Detection Club

Last updated

The Detection Club was formed in 1930 by a group of British mystery writers, including Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ronald Knox, Freeman Wills Crofts, Arthur Morrison, Hugh Walpole, John Rhode, Jessie Rickard, Baroness Emma Orczy, R. Austin Freeman, G. D. H. Cole, Margaret Cole, E. C. Bentley, Henry Wade, and H. C. Bailey. Anthony Berkeley was instrumental in setting up the club, and the first president was G. K. Chesterton. There was a fanciful initiation ritual with an oath probably written by either Chesterton or Sayers, and the club held regular dinner meetings in London.

Contents

Guidelines

In addition to meeting for dinners and helping each other with technical aspects in their individual writings, the members of the club agreed to adhere to Knox's Commandments in their writing to give the reader a fair chance at guessing the guilty party. These fair-play "rules" were summarised by one of the members, Ronald Knox, in an introduction to an anthology of detective stories. They were never intended as more than guidelines, and not all the members took them seriously. The first American member (though then living in the UK) was John Dickson Carr, elected in 1936.

The club continues to exist, although the fair-play rules have been considerably relaxed.

A number of works were published under the club's sponsorship; most of these were written by multiple members of the club, each contributing one or more chapters in turn. In the case of The Floating Admiral , each author also provided a sealed "solution" to the mystery as he or she had written it, including the previous chapters. This was done to prevent a writer from adding impossible complications with no reasonable solution in mind. The various partial solutions were published as part of the final book.

The oath

Do you promise that your detectives shall well and truly detect the crimes presented to them using those wits which it may please you to bestow upon them and not placing reliance on nor making use of Divine Revelation, Feminine Intuition, Mumbo Jumbo, Jiggery-Pokery, Coincidence, or Act of God? [1]

Presidents

Lord Gorell shared the presidency with Agatha Christie, who only agreed to accept the role if a co-president was appointed to conduct the club's proceedings. [4]

Publications

Related Research Articles

Agatha Christie English mystery and detective writer (1890–1976)

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, was an English writer known for her sixty-six detective novels and fourteen short story collections, particularly those revolving around fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. She also wrote the world's longest-running play The Mousetrap, performed in the West End from 1952 to 2020, as well as six novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. In 1971, she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her contribution to literature.

Ellery Queen is a pseudonym created in 1929 by crime fiction writers Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee and the name of their main fictional character, a mystery writer in New York City who helps his police inspector father solve baffling murders. Danny and Lee wrote most of the more than thirty novels and several short story collections in which Ellery Queen appeared as a character, and their books were among the most popular of American mysteries published between 1929 and 1971. In addition to the fiction featuring their eponymous brilliant amateur detective, the two men acted as editors: as Ellery Queen they edited more than thirty anthologies of crime fiction and true crime, and Dannay founded and for many decades edited Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, which has been published continuously from 1941 to the present. From 1961, Dannay and Lee also commissioned other authors to write crime thrillers using the Ellery Queen nom de plume, but not featuring Ellery Queen as a character; several juvenile novels were credited to Ellery Queen, Jr. Finally, the prolific duo wrote four mysteries under the pseudonym Barnaby Ross.

John Dickson Carr American mystery novelist and playwright

John Dickson Carr was an American author of detective stories, who also published using the pseudonyms Carter Dickson, Carr Dickson and Roger Fairbairn.

Ariadne Oliver fictional character

Ariadne Oliver is a fictional character in the novels of Agatha Christie. She is a mystery novelist and a friend of Hercule Poirot.

<i>The Floating Admiral</i> 1931 collaborative detective novel

The Floating Admiral is a collaborative detective novel written by fourteen members of the Detection Club in 1931. The twelve chapters of the story were each written by a different author, in the following sequence: Canon Victor Whitechurch, G. D. H. Cole and Margaret Cole, Henry Wade, Agatha Christie, John Rhode, Milward Kennedy, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ronald Knox, Freeman Wills Crofts, Edgar Jepson, Clemence Dane and Anthony Berkeley. G. K. Chesterton contributed a Prologue, which was written after the novel had been completed.

