Crime and detective fiction authority Tony Medawar discusses his latest anthology of rare stories of crime and suspense. Bodies from the Library 2 brings together 15 tales from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction for the first time in book form, including a newly discovered Gervase Fen novella by Edmund Crispin that has never previously been published.
With the Golden Age of detective fiction shining ever more brightly with the increasing availability of many long forgotten classic crime novels from the first half of the twentieth century, the publication of Bodies from the Library 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 surely 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 yet to be announced – 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.
Tony Medawar is an authority on crime and detective fiction with a penchant for tracking down lost, forgotten and unknown work by the masters of the genre. He has edited over twenty books including collections of rare stories by writers as diverse as Agatha Christie (‘While the Light Lasts’) and Ruth Rendell (‘A Spot of Folly’). He also edits the annual ‘Bodies from the Library’ anthologies for Harper Collins; the second volume was published this year and includes previously unpublished novellas by Dorothy L Sayers, featuring Peter Wimsey, and Edmund Crispin, featuring Gervase Fen. Other books out this year include Murder She Said: The Quotable Miss Marple, and new collections by Freeman Wills Crofts (‘The 9.50 Up Express and Other Stories’) and John Dickson Carr (‘The Island of Coffins and Other Mysteries from Cabin B13’).