Book review: Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko

Kerry Salter’s girlfriend is in jail and her pop is dying, so she leaves Brisbane and her arrest warrants behind and heads south on a stolen Harley to her hometown of Durrongo – a place she’s been avoiding.

Thing is, you run now, after last night, and it’ll haunt you forever. You can go as far away as you like, but the past always comes along for the ride.

Too Much Lip is Goorie author Melissa Lucashenko’s seventh novel. Shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the Stella Prize and winner of the 2019 Miles Franklin Award, it is a dark, funny story about family, home, country, intergenerational trauma, evil property developers, talking animals, life and death.

Kerry knew from long experience that there was no winning an argument with her mother. To Pretty Mary she was and always would be the Great Abandoner. Shame enough to turn out a dyke, but her far greater sin was the empty hole she’d left behind her in the family. Even in the terrible dark shadow cast by Donna’s disappearance, Kerry had still up and left to live among whitefellas and city people. Sharper than a serpent’s tooth, blah blah de-fucken-blah.

Bundjalung language words are peppered through a narrative that exposes the impacts of the history of colonisation and dispossession on Australian Aboriginal people. Lucashenko’s voice in the novel is unique and effectively echoes the voices of Australian aboriginal people I have known. I have never read a novel like it – which primarily tells me that there are far too few Indigenous voices in literature.

Kerry looked around the deserted road.

‘Yugam baugal jang! Buiyala galli! Yugam yan moogle Goorie Brisbanyu? You could help instead of sitting up there like a mug liar from the city.

Kerry looked around again. The waark hopped up and down in rage.

Then the second crow chimed in, dripping scorn.

It’s no good to ya, fang face. Can’t talk lingo! Can’t even find its way home! Turned right at the Cal River when it shoulda kept going straight. It’s as moggle as you look.’

On being awarded the Miles Franklin some critics claimed Too Much Lip to be undeserving as Lucashenko’s voice was not ‘literary’. My reading of that criticism is that those critics are pompous, entitled gits – probably in need of empathy training – and most likely educated in posh private schools with little experience of diversity and no understanding or appreciation of its value.

For a moment Kerry thought her mother was talking about killing the old man. Putting him down gently. Her second thought, hard on the heels of the first, was: just as well Ken’s drug of choice isn’t morphine. If the hospital had prescribed malt whisky to ease Pop’s last days they would have been in trouble.

The Salter family are gritty representations of people living in poverty and battling with day-to-day existence in all its joys, sorrows, and frustrations. Their education is primarily in their own culture, and in survival – not academia and privilege. They are flawed, funny survivours who love and hurt the people they care about, and go through life trying to make the best of it.

Into the river that was about to be stolen away again, as it always had been since Captain James Nunne Esq. first rode up with his troopers, one two three, crying I’ll have that, and that, oh, and that too, while I’m at it.

Too Much Lip is a political novel, which perhaps makes it confronting and challenging for some white Australians to read, but we all should read it because within its pages there is opportunity for greater understanding, and that might help lift our humanity above our turned-up wanker noses.

I’ll definitely be adding more of Lucashenko’s work to my reading list.

image of novels by Margaret Millar

Grand dames of crime: Margaret Millar

I’m delving into the history of women crime writers again this week and celebrating Canadian born literary suspense author Margaret ‘Maggie’ Millar (1915-94). Millar explored complex inner lives, female characters battling frustrated ambition, existential isolation, class issues and changing cultural values. She was known for the depth of characterisation and surprise endings to her novels.

Millar’s writing career began writing in 1941 with The Invisible Worm featuring Paul Prye a cynical psychiatrist detective fond of quoting William Blake. She then turned to writing more conventional mystery novels, though a psychiatric bent remained. Millar’s sixth novel, psychological suspense The Iron Gates featuring Inspector Sands, was bought by Warner Bros for film. Millar worked as a screenwriter for Warner Brothers in Hollywood in the mid-’40s.

Margaret Millar

Millar wrote four non-mystery novels beginning with Experiment in Springtime (1947), a critique of a post-war family. The story features a wife who is miserably married to a man who is psychotically paranoid about her fidelity.