Anthony Berkeley Cox English crime writer

Anthony Berkeley Cox was an English crime writer. He wrote under several pen-names, including Francis Iles, Anthony Berkeley and A. Monmouth Platts.

Edward Dentinger Hoch was an American writer of detective fiction. Although he wrote several novels, he was primarily known for his vast output of over 950 short stories.

Freeman Wills Crofts Irish mystery author, later based in England

Freeman Wills Crofts FRSA was an Irish mystery author, best remembered for the character of Inspector Joseph French.

Julian Gustave Symons was a British crime writer and poet. He also wrote social and military history, biography and studies of literature. He was born in Clapham, London and died in Walmer, Kent.

Gladys Mitchell was an English author best known for her creation of Mrs Bradley, the heroine of 66 detective novels. She also wrote under the pseudonyms Stephen Hockaby and Malcolm Torrie. Feted during her life, her work was largely neglected for the two decades after her death.

Henry Reymond Fitzwalter "Harry" Keating was an English crime fiction writer most notable for his series of novels featuring Inspector Ghote of the Bombay CID.

Agatha Award

The Agatha Awards, named for Agatha Christie, are literary awards for mystery and crime writers who write in the cozy mystery subgenre. At an annual convention in Washington, D.C., the Agatha Awards are handed out by Malice Domestic Ltd, in six categories: Best Novel; Best First Mystery; Best Historical Novel; Best Short Story; Best Non-Fiction; Best Children's/Young Adult Mystery. Additionally, in some years the Poirot Award is presented to honor individuals other than writers who have made outstanding contributions to the mystery genre, but it is not an annual award.

The Golden Age of Detective Fiction was an era of classic murder mystery novels of similar patterns and styles, predominantly in the 1920s and 1930s.

Peter Lovesey British writer

Peter (Harmer) Lovesey, also known by his pen name Peter Lear, is a British writer of historical and contemporary detective novels and short stories. His best-known series characters are Sergeant Cribb, a Victorian-era police detective based in London, and Peter Diamond, a modern-day police detective in Bath.

Mignon Good Eberhart was an American author of mystery novels. She had one of the longest careers among major American mystery writers.

Martin Edwards, whose full name is Kenneth Martin Edwards, is a British crime novelist, critic and solicitor. He is a recipient of the CWA Diamond Dagger, the highest honour in British crime writing.

The Macavity Awards are a literary award for mystery writers. Nominated and voted upon annually by the members of the Mystery Readers International, the award is named for the "mystery cat" of T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. The award is given in four categories—best novel, best first novel, best nonfiction, and best short story. In recent years a new award, the Sue Feder Historical Mystery, has been given in conjunction with the Macavity Awards.

Agatha Christie bibliography Wikimedia list article

Agatha Christie (1890–1976) was an English crime novelist, short-story writer and playwright. Her reputation rests on 66 detective novels and 14 short-story collections that have sold over two billion copies—an amount surpassed only by the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare. Her works contain several regular characters with whom the public became familiar, including Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, Parker Pyne and Harley Quin. Christie wrote more Poirot stories than any of the others, even though she thought the character to be "rather insufferable". Following the publication of the 1975 novel Curtain, Poirot's obituary appeared on the front page of The New York Times.

Douglas G. Greene is an American historian, editor, and author. He is the son of Margaret Chindahl Greene and the Reverend George L. Greene, He is married to Sandi Greene with whom he has a son, Eric and a daughter, Katherine, and has an identical twin, David L. Greene, and a younger brother Paul.

Crippen & Landru Publishers is a small publisher of mystery fiction collections, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. It was founded in 1994 by husband and wife Sandi and Douglas G. Greene in Norfolk, Virginia, United States, and is named after murderers Dr. H. H. Crippen and Henri Landru. The Greenes's son Eric designed the logo. Jeffrey Marks succeeded Douglas G. Greene as publisher on January 1, 2018, while Dr. Greene remained active as Series Editor.

References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2017-08-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. Lejeune, Anthony (Sep 2004). "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edn". Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/55772 . Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  3. "Martin Edwards named the next President of The Detection Club!". Watson, Little. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  4. Morgan, Janet (Sep 2004). "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edn". Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30926 . Retrieved 10 June 2010.

Further reading