Monday, June 6, 2011

Crime Fiction Alphabet: Letter U

Kerrie over at Mysteries in Paradise sponsors The Aphabet in Crime Fiction community meme. your post MUST be related to the first letter of the book's title, the first letter of the author's first name or the first letter of the author's surname. You can write a book review or a bio of an author so long as it fits the rules somehow.

We are heading into the home stretch and this week we are featuring the Letter U. I have chosen Arthur W. Upfield as my "U" author this week. I only recently discovered Upfield when browsing through the available books at our Friends of the Library Bookstore. His An Author Bites the Dust caught my eye and I just had to bring it home and see what I thought of this Australian author--if you click on the title, you can read my review and see what I thought. I'm a Brit Lit girl and I don't seem to venture much outside the British Isles for my reading.

Although originally born in England, Upfield spent most of his life in Australia and fought with the
First Australian Imperial Force in World War I. In the twenty years following the war, he traveled through the Outback, working at various jobs and learning much about the Aboriginal culture. This knowledge would serve him well when he developed his detective series starring Detective Inspector Napoleon "Bony" Bonaparte. These novels became extremely popular in America and were held in high regard by several of his fellow writers. "H. R. F. Keating included The Sands of Windee (1931) in his list of the 100 best crime and mystery novels ever published [and] J. B. Priestly wrote of Upfield: 'If you like detective stories that are something more than puzzles, that have solid characters and backgrounds, that avoid familiar patterns of crime and detection, then Mr Upfield is your man.'"(Wikipedia).

I know that I thoroughly enjoyed my first taste of Upfield's work and I look forward to finding and reading more of the Bony stories in the future. I highly recommend these mysteries if you haven't tried them yet.


Anonymous said...

Bev - A nice choice for "U." Upfield really did create a unique series, and I'm glad you've reminded us of it.

Bill Selnes said...

Bev: I am glad you provided some perspective on Upfield. I had not realized An Author Bites the Dust was actually a Bony story. I had initially thought it was some form of non-fiction critique of the literary establishment. You might find interesting reading about the book in Travis Lindsey's thesis which can be accessed through Upfield's official website.

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

I haven't come across Upfield before and I don't read much Australian literature either. It looks as though I should remedy that!