Suggested Reading

We thought you might like to prepare for the conference by reading a selection of books from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. The list below includes classics of the genre and also books that the speakers have recommended, which feature in their talks. The list will be updated regularly so do check back to see what new books are recommended.

2021 Conference Recommendations

Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club – editor Martin Edwards

When Last I Died – Gladys Mitchell

The Rising of The Moon – Gladys Mitchell

The Saltmarsh Murders – Gladys Mitchell

The Mystery of The Peacock’s Eye – Brian Flynn

The Murders Near Mapleton  – Brian Flynn

Murder En Route – Brian Flynn

The Fortescue Candle – Brian Flynn

Tread Softly – Brian Flynn

The Grindle Nightmare* – Q. Patrick

Black Widow** – Patrick Quentin

Death’s Old Sweet Song* – Jonathan Stagge

The Cases of Lieutenant Timothy Trant – Q. Patrick

Hunt in the Dark and Other Deadly Pursuits*** 

*Not currently in print in the UK but available in USA
** Not currently in print
*** To be published in 2021 by Crippen & Landru

2019 Conference Recommendations

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

Previous Years’ Recommendations include:

Dr Jennifer Palmer’s recommended recent books with library settings

The Librarian by Larry Beinhart
Death of an Avid Reader
by Frances Brody
Sew Deadly
and series from 2009 by Elizabeth Casey
Witch Way to Murder and series from 2005 by Shirley Damsgaard
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Real Murders and series from 1994 by Charlaine Harris
The Cruellest Month by Hazel Holt
Murder Past Due and series from 2010 by Miranda James
Step in the Dark by Elizabeth Lemarchand
By Its Cover by Donna Leon
Seneca Falls Inheritance by Miriam Grace Monfredo
Footfall by Christine Poulson
The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom
Oxford Exit by Veronica Stallwood
Murder at the Library of Congress by Margaret Truman
The Wyndham Case by Jill Paton Walsh
The Mark Twain Murders and series from 1989

Recommendations for 2018 Conference

Green for Danger by Christianna Brand
Cat and Mouse by Christianna Brand
The Spotted Cat and Other Mysteries from Inspector Cockrill’s Casebook  by Christianna Brand

Come Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie Mallowan
An Autobiography by Agatha Christie

Beware of Johnny Washington by Francis Durbridge

Death at the President’s Lodging by Michael Innes
Hamlet, Revenge! by Michael Innes
Appleby’s End by Michael Innes

Blood on the Tracks  by Martin Edwards
The Murder of My Aunt by Richard Hull
Bats in the Belfry by E. C. R. Lorac

The Widening Stain by Morris Bishop
Dewey Death by Charity Blackstock
Death Walks in Marble Halls by Lawrence G. Blochman
The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
Murder in a Library by Charles J. Dutton
Dewey Decimated by Charles A. Goodwin
Murder in the Stacks by Marion Boyd Havighurst
Operation Pax  by Michael Innes
Landscape with Dead Dons by Robert Robinson
Murder in the Museum by John Rowland
Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler
The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards
Murder for Pleasure by Howard Haycraft
Talking About Detective Fiction by P.D. James
Bloody Murder by Julian Symons
Snobbery with Violence by Colin Watson
Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd? by Edmund Wilson
The Baffle Book by Lassiter Wren and Randle McKay

Recommendations for 2017 Conference

Professor Kirsten Saxton recommends:
The Incredible Crime* by Lois Austen-Leigh

Tony Medawar recommends:
Death in the Tunnel* by Miles Burton
Death Leaves No Card  by Miles Burton
Murder of a Chemist by Miles Burton
The Secret of High Eldersham* by Miles Burton
The Floating Admiral by The Detection Club
Ask a Policeman by The Detection Club
Death of Two Brothers by John Rhode
The Fourth Bomb by John Rhode
The Paddington Mystery by John Rhode
Masters of the ‘Humdrum’ Mystery by Curtis Evans

For other sessions we suggest:

The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin
Love Lies Bleeding by Edmund Crispin
Holy Disorders by Edmund Crispin

The Viaduct Murder by Ronald Knox
The Body In The Silo by Ronald Knox
Double Cross Purposes by Ronald Knox
The Footsteps at the Lock by Ronald Knox
Still Dead by Ronald Knox
Behind the Screen by  The Detective Club
The Floating Admiral by  The Detective Club
Six Against The Yard by  The Detective Club

