More details of the 2020 Conference

We can now confirm the following speakers will also be appearing at this year’s conference (in addition to those previously announced):

Kate Ellis – author of the best-selling Wesley Peterson series of mysteries

Moira Redmond – commentator on, amongst other things, Clothes in Books

Len Tyler – CWA Dagger winning author

Jake Kerridge – crime fiction critic for the Daily Telegraph

Christine Poulson – author of the Cassandra James and Katie Flanagan mystery series

Jim Noy – author of The Invisible Event blog on (frequently) impossible crime fiction

Daniel Curtis – author of The Reader is Warned blog

Kate Jackson – compiler of the The Pocket Detective puzzles published by The British Library

Steve Barge – the moving force behind the recent republication of Brian Flynn’s novels

The budding Hercule Poirots amongst you may deduce that Steve Barge will be talking on Brian Flynn – one of the topics already announced – but what of the other speakers? What will be their subjects? With less than 24 hours left before the Early Bird discount expires you can ensure you find out by booking for the conference today.

Topics for the 2020 Conference

We can now reveal some (but not all – we want to keep some surprises up our sleeve) of the topics that are going to be covered in this year’s conference.

There will be sessions on classic authors such as Ngaio Marsh and Gladys Mitchell.

And in a salute to our cousins across the Atlantic who will be celebrating their Independence on the day of the conference, there will be a focus on an American “Crime Queen” – the pseudonymous Ellery Queen.

We are also delighted to include a session on a hitherto overlooked author whose works are only now returning into print after a hiatus that, I’m sure our speakers will argue, has been too long: Brian Flynn.

These are just a taste of the goodies we have in store for you and we promise more treats to be revealed shortly.

The only way to be sure not to miss out is to book your place – and there are only a few days left before the Early Bird Discount period expires – so the time to act is now.

2020 Programme nearly finalised

The programme for this year’s conference is nearly finalised. We are just working on the details for the last couple of slots (who will appear with whom and take what aspects of the topic for discussion) before we go live with the planned programme.

I can’t resist mentioning though that we have sessions featuring Tony Medawar, Martin Edwards, Alison Joseph and our own John Curran (who has just been nominated for an Edgar for his book The Hooded Gunman – available at all good bookshops!). We are also thrilled to welcome a speaker new to our conferences but, we are sure, familiar to those of us who discuss Golden Age Detective Fiction online, Curtis Evans.

Topics for this year include Ellery Queen, S. S. Van Dine and Gladys Mitchell.

We will be announcing more speakers and topics very soon.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already booked your tickets, don’t miss out on the Early Bird Discount which applies for only a short while longer and saves you £5 on the ticket price.

A fine edition of Death on the Nile…and a competition


US publisher of fine editions, Thornwillow Press, is bringing out a special edition of Death on the Nile. It is available in four different bindings – paper, half-cloth, half-leather and full leather.

In an intriguing promotion, Thornwillow is running a competition to win a unique prize – literally only a single copy of the prize edition will be made. To win, you will need to solve 21 separate clues and, from the answers, derive three words using either the first or last letter of each solution, then explain the link between the words. Sounds fiendishly complicated. To enter go to: Competition

For those who find the clues too challenging, or who wish to receive additional “goodies” related to Agatha Christie and her travels, you can subscribe to the project. To find out more about subscribing go to: Subscribe

And if all else fails, you can simply buy the fine edition. For more details go to: Death on the Nile


Get your copy of Bodies From The Library 2 before anyone else


The only place to get your copy of Bodies From The Library 2, Tony Medawar’s second collection of lost classics from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, before anyone else is at The Bodies From The Library Conference. Copies will be available for delegates at the conference to purchase before the book goes on sale officially the following month.

The publication of the first Bodies from the Library volume in 2018 was an unexpected treat for fans of some of the genre’s cleverest and most popular writers. With lost stories by authors including Georgette Heyer, A.A. Milne, Anthony Berkeley, Nicholas Blake, Cyril Hare and Roy Vickers, the book was a unique opportunity finally to fill the gaps in some of the greatest canons of detective and thriller fiction.

This follow-up volume is a showcase for fifteen more popular names from the Golden Age, including Margery Allingham, Helen Simpson, Ethel Lina White, John Rhode, Agatha Christie and S.S. Van Dine – plus a few big surprises  – with stories so rare that many don’t yet appear on their writers’ established bibliographies.

Selected and introduced by Tony Medawar, who also writes a short essay about each contributor, Bodies from the Library 2 is a genuine treasure-trove of missing episodes from the work of some of the world’s favourite classic crime writers.

