New Arrivals, October, 2014

New Arrivals Because I was in the mood for some quiet British mystery, I decided to pick up a few more of these novels by Leo Bruce. I got them all from PaperBack Swap.

Leo Bruce (pseudonym for Rupert Croft-Cooke (1903-1979) wrote this series featuring Carolus Deene, Senior Master of History at Queen’s School, and another series featuring Sgt. Beef, a sometimes bumbling but more-clever-than-he-looks Policeman. The Deene series has all the traditional elements: murder, suspects with secrets, red herrings and hidden clues, a denouement reveal. There is humor, which many readers will appreciate though it’s near my admittedly very low tolerance level for it in mysteries. Fortunately it doesn’t get in my way of enjoying these. I’m not sure the best label for these, for those who insist on such. Classic British mystery, the violence always occurs off stage, puzzle to be solved, murderer not revealed until the end but fair play for the sharp reader to solve from the clues. They might be called cozy-like in the same vein as a Margery Allingham or Catherine Aird novel.

 Kudos to Chicago Academy Press for bringing these back into print. I’ll have a review on Our Jubilee is Death in a few days.

Any comments on these books or this author? Have you read any of these?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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9 Responses to New Arrivals, October, 2014

  1. Jerry House says:

    I never read any of the Carolus Deene mysteries, but I really enjoyed his Sergeant Beef novel CASE FOR THREE DETECTIVES in which Beef outshines three of mystery-dom’s most famous detectives. Let us know how you like the Deenes.

  2. Richard says:

    Jerry, I liked Case for Three Detectives too. My review of Our Jubilee is Death will be this week’s FFB.

  3. I’ll be interested in your reviews of Leo Bruce’s work. I have a number of his books, but I haven’t read one in a decade or two.

  4. I’ve not heard of the author or either series, but your description of both has me wanting to give them a try. I’ve noticed more and more older, possibly out of print, mystery series being re-released of late and I’m loving the trend. Mary would enjoy these as well.

  5. Richard says:

    Carl, nice to see you! I agree, it’s great that so many mystery and science fiction and fantasy works are being reprinted by small presses, both in hardcopy and electronic format. If Mary wants to try one, I suggest Death at Hallow’s End. I got these on Paperback Bookswap.

  6. I’ve seen ’em but never read any.

  7. Richard says:

    George, it will be up tomorrow.

  8. Richard says:

    Charles, if you want a classic English cozy mystery, you could do worse than one of these, though somehow I doubt this is (pun) your cup of tea.

  9. Jeff Meyerson says:

    The only Bruce book I’ve read (surprise!) is a collection of stories, MURDER IN MINIATURE. Sgt. Beef was in some of the stories. I used to have Penguins of a few and would pick up Bruce books in England but never read any of the novels.

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