The 1924 Club – get prepared!

Once an idea strikes me, I can never resist starting up a blog-community-project, whether that be a readalong or My Life in Books or A Century of Books or whatever. This particular idea excites me, because it is endlessly reusable, and should create something really interesting: welcome to The 1924 Club, which I’m co-running with the very lovely Karen of Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings. I’m thrilled she agreed to run this with me, as you’d have to go a long way to find a blogger as well-read, engaging, enthusiastic, and generally fab as Karen.

1924 Club

What is the 1924 Club?

Glad you asked. The idea is to get everyone reading from a particular year – reading whatever you’d like to, so long as it was published in 1924. Then Karen and I can bring together all the reviews (and as many reviews of 1924 books that are already on people’s blogs as possible) and we’ll have a great overview of the year. It should be really fascinating, to get a wide and varied sense of what was going on in publishing throughout one year.

Why 1924?

It could have been many different years, really, but 1924 seemed to have a lot of significant works published, as well as generally being an interesting time. If the project is a success, we can repeat it in the future with other years.

How do I take part?

Just post your reviews of a book or books published in 1924 between 19-31 October; during that time we’ll also have gathering-up posts available where you can let us know links to your reviews, as well as any other 1924 book reviews you’ve ever written. Later we’ll do round-up posts with links. And do feel free to use the button/badge!

What should I read?

Ideally, what you want to read! Hopefully you’ve got a few books on your shelf that would suit – you might need to do a little bit of homework, but that should be fun too. I’ve got a few up my sleeve, but I’m planning to read The Crowded Street by Winifred Holtby, for instance, and maybe The Garden of Folly by Stephen Leacock.

This Wikipedia list and this Goodreads list are also helpful (a word of warning – double-check the Goodreads suggestions before committing to them! Some are a little off in their dates). And, if you’re stuck, here are some possibilities:

A Man in the Zoo by David Garnett
Skylark by Dezső Kosztolányi
The Green Hat by Michael Arlen
The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
The Rector’s Daughter by F.M. Mayor
The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie
Pink Sugar by O. Douglas
The Matriarch by G.B. Stern
Something Childish by Katherine Mansfield
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy
The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
Messalina of the Suburbs by E.M. Delafield

Seducers in Ecuador by Vita Sackville-West
When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne

But, more than anything, I’m hoping you’ll surprise us by hunting out unexpected 1924 gems!

Let us know if you’re planning on joining in, and do share any advance tips for 1924 wonders…

 

61 thoughts on “The 1924 Club – get prepared!

  • October 1, 2015 at 8:20 am
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    Aww shucks! Thanks for your kind comments Simon – very happy to do something alongside such a friendly and enthusiastic blogger as yourself! :)

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    • October 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm
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      All so exciting, Karen! We’ll set the blogosphere alight with our enthusiasm :)

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  • October 1, 2015 at 8:21 am
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    THE UNLIT LAMP as i told Kaggsy by Radclyffe Hall.Did not even have to think about this.A favourite of mine.

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    • October 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm
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      That’s been on my tbr for YEARS, so good choice Tina.

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      • October 2, 2015 at 8:19 am
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        I think you should read THE UNLIT LAMP and SUSANA AND JOANNA.

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  • October 1, 2015 at 9:50 am
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    I’ve already read The Magic Mountain (brilliant book, here’s my review) and When We Were Very Young (but LOL was too young to blog it at the time) but I’ve had A Passage to India on the TBR for ages so this might be a good time to read it.
    The Katherine Mansfield interests me, I’ve probably got that in a collected stories somewhere, I just have to find it.
    And maybe I can fossick out something from Australian from 1924 …

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    • October 1, 2015 at 1:24 pm
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      Something from Australia would be brilliant! My hope is that we’ll get lots of reviews for books we hadn’t even thought about. But the Katherine Mansfield is also undeniably intriguing – I thought I’d read everything by her, but now no longer sure about this collection.

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      • October 1, 2015 at 2:12 pm
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        I found it in my Collected Stories. It seems to be the name of a collection within the collection rather than just one story.
        But I also checked out A Passage to India, turns out I’ve already read it. (It’s Howard’s End that I haven’t read).

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        • October 1, 2015 at 2:14 pm
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          Yes, I have it as a separate collection – I think it might be previously uncollected things, or juvenilia or something, as it came out the year after she died.

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  • October 1, 2015 at 9:53 am
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    Ooh I want to join in. I’ve read and reviewed a few on your list but will see what else I can fine. Fun!

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    • October 1, 2015 at 1:24 pm
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      Brilliant! I’m sure you’ll come up with some excellent choices, Harriet :)

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  • October 1, 2015 at 12:14 pm
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    1) Do I have to put the button/badge on myage and how do I do? I tried but was sent to another blog froma toally new bllogger who was a nice discovery, by the way…
    2) I woud like to start with “Pnk Sugar” and then the “Rector’s Daughter” – not the most striking and well-known but I have them at home and have already read them. Then…
    3) Would French writers (translated in English) be acepted?