Recommended Reading for Bodies From The Library 2019

We know that many of you like to prepare for the conference by reading books recommended by the speakers that are particularly relevant to their topics. Here are the speakers’ recommendations for the 2019 conference. There is only a little more than two months to go till the day so you will need to get your skates on to read all the titles.

The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr
The Plague Court Murders by Carter Dickson
The Devil in Velvet by John Dickson Carr
She Died a Lady by Carter Dickson
The Burning Court by John Dickson Carr
The Department of Queer Complaints by Carter Dickson

Tenant for Death by Cyril Hare
Suicide Excepted by Cyril Hare
Tragedy at Law by Cyril Hare
With a Bare Bodkin by Cyril Hare
An English Murder by Cyril Hare
He Should Have Died Hereafter by Cyril Hare
Best Detective Stories of Cyril Hare

Dance of Death by Helen McCloy
The Deadly Truth by Helen McCloy
Who’s Calling? by Helen McCloy
Cue for Murder by Helen McCloy
Panic by Helen McCloy
Through a Glass, Darkly by Helen McCloy

Bats in the Belfry by E. C. R. Lorac
Murder by Matchlight by E. C. R. Lorac
Fire in the Thatch by E. C. R. Lorac
Murder in the Mill-Race by E. C. R. Lorac

Murder in the Telephone Exchange by June Wright
So Bad a Death by June Wright
Duck Season Death by June Wright
The Devil’s Caress by June Wright

The Max Carrados Mysteries by Ernest Bramah

Rim of the Pit by Hake Talbot
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
Whistle up the Devil by Derek Smith
Death from a Top Hat by Clayton Rawson
The Case Of The Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin
Sealed Room Murder by Rupert Penny

Agatha Christie: A Life in the Theatre by Julius Green

2019 Conference Programme Announced

The programme for the 2019 Bodies From The Library Conference has now been announced.

It offers a variety of panel sessions and lectures covering a cross-section of both the familiar and the less well-known authors of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.

The full programme is:

9:55 Welcome

10.00 Is The Golden Age Humdrum?
Jake Kerridge, Moira Redmond and Richard Reynolds

10.30 The Puppet Master: John Dickson Carr (1906-1977)
Tony Medawar

11.00 City and Countryside in ECR Lorac’s crime novels
Sarah Ward

11.30 COFFEE

11.50 Two (Undeservedly) Forgotten Crime Club Authors
John Curran

12.20 The Max Carrados Tales of Ernest Bramah
Dolores Gordon-Smith

12.50 LUNCH

1.50 Radio Play

2.20 Murder in Mind: The Crime Novels of Helen McCloy
Christine Poulson

2.50 Agatha Christie: Playwright
Julius Green and John Curran

3.20 TBC


4.10 Cyril Hare: Master of the English Murder
Martin Edwards and Christine Poulson

4.40 The 10 Types of Impossible Crime
Jim Noy and Daniel Curtis

5.10 Ask The Experts

Sadly, the session featuring Simon Brett and Len Tyler which had been planned for the afternoon, as mentioned in our previous notification of conference speakers, has had to be cancelled (or should that be postponed to 2020?) due to family commitments. We will let you know as soon as a new speaker has been confirmed.

Revealed: First topics to be covered at the 2019 Conference

We can now reveal that the programme for the 2019 Bodies From The Library Conference will include:

Ernest Bramah – an English author whose blind detective, Max Carados, featured in stories alongside Conan Doyle’s stories about Sherlock Holmes in the Strand Magazine.

Cyril Hare – the pseudonym of English judge Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark who created the unlikely detective duo of Francis Pettigrew, a second-rate barrister, and Inspector Mallett who appeared separately or together in all bar one of his detective fiction novels including such perennial favourites as Tragedy at Law.

Helen McCloy – creator of Dr Basil Willing whose theory that “every criminal leaves psychic fingerprints and he can’t wear gloves to hide them” informed her series of novels featuring the detective, starting with Dance of Death in 1938.

With less than 48 hours before the Early Bird discount offer ends, you can still ensure your place at what promises to be another fascinating examination of both the famous names of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction and some whose reputations thoroughly deserve to be revived for the 2018 price.


First speakers announced for Bodies From The Library 2019

We are pleased to announce that Simon Brett, Len Tyler, Martin Edwards and Dolores Gordon Smith will all be speaking at the Bodies From The Library Conference 2019. Our own Dr John Curran will also be speaking at the conference.

Personally, I hope that Simon and Len will be paired together to follow up their 2018 double act which was the highlight of the programme for me last year.

And don’t miss out on the Early Bird discount, saving you £5 on the cost of your ticket, if you book before the expiry of the 31 January deadline.