Millar returned to crime fiction with Beast in View, a psychological thriller about spinster Miss Clarvee later adapted for a television episode for Alfred Hitchcock Hour. The novel also won the Edgar Award in 1956. Following the Edgar win, Millar served as president of the Mystery Writers of America 1957-58. In 1982 she was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and also received a Derrick Murdoch Award in 1986, a special achievement award for contributions to the crime genre.

Millar, a passionate bird watcher, was active in the Californian conservation movement in the 1960s. Her observations on wildlife near her home were collected in The Birds and the Beasts Were There (1968). She was named a Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles Times in 1965 for her service in organisations like the National Audubon Society and the Sierra Club. The same year The Fiend was nominated for but did not win a second Edgar. In this creepy, dark novel, a nine year old hungers for affection from her divorced, man-hating, self-pitying mother.

Margaret Millar with daughter Linda and Husband Ken

Millar’s personal life included a tumultuous marriage to fellow mystery author Ken Millar who went by the pen name Ross Macdonald. They had a daughter Linda whose life was tragically short. Linda killed a pedestrian in a drink driving hit and run incident when she was sixteen and was plagued by mental health issues before dying in her sleep of an embolism at age thirty-one.

Margaret Millar did not publish any work for six years following her daughters death in 1970. Her next novel Ask for Me Tomorrow (1976) was about a Hispanic lawyer called Tom Aragon on the trial of a wealthy women’s missing first husband, who disappeared with a Mexican girl.

Over her lifetime the prolific author produced more than 25 psychological mystery novels. She died at her home in Santa Barbara aged 79.


Bibliography:

The Invisible Worm, 1941
The Devils Loves Me, 1942
The Weak-Eyed Bat, 1942
Wall of Eyes, 1943
Fire Will Freeze, 1944
The Iron Gates, 1945
Experiment in Springtime, 1947
It’s All in the Family, 1948
The Cannibal Heart, 1949
Do Evil in Return, 1950
Rose’s Last Summer, 1952
Vanish in an Instant, 1952
Wives and Lovers, 1954
Beast in View, 1955
An Air That Kills, 1957
The Listening Walls, 1959
A Stranger in My Grave, 1960
How Like an Angel, 1962
The Fiend, 1964,
Los Angeles Times, 1965
The Birds and the Beasts Were There, 1967
Beyond This Point Are Monsters, 1970
Ask For Me Tomorrow, 1976
The Murder of Miranda, 1979
Mermaid, 1982
Banshee, 1983
Spider Webs, 1986

Photos from the web

Candice Fox, The Chase cover image

Book review: The Chase by Candice Fox

Candice Fox, all-around good guy, champion of emerging writers, writer of creepy thrillers. I’ve been a fan of Candice Fox since reading her first novel, Hades. Her crime novels are fast-paced and brimming with big bold characters doing outrageous things. She takes us to the limits of believability and holds us there, peering over the cliff face.

The Chase is set in the USA and I suspect Americans are the primary audience for the novel, though perhaps American culture simply allows Candice to take things a step further.

Every year Proghorn Correctional Facility had a Christmas softball game between the wardens and the inmates.

The warden’s families come on a bus through the Nevada desert to make a day of it. This year they are held hostage under the gaze of a sniper in order to free the entire prison population, some of the most dangerous in the country. The incident prompts the biggest manhunt in history. The novel takes the reader on a journey with some of them.

Celine Osbourne is in charge of the death row prisoners. She takes her job, and the break out very seriously. She’s also obsessed with one prisoner in particular and makes it her mission to track down and capture John Kradle.

She pinched the tobacco between her thumb and forefinger, flicked out the rolling paper with a touch more flair than she probably needed to, and laid the little caterpillar of brown fibres down in its thin, dry bed. Three boys, all cousins of hers, crowded in to watch her lick and roll the cigarette. Celine put the smoke to her lips and lit up. Their eyes were big and wild with excitement. It was a thrilling display on many levels. They were all farm kids, and lighting a match for any reason in a barn full of hay was like flipping the bird to Jesus Christ.

John Kradle had been on death row for five years after being found guilty of murdering his family.

He didn’t believe in all the ghost stuff. But he showed up anyway. He figured that was what you did when you loved someone. You nodded and laughed and chipped in with a ‘She’s right, you know. I’ve seen it!’ occasionally.

The breakout is Kradle’s one chance to set the record straight, prove his innocence. Trouble is, a serial killer and Celine are on his tail.

