#617: The Black Honeymoon (1944) by Constance and Gwenyth Little [a.p.a by Conyth Little]

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Sisters Constance and Gwenyth Little occupy an unusual place in the firmament of GAD.  Together they wrote 21 novels and, thanks to the Rue Morgue Press reissuing them in the early 2000s, there’s sufficient awareness around them for the term “forgotten” to be thoroughly inappropriate…but you’d have to be a genre nerd to name more than a handful of their books.  Their lack of a series character and the fact that they wrote no short stories (and a single novella, presumably harder to anthologise) doubtless play a part, but I think more telling is the fact that they’re remarkably difficult to pigeonhole.  You’re never quite sure what you’re getting, and that cuts both ways.

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#614: The Silent Murders (1929) by A.G. Macdonell [a.p.a. by Neil Gordon]

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Aaah, the serial killer of yore.  With a sizeable proportion of GAD ne’er-do-wells restricting themselves to one victim, and a lot of them adding a second to help out a floundering narrative, it’s often easy to overlook that classic era detective fiction produced more than a few really dedicated murderers.  The Silent Murders (1929) isn’t the first, though it is quite an early one for GAD, and so while the usual punctilios are observed — and may feel a little hoary nowadays — it pays to remember where you’re walking. As an entry in an under-represented stratum of GAD, this is easily good enough to make you rue the brevity of Macdonell’s detective-esque output.

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#613: Little Fictions/Going Home – The Crime Stories of Edgar Allan Poe: ‘The Man of the Crowd’ (1840), ‘Into the Maelstrom’ (1841), and ‘The Oblong Box’ (1844)

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The accepted wisdom is that Edgar Allan Poe wrote five stories which formed the basis of the nascent detective fiction genre, and the plan for this month had originally been to look at one story each week.  But that’s what you plan when you fail to account for the rigour and research of Christian, who blogs at Mysteries, Short and Sweet.

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