* Published in the British Library Crime Classics series and available online direct from The British Library at:

Recommendations for 2016 Conference

The Bishop’s Crime by H. C. Bailey
Mr Fortune Here by H. C. Bailey
The Layton Court Mystery by Anthony Berkeley
The Poisoned Chocolates Case 
by Anthony Berkeley
Malice Aforethought
by Anthony Berkeley (as Francis Iles)
Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton
Ask a Policeman by Members of the Detection Club
A Blunt Instrument by Georgette Heyer
Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer
The Rasp by Philip MacDonald
The Maze by Philip MacDonald:
Vintage Murder by Ngaio Marsh
Enter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh:
Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate
The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey
Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey
Murder at the Manor by various authors (British Library Crime Classics Collection)

Classic Golden Age Books

Police at the Funeral by Margery Allingham
The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley
Green for Danger by Christianna Brand
The Hollow Man
by John Dickson Carr
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
by Agatha Christie
Case with Nine Solutions
by J. J. Connington
Love Lies Bleeding
by Edmund Crispin
Inspector French’s Greatest Case
by Freeman Wills Crofts
Overture to Death by Ngaio Marsh
The Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen
Unnatural Death
by Dorothy L. Sayers
The Greene Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine

Speaker Recommendations

Martin Edwards:
The Norwich Victims by Francis Beeding
Jumping Jenny by Anthony Berkeley
Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles
X v Rex by Philip MacDonald
Mist on the Saltings by Henry Wade

Dolores Gordon-Smith:
Antidote to Venom* by Freeman Wills Crofts
The Hog’s Back Mystery* by Freeman Wills Crofts
Inspector French and the Starvel Tragedy by Freeman Wills Crofts

Tony Medawar:
Fire, Burn! by John Dickson Carr
The Innocence of Father Brown by G K Chesterton
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
He Wouldn’t Kill Patience by Carter Dickson
The Water Room by Christopher Fowler
Bloodhounds by Peter Lovesey

B. A. Pike:
Hide My Eyes by Margery Allingham
Look to the Lady by Margery Allingham
Traitor’s Purse by Margery Allingham
Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers
The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers

Richard Reynolds:
Police at the Funeral by Margery Allingham
May Week Murder
by Douglas G. Browne
Death’s Bright Dart by C. C. Clinton-Baddeley
The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin
Death at the President’s Lodging by Michael Innes
Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers:

L.C. Tyler:
Mr Campion’s Farewell by Margery Allingham/Mike Ripley
The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah
An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson
Snobbery with Violence (non fiction) by Colin Watson 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

In response to popular demand, our speakers have provided lists of some of the books they mentioned in their talks should you wish to follow up on their commentaries:

Tony’s list:
The American Gun Mystery by Ellery Queen
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
Rim of the Pit by Hake Talbot
Sudden Death by Freeman Wills Crofts
The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr
The Plague Court Murders by Carter Dickson
The Tattoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi

Martin’s list:
Middle Class Murder – Bruce Hamilton
Excellent Intentions – Richard Hull
Verdict of Twelve – Raymond Postgate
Mist on the Saltings – Henry Wade
Lonely Magdalen – Henry Wade
The Sweepstake Murders – J J Connington
Trial and Error – Anthony Berkeley
Family Matters – Anthony Rolls
Behind the Screen and The Scoop – Detection Club
The Floating Admiral – Detection Club
Ask a Policeman – Detection Club
Six Against the Yard – Detection Club
The Anatomy of Murder – Detection Club – non-fiction

David’s list:

EDMUND CRISPIN – new editions out now, £7.99 each:
The Moving Toyshop, 1946
Holy Disorders, 1946
Love Lies Bleeding, 1948

FRANCIS DURBRIDGE – published 2nd July, £7.99 each:
Send for Paul Temple, 1938
Paul Temple and the Front Page Men, 1939
News of Paul Temple, 1940
(Then two a month until December.)

