The Scoop & Behind the Screen

This is one of the books written by the Detection Club (or part of it) back in the 30s.  Originally broadcast as radio dramas to raise money for their club, they were published in the 80s as novellas.   Each chapter is written by a different author, but the tone is fairly consistent.  Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers and six others combined their talents to write these stories which may lack panache, but if you like Golden Age Detection, I think you’ll enjoy these.   They don’t rank with their greatest books, but it is somewhat remarkable to pull off the feat at all.

detection-club-crop

The Scoop –  A reporter has a fantastic scoop – he’s found the murder weapon in a sensational murder and he’s heading back to London to write it up when he, too, is murdered.  The story follows two others who work for the paper as they investigate and try to bring to justice the unknown killer.   A bit confusing with the shops and the pin, but there’s romance and a puppy, so how can you resist?

The second story – Behind the Screen – starts out more atmospherically.  A young man is going to pay a visit to his fiancee.   Everything in his world was just ducky until a disturbing paying guest began to live with his fiancee’s family.   The guest seems to have a mysterious hold over the family and is even horning in on his romance.   But this problem is resolved when the guest is found dead — unfortunately, it was murder  and it looks like it had to be one of the family.   This story is seemingly more straightforward than the other, but I think the solution is a bit cheaty.  In my copy there are printed the results of a contest that took place when the story was performed on the radio.   People wrote in and won money for guessing best.

Historically interesting and gives you a taste of the style of some authors you may not have read, but I think more worth reading if you’re interested in the Detection Club rather than for the pure pleasure of the stories themselves.

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