Kradle put his hands on the table, stared at them, and felt a wave of relief roll over him. A part of him had known, in all the years that Christine had been missing, that she had left simply because she was broken. That even if an explanation ever came, it wouldn’t be rational or healing to him.

I could feel the heat of the desert, the desperation, rage and grief of the characters as the complexity of their inner worlds drove their choices – good and bad. The Chase kept me turning the pages and sneaking moments in my day to keep reading. And how lovely to get to the end of find that Candice has dedicated the book to those of us unpublished writers who keep plugging away, hoping that our work will one day find a home.

I have dedicated this book to all aspiring authors. It’s not an easy road. Waiting. Trying. Daydreaming. Being rejected. Having your hopes destroyed and trying to rebuild them. It’s lonely, frustrating, and tedious. But whatever you do, my advice is never to let it become hopeless. Only you have control over that.

Book review: Murder in Mt Martha by Janice Simpson

I’m a sucker for a story set in my home town and this one provides some interesting insights into 1950’s Melbourne.

Janice Simpson was inspired to write her debut novel, Murder in Mt Martha, by the 1953 unsolved murder on the Mornington Peninsula of Shirley May Collins. First published in 2016, this fictional story proposes a potential solution to the open ended real life mystery.

It is sixty years after 14 year old Beverly Middleton was murdered. Nick Szabo is working on a thesis about Hungarian defectors from the polo team that come to Melbourne for the 1956 Olympics. Whilst interviewing an old Hungarian man, Arthur Boyle, Nick stumbles across Arthurs connection to the unsolved murder.

The narrative shifts between 2013 and 1953 and the events leading up to and following the murder.

The story sets a good pace, with well drawn characters, and the complex interwoven story lines hold the readers interest.

Online course reviews

Writing courses can be a great way to learn new techniques, think more deeply about your writing, and motivate you to keep putting ink on the page. Here I review a couple I have completed recently.

Kill Your Darlings: Mastering Emotional Honesty with Lee Kofman

One of the main pieces of feedback I’ve had from editors has been ‘put more emotions and/or drama into your work’. I took this online course to focus a bit of energy on that feedback.

Dr Lee Kofman, who delivers the online course, is a Russian-born Israeli-Australian author of five books and editor of two anthologies. Kofman unpacks the complex and hard task of writing with emotional honesty and helps you discover the rewards of making your writing more prolific and productive.

In the introduction to this course, Kofman suggests a writer should be ‘like a firefighter whose job it is, while everyone else is fleeing the flames, to run straight into them.’ Intellectually safe writing is easier to do, but does not engage readers as effectively – if you want to touch their hearts you have to take risks.

The exercises in this course challenge you to tap into personally emotive events to develop and challenge your writing. It covers concepts such as moral outrage, internal contradictions, sentimentality, nostalgia, emotional complexity and creating emotionally rich complex characters.

Example texts identified in the course include fiction works like Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary; Hanif Kureishi’s Something to Tell You; and memoir including Ann Patchett’s Truth and Beauty and Alice Pung’s Her Father’s Daughter.

KYD courses are good value, well structured short courses with a mix of audio/audiovisual, text, and exercises. Once you purchase a course it is available to you in perpetuity. The learning platform is easy to navigate, so if you are a bit of a luddite you shouldn’t have any trouble.

Australian Writers Centre: Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder with Candice Fox

I’m a big Candice Fox fan and she’s written about fourteen crime fiction novels so she knows a bit about the genre. I love her bold characters and unpredictable, and sometimes outrageous, but still believable plots.

There is a lot of content in this course. The course has eight modules estimated to take eight hours of study time. However, if you go through all the available resources provided you can go a lot deeper and further than the estimated time to complete.

Candice’s great character writing comes to the fore in the course as she explores the psychology of crime, what makes people kill and what happens after they do. Topics covered include premeditation; types of murder crimes; writing crime scenes; looking for suspects and the killer; making the arrest; trials and prison life.

AWC produces quality content using a mix of audio, audio-visual, and practical exercises. Each course is accessible for 12 months from the date of purchase and AWC has regular specials that make them more affordable.

For other online course reviews see here and here and here.



