Sometimes I regret saying I’ll do stuff; this week, I regret saying I’ll explore each of the rules of Ronald Knox’s Detective Fiction Decalogue in depth. Mainly because I’m busy, and so I’m not going to do this as well as I otherwise might. And that frustrates me doubly, because Rule 2 is the one that got me thinking about this in the first place.
It may surprise you to learn that I think about the Knox Decalogue a lot. But, like, a lot a lot, “maybe I should write a lecture on the Knox Decalogue and tout it round the various crime conventions” a lot. Instead, because I work full time and am nowhere near famous enough for that to be an option, I’m going to go through the rules one at a time and share some thoughts on here.
Since starting this blog, I have made the acquaintance of The Three Investigators, the Five Find-Outers, and several other juvenile sleuths, the majority of who have been an absolute delight to encounter; today, I add Leroy ‘Encyclopedia’ Brown to that list.
There’s a comforting familiarity about the Ken Holt Mysteries for Boys written by Beryl and Sam Epstein under the nom de plume Bruce Campbell. This is only the third one I’ve read, but, perhaps because of the strict adherence to classic ingredients, I feel like I’m about 12 books deep in the series.
Space Case (2014), the opening volume in Stuart Gibbs’ Moon Base Alpha trilogy, did a very good job of marrying some intelligent scientific speculation with an appealing juvenile detective and a decent whodunnit plot, and follow-up Spaced Out (2016) is even better again.
In the most recent episode of our podcast, I mentioned how Agatha Christie’s The Moving Finger (1942) was the book which made me appreciate how threatening a poison pen campaign could actually be. And four years after Christie used the conceit to drive a town mad, surprise Crime Writers’ Association member Enid Blyton made it the background for some childhood japes. What fun!