Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Tuesday Night Bloggers: Academic Mysteries Suggested Reading List

School may be getting out for the summer, but the Tuesday Night Bloggers are donning their academic robes and enrolling in a month of sinister summer school. Throughout the month of June our group of Golden Age Detective aficionados will be taking our examinations and writing papers on the dastardly deeds of academe. Academic mysteries are one of my favorite sub-genres of the field and so I will be collecting the papers here at the Block. If you'd like to join us for a month of academic mysteries, please stop by every Tuesday for group discussion and I'll add your posts to the list. We focus on the Golden Age of crime fiction--generally accepted as published between the World Wars, but everyone seems to have a slightly different definition and we're pretty flexible.

This week's Star Pupils and their essays:

Moira @ Clothes in Books: "Tuesday Night Club: School Mysteries"
Kate  @ Cross Examining Crime: "How to Stay Safe at School, College, & University--According to Detective Fiction"
JJ @ The Invisible Event: "Educatin' the Pupils in Robert O. Saber's The Black Dark Murders (1949)"
Brad @ ahsweetmysteryblog: "Murder on the Blackboard: Hildegarde Withers on Page & Screen"
John @ Pretty Sinister Books: "The May Day Mystery - Octavus Ray Cohen"
Curtis @ The Passing Tramp: "A Certain Keen Prof at Cornell"

Fellow academicians, as we begin our investigations into the nefarious doings that masquerade under the flowing robes of the scholar and villains that lurk among the buildings of universities, colleges, and schools, I would like to provide a suggested reading list for current or future research. But first I should perhaps explain my criteria for an "academic" mystery. I realize that my definition may not precisely coincide with a more accepted or expected definition. For my purposes an academic mystery must have one or more of the following: a professor or teacher acting as the primary (amateur) detective; a professor or teacher as the victim, culprit or essential main character; and/or a school or university setting. My love for this sort of mystery has loaded my shelves with all sorts of unlikely looking specimens. Sometimes I wind up with a real gem and sometimes I shake my head over what I have bought just because the back cover mentions Professor So-and-So or Whatsit University. I have wound up with books from Michael Innes to Agatha Christie and Edmund Crispin.

Please know that my personal cut-off for vintage (as opposed to strict Golden Age) crime novels is 1960. That's arbitrary as all get out, but it's what I came up to fit my reading tastes. This list follows my vintage guidelines and represent books that I have either read or currently own. All links below are to my reviews for books read since I began blogging.

Suggested Readings:
Isaac Asimov: A Whiff of Death (1958)
Dwight V. Babcock: The Gorgeous Ghoul Murder Case (1941)
Josephine Bell: Death at Half-Term (aka Curtain Call for a Corpse, 1939); The Summer School Mystery (1950) 
Lionel Black: Death Has Green Fingers (1971)
Nicholas Blake: A Question of Proof (1935)
Leo Bruce: At Death's Door (1955); Dead for a Ducat (1956); Death of a Cold (1956); Dead Man's Shoes (1958); A Louse for the Hangman (1958); Our Jubiliee is Death (1959) 
R. T. Campbell: Unholy Dying (1945); Bodies in a Bookshop (1946) and four more that are nearly impossible to find
Edward Candy: Which Doctor (1954)
Agatha Christie: Cat Among the Pigeons (1959)
Clyde B. Clason: The Fifth Tumbler (1936); The Purple Parrot (1937); Poison Jasmine (1940); and seven more 
Edmund Crispin: The Case of the Gilded Fly (1944); Holy Disorders (1945); Swan Song (1947); and six more plus two short story collections
Glyn Daniel: The Cambridge Murders (1945); Welcome Death (1954)
Katharine Farrer: The Missing Link (1952); The Cretan Counterfeit (1954); Gownsman's Gallows (1957)
Leslie Ford: By the Watchman's Clock (1932) 
David Frome: Mr. Pinkerton Finds a Body (1934)
Timothy Fuller: Harvard Has a Homicide (1936); Reunion with Murder (1937); Three Thirds of a Ghost (1941); This Is Murder, Mr. Jones (1943); Keep Cool, Mr. Jones (1950) 
Wells Hastings & Brian Hooker: The Professor's Mystery (1911)
Mavis Doriel Hay: Death on the Cherwell (1935)
James Hilton: Was It Murder? (1931)
Kenneth Hopkins: She Died Because... (1957)
Michael Innes: Seven Suspects (aka Death at the President's Lodging, 1936) ; The Weight of the Evidence (1944); From London Far (1946) The Paper Thunderbolt (1951); Old Hall, New Hall (1956)
Mary Kelly: Dead Man's Riddle (1957) 
Lange Lewis: Juliet Dies Twice (1943)
Frances & Richard Lockridge: Murder Within Murder (1946); Accent on Murder (1958) 
J. C. Masterman: An Oxford Tragedy (1933)
Helen McCloy: Through a Glass, Darkly (1950)
John Mersereau: Murder Loves Company (1940)
Gladys Mitchell: Spotted Hemlock (1958) 
Dermott Morrah: The Mummy Case (1933)
Lenore Glen Offord: Skeleton Key (1943)
Stuart Palmer: The Penguin Pool Murder (1931); Murder on the Blackboard (1932); The Puzzle of the Silver Persian (1934) plus ten more pre-1960 and two pre-1960 short story collections
Q. Patrick: Murder at Cambridge (1933); Death Goes to School (1936)
Robert Robinson: Landscape with Dead Dons (1956) 
Kelly Roos: Murder in Any Language (1950)
Dorothy L Sayers: Gaudy Night (1935) 
T. S. Stribling: The Clues of the Caribees (1929)
Josephine Tey: Miss Pym Disposes (1946)
Alice Tilton (Phoebe Atwood Taylor): Beginning with a Bash (1937) [this just happens to be my very first review on the blog]; The Hollow Chest (1941) and six more
Hillary Waugh: Last Seen Wearing (1952)
Ethel Lina White: The Spiral Staircase (aka Some Must Watch 1933)
T. H. White: Death at Pemberley (1932)
Victor L. Whitechurch: Murder at the College (1932)
Philip Wylie: Corpses at Indian Stones (1943)