Book review: The Bird of Night by Susan Hill

The great poet Francis Croft was mad. He drifted between exquisite poetic vision and being overtaken by internal daemons that at times drove him to being either homicidal or suicidal. Harvey Lawson, an Egyptologist, met Francis a few years after World War I at a house party. At a subsequent meeting Francis was in a psychotic state, crying and clawing at his face which he claimed was not his own. The two men developed an intense friendship dominated by Francis’s mental illness, and Harvey became Francis’s protector and carer.

And if he is mad, it is because one man’s brain cannot contain all the emotions and ideas and visions that are filling his without sometimes weakening and breaking down. But he will be perfectly well again, his generally well. When his is not he is in despair and when his is fit he dreads the return of his illness. What can that be like to live with?

The Bird of Night is about love and madness. It is a bleak and tender story narrated in the first person in a journal style by Harvey, now an octogenarian, reminiscing about his relationship with Francis to whom he gave himself over. We know from the beginning how the story ends and there is a deep sadness in his narration that explores the space between genius and madness and the minutiae of how it impacted their relationship.

But understanding was not control. If Francis knew what he was, he could not alter it, he had no power at all over the vagaries and eruptions of his own mind. He was helpless in the face of an attack of insanity, no matter which way it went with him, whether he was depressed or violent, whether he was hysterical, agitated or deluded by visions and voices.

Hill’s book is a beautifully written portrayal of the effects of mental illness and the experience and anguish felt by those who care about a person who suffers. She draws a detailed and exquisite portrait of loyalty, tenderness and the intense disquiet of living with mental illness. The novels sense of place is evocative and the descriptions of the countryside and wildlife provide intermittent relief from the poignancy of the story.

But the cycle of Francis’s madness was never a regular or predictable one. I had prepared myself for days, perhaps weeks, spent closeted in that dismal flat by candlelight, having to comfort and support him through his deepest apathy and depression. Certainly, for the next two days he stayed in bed or sat slouched in a chair looking as though he were half drugged, his eyes blank and all his attention turned inward upon himself. He hardly spoke to me and when he did answer a persistent question, it was with a monosyllable. He would not shave or eat or read, but only sat up once in a while and muttered to his own hands. “It’s all wrong, I tell you, it’s all wrong.” Once I caught him staring at himself in a mirror, his face very close to the glass. He looked puzzled. “I’m afraid we have not been introduced,” he said to his reflection. “I do not know your face. Should I know your face? Is this a good party?

The Bird of Night won the Whitbread Award in 1972 and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize the same year. It is the first time I have read a novel by Susan Hill, but I will definitely read more of her work.

Book Review: Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Choice, it seemed, was one of the first casualties of war.

Schoolgirl, Juliet Armstrong is orphaned just before the outbreak of the second world war. She applies to join the Women’s Armed Forces, but is summoned to a job in the secretarial pool of M.I.5 from where she gets selected to work on a special surveillance operation.

The blame generally has to fall somewhere, Miss Armstrong. Women and the Jews tend to be first in line, unfortunately.

Transcription is about the lies and inventions that can shape people’s lives and the consequences of those choices catching up with us. Nothing is exactly as it seems in this slightly camp spy story that moves between 1961, 1950 and 1940, a device that contributes to the sense of obfuscation, along with the invisible ink and hidden cameras and microphones.

People always said they wanted the truth, but really they were perfectly content with a facsimile.

Transcription is a gripping spy story with a skillfully constructed narrative with emotional complexity book-ended by humour. I loved how Atkinson used Juliet’s inner commentary and it’s contrast to what she reveals outwardly to create tension and comedy.

She didn’t feel she had the fortitude for all those Tudors, they were so relentlessly busy – all that bedding and beheading.

The novel is also a bit of a girls own adventure. And who doesn’t love one of those complete with a good strangling with a Hermès scarf and a dog character?

Know where you live

I was listening to Melissa Lucashenko interviewed on The Garret podcast about her novel Too Much Lip whilst I laboured in the garden. The novel won Melissa the 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award amongst other accolades.

Too Much Lip is the story of Kerry Salter, a First Nations Woman, who returns to the place she has been avoiding all her adult life – her hometown. She heads south on a stolen Harley for one last visit to see her dying Pop. The novel is a dark, political, funny and fast paced story about the Salter family, love and redemption, set in fictional Bundjalung country.

Into the river that was about to be stolen away again, as it always had been since Captain James Nunne Esq. first rode up with his troopers, one two three, crying I’ll have that, and that, oh, and that too, while I’m at it.