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    • October 1, 2015 at 1:29 pm
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      You can absolutely read French authors – even if they haven’t been translated into English, in fact! And you are welcome to use the button (probably best just to save the image, and then upload separately) but you don’t have to.

      Thanks for your enthusiasm!

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  • October 1, 2015 at 12:16 pm
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    Ooh, good idea. I’m in! Not sure what I will read but will let you know. “Pink Sugar” is a lovely book.

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    • October 1, 2015 at 1:35 pm
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      It’s a fun one, isn’t it? Hope you find something unexpected and wonderful, Georgia!

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  • October 1, 2015 at 12:50 pm
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    Interesting idea. It’s just a shame that Pink Sugar is one of O Douglas’ fluffiest books and the one usually left on the shelves of used bookstores.

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    • October 1, 2015 at 1:39 pm
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      It’s the only one of hers I’ve read, actually – I did really like it, but didn’t realise it wasn’t characteristic.

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      • October 2, 2015 at 3:20 pm
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        THE PROPER PLACE is a very good O Douglas but not written in 1924.

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  • October 1, 2015 at 12:57 pm
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    I will be checking my shelves later I am bound to have something. I love things published in this era. Great project.

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    • October 1, 2015 at 1:40 pm
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      Excellent! And thanks so much Ali :)

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  • October 1, 2015 at 12:59 pm
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    What a lovely idea! I of course thought I had the Rector’s Daughter TBR but discovered it’s the Vicar’s Daughter, but that means I’ve read the Rector’s Daughter already and can send you a link. And I haven’t picked this year off my Century of Reading, so that’s FINE!

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    • October 1, 2015 at 1:44 pm
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      Ha! Yes, not quite the same. I’ve vaguely intended to read those, along with Orwell’s The Clergyman’s Daughter, as a well-titled trio.

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      • October 7, 2015 at 9:37 am
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        I’ve ordered Seducers in Ecuador – naughty! But it does help my Century of Reading, so …

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  • October 1, 2015 at 2:42 pm
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    Wonderful idea, Simon. Lots of good connections will come out of this.

    I left a little list of little books in the comments at Kaggsy’s, in case Oct. 31 feels too imminent for The Magic Mountain..

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:27 pm
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      Yes, that one might demand some swift work! Thanks for your enthusiasm :) I’m really hoping an interesting portrait of the yea is built up.

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  • October 1, 2015 at 3:44 pm
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    This is a lovely notion.

    I have frequently thought of re-reading “The Constant Nymph” but am frightened of destroying my teenage love affair with it. Just thinking of re-reading “The Magic Mountain” and “A Passage to India” drops a pall of boredom upon me so that it looks as if I’ll be re-reading “When we were very Young.” I know so many of these rhymes by heart–they are as memorable as old familiar nursery rhymes, which is interesting. So now I will come to them as a serious reader–not as a mother an grandmother.

    Then I will pick a second book that I think I don’t know at all. Maybe “Messalina of the Suburbs” ? I have avoided this writers serious stuff.

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:30 pm
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      When We Were Very Young will be a super fun read. Somehow, despite having read a few other Kennedy novels, I haven’t read her most famous one – and am also a bit wary of it, myself, because I’ve built it up in my head too much!

      I don’t know if Messalina is one of her most serious, but I’m guessing it probably is – being based on something that dark.

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  • October 1, 2015 at 5:11 pm
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    Gosh – I’ve already read and blogged about one of the ones you list! However, I will try to search out something else…

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:31 pm
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      Gracious, Annabel, a 1920s book! But I do look forward to seeing what else you can find too :)

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:31 pm
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      Thanks Lisa! Hope you manage to join in.

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  • October 1, 2015 at 9:32 pm
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    What a great idea–I think you will have to count me in on this one! I have no fewer than 8! books from your list on my shelves (all unread….) so there is plenty to choose from. Anything to give me an excuse to start a new book…… ;)

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:31 pm
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      Excellent, Danielle! And I’m sure you’ll also be able to find something I haven’t even thought of, looking through your shelves.

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  • October 1, 2015 at 9:54 pm
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    I have read, and indeed posted about on my weblog, “The Magic Mountain” and I strongly recommend it. Assuming the Wikipedia list is correct I would commend also “We” by Zamyatin.

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:33 pm
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      An excellent suggestion, thanks Peter! I’m good at picking novels of a certain sort, but to get a good overview of 1924, I’m really hoping for a wide variety.

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  • October 1, 2015 at 10:42 pm
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    This is fun! Here near Philadelphia, we’re having our first day of real chilling Autumn weather, with lots of rain, so this is a ray of sunshine. I selected a book outside my usual sphere: The Three Hostages by John Buchan. The Goodreads description, “Thriller from the first Baron Tweedsmuir, Scottish novelist and politician and author of The Thirty-Nine Steps” was intriguing. The ratings were mixed, but I’ll let you know what I think by month’s end.