And...if your researches take you into more modern territory:
Margot Arnold: Exit Actors, Dying (1979) and eleven more
Robert Barnard: Death of an Old Goat (1974); Blood Brotherhood (1977) The Case of the Missing Bronte (1983)
Robert Bernard: Death Takes a Sabbatical (1967); Deadly Meeting (1970) 
Nicholas Blake: The Morning after Death (1966)
Leo Bruce: seventeen more Carolus Deene novels
Gwendoline Butler: Dine & Be Dead (1960)
Edward Candy: Words for Murder Perhaps (1971)
Sarah Caudwell: Thus Was Adonis Murdered (1981); The Shortest Way to Hades (1984); The Sirens Sang of Murder (1989); The Sybil in Her Grave (2000)
V. C. Clinton-Baddeley: Death's Bright Dart (1967); My Foe Outstretch'd Beneath the Tree (1968); Only a Matter of Time (1969); No Case for the Police (1970); To Study a Long Silence (1972) [Two reviews are from before blogging & therefore short]
Amanda Cross: In the Last Analysis (1964) and thirteen more
Ellis Dillon: Death in the Quadrangle (1986)
Ruth Dudley Edwards: The English School of Murder (1990); Matricide at St. Martha's (1995); Carnage on the Committee (2004)
E. X. (Elizabeth) Ferrars: eight novels from Something Wicked (1983) --The Crime & the Crystal (1985) -- A Choice of Evils (1995)
Michael Gilbert: The Family Tomb (1969); The Night of the Twelfth (1976)
Charles Goodrum: Dewey Decimated (1977) 
Batya Gur: Literary Murder  Review Part II (1993)
Conrad Haynes: Bishop's Gambit, Declined (1987); Perpetual Check (1988); Sacrifice Play (1991)
Kenneth Hopkins: Dead Against My Principles (1960); Body Blow (1962)
J. R. Hulland: An Educated Murder (1986)
Michael Innes: The Open House (1971)
M. D. Lake: Amends for Murder (1989); Grave Choices (1995); Once Upon a Crime (1995) and seven more 
Jane Langton: The Transcendental Murder (aka The Minuteman Murder, 1964) plus seventeen more
Elizabeth Lemarchand: Death of an Old Girl (1967)
Richard Lockridge: With Option to Die (1967); Twice Retired (1970)
Simon Nash: Dead of a Counterplot (1962); Killed by Scandal (1962); Death over Deep Water (1964); Dead Woman's Ditch (1964); Unhallowed Murder (1966) 
Bernadette Pajer: A Spark of Death (2011); Fatal Induction (2012); Capacity for Murder (2013): The Edison Effect (2014)
Stuart Palmer: People vs Withers & Malone (1963 w/Craig Rice); Hildegarde Withers Makes the Scene (1969, finished by Fletcher Flora) 
Robert B. Parker: The Godwulf Manuscript (1973) 
Christine Poulson: Dead Letters (aka Murder Is Academic, 2004); Stage Fright (2005); Footfall (2006)
Gillian Roberts: Caught Dead in Philadelphia (1987) and thirteen more
Maggie Ryan: Audition for Murder (1985) and seven more
Emily Thorn: Aaron's Serpent (1962)


Brad (ahsweetmystery) said...

Oh, good, I found one more modern example in a used bookstore last week that is NOT on your list! So I MUST review it this month if I can find the time!!!

Bev Hankins said...

You're trying to earn extra credit, aren't you, Brad? :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is a...dauntingly impressive list, Bev! Really appreciate the work that's gone on here, as I'm not sure I have (or have read) too many books that qualify for this month's topic -- this gives me something to research!

J F Norris said...

I forgot about Timothy Fuller and his collegiate detective at Harvard -- Jupiter Jones (the first one!). I have all of them and never read one. I'll have to see if I can read some of these while away in Alaska. I have room for only three books. Decisions, decisions...

Clothes In Books said...

Wow, that is an impressive list! Glad to be reminded of a few that I might feature, but - oh no!- please don't tempt me to buy the ones I haven't read yet...