Too Much Lip

During the interview Melissa spoke about relationships to land, connection to country, and the cultural differences in that connection and knowing. It occurred to me, with a little embarrassment, that despite having lived in the same place and admired the same fabulous view every day for twenty-five years, I did not actually know the names of all the distant landmarks. So I did a bit of research to educate myself. Sadly my efforts returned very little about the Indigenous culture of the specific mountains I can see from my balcony, though all fall within the Wurundjeri and Taungurung lands of the Kulin Nations.

One Tree Hill (372m), Christmas Hills.

One Tree Hill

Europeans named Christmas Hills after David Christmas, an emancipated convict shepherd who got lost in the area in 1842. Gold was discovered at One Tree Hill in 1859 causing a brief gold rush until 1964. Remnants of the mining activity are still visible if you meander along Happy Valley Walking Track through the bush and along the creek of that name. The reserve is home to the large bent-wing bat, eastern horseshoe bat, the carnivorous marsupial phascogale, and powerful, and barking owls.

Yarra Ridge (241m), Christmas Hills

Yarra Ridge is not just a wine label, though being part of Victoria’s first wine growing district most of the information online is about wine. The regions viticultural history goes back to 1838 when the Ryrie Brothers planted a vineyard at Yering Station and produced their first drop in 1845. Vines were first planted at the original Yarra Ridge vineyard by lawyer Louis Bialkower in 1983, though Yarra Ridge wines are now just a brand, having been taken over by Foster’s Group.

Yarra Ridge the place is part of the Great Dividing Range. The Watsons Creek catchment runs along the southern spur downstream form Kinglake National Park and is home to the Growling Grass Frog, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Common Dunnart and the Barking Owl.

From my balcony on 7 February 2009, I could see the glow of the fire that swept along Yarra Ridge which carried it down to devastate the Steels Creek valley. Alice Bishop, author of A Constant Hum, a book which grapples with the aftermath of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, grew up at Christmas Hills.

Mount Graham (271m), Christmas Hills

Mount Graham overlooks Sugarloaf Reservoir, built in the 1970s to supplement Melbourne’s domestic water supply. The dam is fed by the Yarra River and the Maroondah Aqueduct that runs past the base of Mount Graham via the Sugarloaf pipeline.

There is a 14km walking track around the reservoir that skirts the base of Mount Graham. The more adventurous can take the steep climb along a rough track over native grasslands and through fern thickets to the top of the mountain.

Mount Tanglefoot (1024m) and Mount St Leonard (1100m)

Mount St Leonard

Mount Tanglefoot is just north of Mount St Leonard in the Toolangi State Forest. The two peaks are connected by a 10km saddle.

Toolangi is an aboriginal word meaning tall trees, a nod to the Mountain Ash and Myrtle Beech trees in the area that attracted the paling splitters and timber cutters who moved there in the 1890s. At least one of the giant beauties was spared – Toolangi Forest is home to the 400 year old, 65m high Kalatha Giant, a mountain ash that is the seventh largest tree in Victoria. The forest also houses a sculpture trail that takes in sculptures formed from materials taken sustainably from the forest.

Toolangi even has a bit of literary history. One of Australia’s most famous poets, CJ (Clarence James) Dennis the author of The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke published in the early 20th century, lived in a hut at Toolangi in the early 1900s. He published his first volume of poems, Backblock Ballads and Other Verses, whilst living there.

Book Review: Maggie Terry a novel by Sarah Schulman

This pulp fiction novel bleeds desperation, anxiety and struggle and takes place during a relentless New York summer whilst a madman called Trump is in the White House.

Maggie Terry’s life is a mess but she’s been given a second chance. It’s her first day on a new job as a private investigator at a small law firm run by a guy who’s son she tried to save and failed. Now he’s saving her following the loss of her job as a cop after her partner was killed and 18 months in rehab after being sectioned by her now ex-partner who won’t let her see her child anymore.

Whoever had thought up date night for long-term couples should have been shot on the spot. It was all about creating pressure and then shining a light on everyone’s inadequacies. There was pressure to prove that one was loveable, pressure to keep up her end of the conversation, to show she was interested, to ask the right questions, to try to get the fucking discussion going in a way that would bring them closer. Not to fall into old traps of unresolved conflicts and problems that never went away, that was not the goal of date night.