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:34 pm
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      Oo, great pick, Susan – I knew I could rely on you to find something outside the box! Looking forward to your findings :)

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:34 pm
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      Oh, excellent!

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  • October 2, 2015 at 2:26 am
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    Oh! I am excited about this. I think I’ll go for a mystery published this year.

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:35 pm
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      Lovely,neeru! I was hoping to read a mystery, but have yet to track one down from 1924.

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  • October 2, 2015 at 5:43 am
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    Sounds fun! I’m already on the hunt for something good.

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:35 pm
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      Brilliant, Anbolyn! Can’t wait to see what you find.

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  • October 2, 2015 at 7:01 am
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    What a great idea, Simon! I’ve read lots of the books on your list (mostly pre-blog) but I do have a couple of them tbr – The Matriarch & The Three Hostages. This would also tie in with my plan to stop buying books for the rest of the year – we’ll see how that goes!

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:38 pm
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      Thanks Lyn! I’m very excited about the outcome of this all – and looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Those two sound great, and I’m sure you have other 1924 books lurking on your shelves :)

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  • October 2, 2015 at 11:24 am
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    Fortuitously, I had just found a copy of The Constant Nymph in a used bookstore! I don’t know if I’ll get to it by the challenge week, but it will be fun to read about other books published during that year anyway.

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:39 pm
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      Oh, excellent coincidence, Lory! Hopefully you’ll have time to read it before the end of October.

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  • October 2, 2015 at 3:27 pm
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    It is a great idea and will get me reading stuff I wouldn’t have usually approached.
    I will try to complete three books in the month.

    A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

    The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy

    Something Childish by Katherine Mansfield

    I’ve only read the Forster many years ago, so looking forward to a re read.

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    • October 2, 2015 at 10:40 pm
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      Great, David! I’m hoping to read the Mansfield myself – and I’m looking forward to your thoughts on all three of those.

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  • October 3, 2015 at 7:35 am
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    Lovely idea! I’ve some already on my blog – need to check the dates etc. And I have some Arthur Conan Doyle short stories yet to read, possibly Katherine Mansfield too – not sure what else I have. It’ll be fun searching! Oh, yes I have Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford – the first volume was published in 1924, but I don’t think I’ll be able to read it in time! I have been meaning to read it for ages – maybe now is the time to start.

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  • October 3, 2015 at 11:45 pm
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    This is a really exciting project: I think I will read some of the poetry of the year.

    1924: Pulitzer Prizes, USA:

    Novel
    The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson (Harper)

    Poetry
    New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes by Robert Frost (Holt)

    More poetry:
    Edith Sitwell: “The Sleeping Beauty”
    Humbert Wolfe: “Kensington Gardens”
    Yeats: “The Cat and the Moon and Certain Poems”

    USA:
    Edgar Lee Masters: “The New Spoon River”
    Marianna Moore: “Observations”
    John Crowe Ransom: “Chills and Fever”

    “Poetry” magazine (USA) has it’s archives available online.

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  • October 4, 2015 at 9:29 am
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    Despite my appalling track record on things like this, I’d like to join in. It’s a brilliant idea, and it’ll be fascinating to see what picture of 1924 emerges…

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  • October 14, 2015 at 8:44 pm
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    I told myself that I would participate if I found a book on my shelves that was published that year. I already wrote about Pink Sugar, so I kept looking. And voila! Mr. Milne’s When We Were Very Young! I’ve never read it so am delighted. I have quite a few books, and those two were the only ones pub. in that year. I was amazed.

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    • October 17, 2015 at 9:35 pm
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      replying to myself. i just can’t do the challenge this time.

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  • October 16, 2015 at 9:37 am
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    Such a shame, that this year, 1924, is right in the middle of one of my most favourite literary periods, but none of the authors I love actually published during this particular year! Nearly all my favourites
    Virginia Woolf
    Vera Brittain
    Charles Morgan
    Storm Jameson
    published in 1923 or 1925!
    Shucks!

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  • October 17, 2015 at 5:05 am
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    I think I will read Inspector French’s Greatest Case by Freeman Wills Croft. I was hoping that Sayer would have published something but I was surprised to see nothing from her, 1923 onwards for a few years. Looking forward to it. This is a brilliant idea and puts into nice perspective the chronology of various authors.

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  • October 25, 2015 at 10:08 am
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    I’ve read R. Austin Freeman’s The Art of the Detective Story, an essay seemingly designed to put off any potential competitors.

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  • October 25, 2015 at 10:10 am
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    Also a mention for John Rhode’s The A.S.F., a 1924 tale of unlikely drug smugglers which notably has a baddie with my name.

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  • February 22, 2016 at 9:18 pm
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    If American authors are acceptable: knowing nothing about this, I’ve just finished SO BIG by Edna Ferber, a Pulitzer Prize winner. Anyone else know this one?

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