Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Although This Is an Eccentric Book, It Has Plenty of Plus Points"

Francis Everton (Francis William Stokes), busy man that he was, published only six mystery/detective fiction novels in his lifetime; see Curt Evans's review of INSOLUBLE below for more about Everton:

By Francis Everton (Francis William Stokes, 1883-1956).
London Publishers.
1927. 274 pages.

By Francis Everton (Francis William Stokes, 1883-1956).
1928. 311 pages.
[Full review] THE inventor of a new process of making steel is found crushed to death in the jaws of a hydraulic hammer. A solution is manufactured, but Inspector Allport is not led astray. He bides his time, springs his trap, and catches his prey. — "Notes on New Books," THE BOOKMAN (May 1929; go to page xxvi, left bottom)
[Full review] This is a cleverly conceived and well executed mystery story, having for its setting the town of Castlefield in Derbyshire, near which are the engineering works of Coulson Bros., Ltd. The plot turns upon the discovery by Shardlow, a director of the works, of a new process of manufacture, in which rival firms become interested. Shardlow is murdered, and an engaging little Scotland Yard detective follows false scents before a disused mine yields up the successful clue. Mr. Everton has a gift not only for inventiveness, but for atmosphere. — THE SPECTATOR ARCHIVE (17 November 1928)
By Francis Everton (Francis William Stokes, 1883-1956).
London Publishers [UK]; Morrow [US].
1930. 271 pages [UK]; 304 pages [US].

By Francis Everton (Francis William Stokes, 1883-1956).
London Publishers.
1932. 284 pages.
[Review excerpts] . . . although this is an eccentric book, it has plenty of plus points. For a start, the writing is, although not consistent, at times of a genuinely high standard—much better than you find in many mysteries of the Golden Age. This novel came out in 1932, and it's significant that Arnold Bennett and Dorothy L. Sayers both had a lot of time for Everton's work. Here there is a brilliant, bad-tempered, ugly little cop called Inspector Allport, who is a wonderful and memorable character. And there is plenty of action, along with many unexpected developments.  . . . it contains a good deal of stuff about engineering, the technical aspects of which went right over my head. But he [the author] cleverly integrates his know-how with the plot . . . this book is flawed, in some ways, but it's very interesting indeed.  . . . — Martin Edwards, DO YOU WRITE UNDER YOUR OWN NAME? (25 July 2014)
By Francis Everton (Francis William Stokes, 1883-1956).
Crime Club.
1934. 253 pages.
[Review excerpt] . . . What seems modern about Insoluble is its emphasis on realistic characters and setting and credible psychology over the mechanics of detection.  In fact, though the novel was published in England by the Collins Crime Club, I'm not altogether certain in my mind how much a true detective novel it is. The police detection, by a local man, Inspector Pratt, is mostly behind the scenes. What progress is made in solving the crime is mostly through the groping intuitions of lay characters. Yet I, something of a detection addict, still found it an engrossing mystery.  . . . — Curt Evans, THE PASSING TRAMP (March 9, 2012)
By Francis Everton (Francis William Stokes, 1883-1956).
London Publishers.
1936. 284 pages.

Category: Detective fiction

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