All Maggie’s emotional energy is exhausted by being angry at her ex, missing her daughter and trying to stay sober by attending 12-step meetings intermittently throughout the day. She struggles with simple day to day tasks like buying teabags whilst trying rebuild her shattered life and take stock of all the changes in New York.

What was she supposed to do? Find a way to get foolish bravado out of mint tea, or find a way to be terrified all the time and let that be okay?

Famous actress, Lucy Horne, turns up at the law firm on Maggie’s first day seeking the discrete investigation of the murder of a strangled minor actress. Horne identifies the actresses famous novelist and boyfriend as a potential suspect.

That was the problem with taking responsibility, Maggie remembered. Everything becomes deeper. It is not a way out of life, it is only a way in.

The novel explores police brutality, addiction, queer love and New York nostalgia. I found it an easy, enjoyable and fast read.

Grand Dames of Crime: Georgette Heyer

English novelist Georgette Heyer (1902-1974) was best known for her Regency romances but she also wrote crime novels. Heyer was not as prolific in the crime genre as her better knows grand dames of crime contemporaries like Dorothy Sayers, Ggnaio Marsh and Agatha Christie, but twelve of the fifty-seven books she wrote over more than fifty years were country house mysteries produced between 1932 and 1953.

“I can’t imagine what possessed you to propose to me.”
“Well, that will give you something to puzzle over any time you can’t sleep.”

Behold, Here’s Poison

Heyer’s country house mysteries contained women who drank (cocktails), smoked, swore, wore makeup and drove fast cars. They also included characters more in keeping with her Regency romances who were droll and witty: The withdrawn, solitary, Aspergerish man; the heroine governess; the alpha male; the gold digger and so on. She liked to play up the haughty, self-entitled scoundrels of the upper class and her exceptional awereness of human nature meant her mysteries were brimming with complex characters and elaborate family dynamics.

If you set aside the racism, sexism and class consciousness of the era, most of Heyer’s novels have clever plots, good pace, and settings akin to books written by Dorothy Sayers. Heyer employed both amateur incidental detectives and eccentric professional policemen to solve her crimes novels which are excellent for an indulgent and frivolous afternoon read with tea and biscuits.

Two of her best mystery novels (many of which are still available) are Death in the Stocks (1935) and Envious Casca (1941).

Death in the Stocks (1935) is an English manor mystery and black comedy in which a gentleman in evening dress is discovered slumped dead in the stocks on the village green beneath a sinister moon hanging in a sky the colour of sapphires. The book is brimming with superb and complex dialogue and eccentric murder suspects in the self absorbed Vereker family.

People who start a sentence with personally (and they’re always women) ought to be thrown to the lions. It’s a repulsive habit.

Death in the Stocks

In Envious Casca, there are three Herriard brothers. Nathaniel spends his time accumulating money and self-riteous indignation . William got married, had two children then died, and Joseph ran away from his legal career to join the theatre and marry Maud from the chorus. The couple eventually return from overseas to sponge off Nathaniel. The family all come together in the family manor for christmas, which is where the story begins, and Nathaniel is found dead in his locked study.

It was Joseph who had been inspired to organize the house-party that was looming over Nathaniel’s unwilling head this chill December. Joseph, having lived for so many years abroad, hankered wistfully after a real English Christmas. Nathaniel, regarding him with a contemptuous eye, said that a real English Christmas meant, in his experience, a series of quarrels between inimical person bound to on another only by the accident of relationship, and thrown together by a worn-out convention which decreed that at Christmas families should forgather.

Envious Casca

Heyer was intensely private. She did not give interviews or make appearances and even shunned fans. When asked about her private life her pat response was ‘You will find me in my work.’ That being said, she was also understood (according to two biographies written about her) to be a formidable character with strong views that she was less shy about expressing in correspondence.

Georgette Heyer Mysteries:

Footsteps in the Dark, 1932
Why Shoot a Butler?, 1933
The Unfinished Clue, 1934
Death in the Stocks (Merely Murder), 1935
Behold, Here’s Poison, 1936
They Found Him Dead, 1937
A Blunt Instrument, 1938
No Wind of Blame, 1939
Envious Casca, 1941
Penhallow, 1942
Duplicate Death, 1951
Detective Unlimited, 1953