Over the past few years, I’ve found myself reading more and more Golden Age Mysteries: crime fiction mysteries written from 1900 to 1969. For me, the journey started in January 2017 with Agatha Christie’s (rather disappointing) ‘Elephants Can Remember’. Eighteen Christie books later, I still have a long way to travel down that road but I soon found myself exploring byways that included not just the big names like Dorothy L Sayers and Ngaio Marsh but lesser-known writers some of whom are being brought back into print and popularity by publishers like the British Library Crime Classics with their gorgeous covers and loving research.
The more of these books that I read, the more context I gain, both for the genre and for times that they flourished in. I’m attracted by the freshness of the writing in many of the books. I also find myself constantly being made aware of my own points of irritation with the entitlement expected by and accorded to the upper classes in these books and by the casual but relentless xenophobia, misogyny and racial prejudice that they embody. They remind me of how recently these views were unremarkable and how much pressure there is in Britain at the moment to return to them.
I’m going to use this post to keep track of the non-Agatha Christie Golden Age books I’ve reviewed and the reflections that they’ve prompted.
The first section is where I’ll post links to reflections sparked by reading Golden Age Mysteries.
The second section has links to reviews of Golden Age Mysteries written by people other than Agatha Christie. These are sorted alphabetically by the surname of the author and listed in the order that I read them.