This is the new hardback list and the titles we have announced are as follows.
13 August:
The Mayfair Mystery (Frank Richardson, intro by David Brawn), 1907
The Perfect Crime (Israel Zangwill + Edgar Allan Poe, intro by John Curran), 1892, 1841
Called Back (Hugh Conway, intro by Martin Edwards), 1883
24 September:
The Mystery of the Skeleton Key (Bernard Capes, intro by Hugh Lamb), 1919
22 October:
The Grell Mystery (Frank Froëst, intro by Tony Medawar), 1913
19 November:
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (R.L. Stevenson + sequel by Francis Little, intro by Richard Dalby), 1886, 1890
3 December:
The Rasp (Philip MacDonald, intro by Tony Medawar), 1924
7 January:
The House Opposite (J. Jefferson Farjeon, intro by H.R.F. Keating), 1931
(More to come…)

David’s recommendation (for curiosity value rather than literary merit) was The Passing of Mr Quinn, based on a short story by Agatha Christie and novelised by G. Roy McRae, 1929.

Rob’s List

Quick Curtain – Alan Melville – published 1/7
Death of Anton – Alan Melville – published 1/8
Thirteen Guests – J. Jefferson Farjeon – published 1/9
Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries – ed. Martin Edwards – published 1/10
The Z Murders – J. Jefferson Farjeon – published 1/11

*Available to purchase online direct from The British Library at:

Richard’s List

R E Swartwout: The Boat Race Murder
*Michael Innes: Death in the President’s Lodging
J I M Stewart: Myself and Michael Innes (out of Print – Gollancz)Michael Innes: Operation Pax
Michael Innes: Hamlet revenge
Michael Innes: The Secret Vanguard
Michael Innes: The weight of the Evidence
These Innes books go in and out of print – (Stratus publishing – always worth enquiring )
*Ronald Knox: Footsteps in the Lock
*Ronald Knox: The Viaduct Murder (and 4 more from Orion’s Murder Rooms POD imprint)
J C Masterman: An Oxford Tragedy
*Nicholas Blake: A Question of Proof (and lots more available from Vintage books /Random House )
*Edmund Crispin: Holy Disorders
*Edmund Crispin: The Moving Toyshop (all the other titles available from either Harper Collins, Vintage, Felony & Mayhem (USA) or Bloomsbury POD)
*Adam Broome: Oxford Murders
* Victor Whitechurch: Crime At Diana’s Pool
Victor Whitechurch: Murder in College
*Mavis Doriel Hay: Death on the Cherwell
*Mavis Doriel Hay: Murder Underground
*Dorothy L Sayers: Gaudy Night
*H C Bailey: Shadow on the Wall
Katherine Farrar books: The Missing Link, Cretan Counterfeit, Gownsman’s Gallows (out of print)
Stanley Casson: Murder by Burial
*Cyril Alington: Archdeacon’s Afloat
*Dermot Morrah: Mummy Case Murder
Lois Austen-Leigh: The Incredible Crime (NYP 2017)
*A Conan Doyle: Missing Three-Quarter
*Douglas G Browne: May Week Murder
*Glyn Daniel: The Cambridge Murders (*& Welcome Death available too)
*Adam Broome: Cambridge Murders
*Aceituna Griffin: Punt Murder
* VC Clinton-Baddeley: Death’s Bright Dart (& My foe Outstretched Beneath the Tree, Only a Matter of Tiime, No Case for the Police, To Study a Long Silence – all available)
* Margery Allingham: Police at the Funeral (and loads of others available from Vintage, Felony & Mayhem & Bloomsbury POD)
*T H White: Darkness at Pemberley
*F J Whaley: Trouble in College
*Q Patrick: Murder at Cambridge
*Dorothy L Sayers: Nine Tailors (all available from Hodder & Stoughton)
*A A Milne: Winnie the Pooh
*A A Milne: Red House Mystery

If you have trouble obtaining any of the * items, which denote they’re in print, please contact  Richard Reynolds on

8 responses to “Suggested Reading

  1. Pingback: Overture To Death by Ngaio Marsh | In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel

  2. Pingback: Once more with feeling: the mysteries of 2015; top choices: classics | Books to the Ceiling

  3. Pingback: Usual Suspects discuss stories from Capital Crimes – Part One | Books to the Ceiling

  4. Pingback: Current Trends in Crime Fiction: Articles and Sites of Interest | Books to the Ceiling

  5. Pingback: How To Read Cecil Street aka John Rhode aka Miles Burton – In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel

  6. Pingback: Death Leaves No Card by Miles Burton aka John Rhode – In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel

  7. Pingback: My Book Notes: Black Widow (A Peter Duluth Mystery #8), 1952 by Patrick Quentin – A Crime is Afoot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s