Saturday, July 11, 2015

Two Dozen (Nearly) Detectives All in One Place

Edited by Kenneth Macgowan (1888-1963).
Harcourt, Brace & Company.
Anthology: 23 stories.
1931. 595 pages. $3.50
1. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" / Edgar Allan Poe [online HERE]
2. "Silver Blaze" / A. Conan Doyle [online HERE]
3. "The Case of the Dixon Torpedo" / Arthur Morrison [online HERE]
4. "The Absent-Minded Coterie" / Robert Barr [online HERE]
5. "The Missing Necklace" / Jacques Futrelle
6. "The Dublin Mystery" / Baroness Orczy [online HERE]
7. "The Seismograph Adventure" / Arthur B. Reeve [online HERE]
8. "The Treasure Hunter" / Melville Davisson Post [online HERE]
9. "The Puzzle Lock" / R. Austin Freeman [online HERE]
10. "The Queer Feet" / Gilbert K. Chesterton [online HERE]
11. "Missing John Hudson" / Gelett Burgess [online HERE]
12. "The Inoffensive Captain" / E. C. Bentley
13. "The Holloway Flat Tragedy" / Ernest Bramah [online HERE, PDF]
14. "The Butler" / Bennet Copplestone [more about the author HERE]
15. "The Unknown Murderer" / H. C. Bailey [online HERE]
16. "The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim" / Agatha Christie [online HERE]
17. "Homespun Silk" / Octavus Roy Cohen [online HERE]
18. "The International Socialist" / G. D. H. and M. I. Cole
19. "The Entertaining Episode of the Article in Question" / Dorothy L. Sayers [online HERE]
20. "The Dancing Girl" / Anthony Wynne [about the author HERE]
21. "The Treasure Hunt" / Edgar Wallace [online HERE]
22. "The Fogull Murder" / Harvey J. O'Higgins [online starting HERE and finishing HERE; more about the author HERE]
23. "The Prints of Hantoun" / T. S. Stribling [online HERE].

From the Introduction: "This is a collection of fictional detectives, not of detective stories. It aims to present the best twenty-three detectives in English and American fiction, not the best twenty-three detective stories."
Herewith are two contemporary reviews in their entirety:
Here is one adventure of each of 23 well known fiction detectives, from Lupin to Lord Peter Wimsey. At the beginning of each story is a Who's Who of the hero, made up in most cases by the author. The editor has been obliged to omit those sleuths who—like Charlie Chan, Col. Gore and Inspector French—have never appeared in short stories. Nevertheless the collection is representative, and may introduce you to a number of human bloodhounds with whom you are not acquainted. — Walter R. Brooks, "Behind the Blurbs," The Outlook (September 16, 1931, online HERE)
Mr. Macgowan here presents twenty-three great detectives of fiction, and their most celebrated stories. They include such favorites as C. Auguste Dupin in "The Murders of the Rue Morgue", by Edgar Allan Poe; Sherlock Holmes in "Silver Blaze," by A. Conan Doyle; Craig Kennedy in "The Seismograph Adventure", by Arthur B. Reeve; Uncle Abner in "The Treasure Hunter", by Melville Davisson Post; Father Brown in "The Queer Feet", by Gilbert K. Chesterton; Mr. Fortune in "The Unknown Murderer", by H. C. Bailey; Jim Hanvey in "Homespun Silk", by Octavus Roy Cohen; J. G. Reeder in "The Treasure Hunt", by Edgar Wallace; and Detective Duff in "The Fogull Murder", by Harvey J. O'Higgins.
There is a biographical sketch of each detective, prepared by Mr. Macgowan with the assistance of the authors, an introduction by Mr. Macgowan, and an excellent bibliography of detective fiction at the end. — "Checklist of New Books," The American Mercury (October 1931, online HERE; scroll down to page xviii)
- According to Russell H. Fitzgibbon's The Agatha Christie Companion (1980), editor Mac-gowan thought Hercule Poirot was "born" in 1865, which would have made him 110 when he "died" in 1975, while Julian Symons thought he "passed away" at 120.
- Kenneth Macgowan's interests were widespread, as attested to in the Wikipedia article HERE; his theatrical background got him involved with Hollywood productions, including several mystery films, as detailed HERE.
- Mike Grost has speculated: ". . . the suspects in The Chinese Orange Mystery and The Origin of Evil named Macgowan (with a small g) could be a reference to Kenneth Macgowan, who edited the anthology Sleuths (1931)."

Category: Detective fiction

No comments:

Post a Comment