Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Medbury Fort Murder

Some months back, Bob Adey recommended a ‘locked room’ mystery to me dating from 1929 and called The Medbury Fort Murder; he also supplied me with a copy. The book was written by George Linnelius, a writer of whom I’ve never heard, and so far I’m afraid I have failed to get round to reading it.

But I was reminded to dig it out of the to-be-read pile by the arrival of the latest issue of Arthur Vidro’s excellent fanzine Give Me That Old-Time Detection. The cover reproduces, in black and white, the dust jacket of the book and it looks rather entertaining (‘Lieutenant Lepean had loved too many women so early one morning…’ ‘At least a dozen men wanted to kill Lt. Lepean – which one murdered him in a locked room?’)

The book features in a fascinatinglist of favourite impossible crime stories which Bob himself has contributed to the magazine. As ever, his comments are concise and instructive. There are plenty of other good things in this issue, which is perhaps the best I’ve seen to date. There are some pithy reviews, including several by Charles Shibuk, a demanding but perceptive commentator, and a long instalment in Marv Lachman’s series of articles about stage plays with a criminal element. There’s also a very welcome piece by the Agatha Christie expert John Curran.

This type of publication is a labour of love, and Arthur Vidro, whom I had the pleasure of meeting briefly when I was in the States a year ago, is really getting into his stride now as editor. Along with its British cousin CADS, this magazine flies the flag for otherwise forgotten Golden Age mysteries with great enthusiasm (and intelligence, as you would expect from a publication associated with Mensa.) Long may it continue to flourish.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Mysteries for geniuses! Sounds like cases I have no hope in solving. :) But I love 'locked room' mysteries. And Lt. Lepean sounds like an excellent victim.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Martin Edwards said...

Elizabeth, I'm sure you'd like Arthur's fanzine. It's great fun.