Thursday, March 27, 2014

"From Thrilling Scene to More Thrilling Scene, We Hurry"

THE TRAIL OF THE DEAD.
By B. Fletcher Robinson (1870-1907) & J. Malcolm Fraser (1878-1949).
Ward, Lock and Co.
1904. 3s. 6d.
No e-texts seem to be available.

Alas, another reviewer who can't keep his mouth shut:
There is much to be said for the method by which [SPOILER DELETED] silenced adverse criticism. It was at least effectual—he [SPOILER DELETED]. [SPOILER DELETED] is the main figure in The Trail of the Dead, an interesting example of frankly sensational writing, from the pens of Mr. B. Fletcher Robinson and Mr. J. Malcolm Fraser. The story begins with the murder of a notable scientist in Heidelberg after he had written a hostile review of [SPOILER DELETED]. The murder is promptly detected by an English scientist, and then the real work begins. From country to country, from thrilling scene to more thrilling scene, we hurry; and the entire narrative is a successful attempt to make wild improbabilities not only likely, but vividly entertaining. — Unsigned, "Notes on New Books," THE BOOKMAN [U.K.] (March 1904; go to page 266, top left if you don't mind spoilers)
The Strange Experience of Dr. Robert Harland (with John Malcolm Fraser): The Windsor MagazineDecember 1902–May 1903, illustrated by Adolf Thiede, edited by Arthur Hutchinson and published by Ward, Lock & Co. (London). This standard-sized British monthly was a rival to The Strand Magazine within which many of the Sherlock Holmes tales were first published (including The Hound of the Baskervilles). This serialization of six tales features an insane professor who leaves a trail of murdered critics strewn across Europe. Each episode is based about a location that Bertram Fletcher Robinson had visited whilst researching a non-fictional six-part serialization entitled Capitals at Play for Cassell’s Magazine (1897). All six episodes were republished in a book entitled The Trail of the Dead in both Britain and Canada (February 1904) and also as a serialization in two American newspapers, The Sumner Gazette (Sumner, Iowa; May-August 1906) and Daily Herald (Chicago, Illinois; May-August 1906). Fraser (1878-1949) worked with Fletcher Robinson as ‘Day Editor’ of the Daily Express between 1902 and 1904. Later, Fraser was knighted (1919), created a baronet (1921) and awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (1922). — Paul R. Spiring, BFRonline
. . . Robinson is perhaps best remembered for his literary collaborations with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sir P. G. Wodehouse. — Wikipedia ("Bertram Fletcher Robinson")
Also by Robinson, his own version of Sherlock Holmes:

THE CHRONICLES OF ADDINGTON PEACE.
By B. Fletcher Robinson.
C. A. Pearson.
1904.
Collection: 8 stories.
Contents:
I.  "The Story of Amaroff the Pole"
II.  "The Terror in the Snow"
III.  "Mr. Taubery’s Diamond"
IV.  "The Mystery of the Causeway"
V.  "The Tragedy of Thomas Hearne"
VI.  "The Vanished Millionaire" [online HERE]
VII.  "Mr. Coran’s Election"
VIII.  "The Mystery of the Jade Spear" [online HERE]
This collection is very much in the Sherlock Holmes mould, with ingenious and very complicated crimes, the sorts of crimes that require imagination as well as thoroughness in a detective. — dfordoom, VINTAGE POP FICTIONS (June 13, 2013)
Between August 1904 and January 1905, Bertram Fletcher Robinson (hereafter BFR) had six detective short-stories collectively entitled The Chronicles of Addington Peace, published in The Lady’s Home Magazine. Each tale is a separate story and was illustrated by Thomas Heath Robinson (the eldest brother of the more-famous William Heath Robinson). Detective Inspector Peace is employed by Scotland Yard’s Criminal Investigation Department and is partnered by a young neighbour and artist called James Phillips. Phillips describes Addington Peace as follows:
. . . a tiny slip of a fellow, of about five and thirty years of age. A stubble of brown hair, a hard, clean-shaven mouth, and a confident chin are my first impression.
During 1905, BFR had eight Peace short stories published in a book that was also entitled The Chronicles of Addington Peace (London: Harper & Brother). In 1951, this book was included in an influential listing of detective-crime short stories entitled Queen's Quorum: A History of the Detective-Crime Short Story as Revealed by the 106 Most Important Books Published in this Field Since 1845. This list was compiled primarily by Frederic Dannay, one half of the famous ‘Ellery Queen’ twosome. The book version features two additional stories that were not published in the earlier six-part magazine serialisation. — Paul R. Spiring, BFRonline
Resources:
- We have met Mr. Robinson before on ONTOS; go HERE.
- There is a website devoted to Robinson HERE.
- Both THE TRAIL OF THE DEAD and THE CHRONICLES OF ADDINGTON PEACE are for sale under the same cover HERE.

Category: Detective fiction

No comments:

Post a Comment