of “The Harvest Murder”, aka “Death in the Hopfields”, and the much less recommendable “Death at the Inn”, one of the late ones in which Priestley doesn’t do much at all).

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  8. I like the ability to double dip with the “this is my selfish choice” vs “this is for the masses”. Brand and Carr are obvious (and the most worthy) selections for authors that deserve to be more readily available to the world. I’m also a fan of your selection of Hardly a Man is Now Alive – I love the whole mystery of the Revolutionary War soldier.

    My selfish release of an author would be Virgil Markham. The Devil Drives was so amazing that I have to believe that everything else he wrote had to be at least solid. My selfish release for a book would be Sleeping Bacchus by Hilary St George (acknowledging that it was a repackaged work by another author), because it’s just impossible to find.

    Christianna Brand’s Death of Jezebel is my top choice for a book that should be more available to the masses, although since that was already chosen I’ll go with A Ring of Roses (just for you Brad). It’s not one of her top 5 works, but it’s still excellent (and JJ will somehow hate it).

    Say, can I cheat and say that Paul Halter should be entirely reprinted, albeit in English? He’s not quite GAD I suppose…

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    • I was wary of championing something I’d not read which would then turn out to be not to my taste — a few years ago, I’d’ve doubtless been calling for The Woman in the Wardrobe, and did in fact in 2018 call for a full reprint of E.C.R. Lorac (so, hey, maybe someone is listening to me…!).

      For this precise reason, I steered clear of the likes of Pierre Boileau, Seishi Yokomizo, etc., who it would of course be magnificent to see brought over the language barrier in toto. We’re allowed to dream…

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  9. I ended up plumping for books I have already read but if I had gone for one I really wish I could get an affordable copy of it would be Inspector March of Scotland Yard by JDC. One of those books I can’t get through interlibrary loan and I would be curious to read those stories and compare them to the tv show…

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  10. Pingback: Murder Mansion (aka House of Murder) 1934 – James Scott Byrnside

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