Anthony Berkeley


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Anthony Berkeley Mystery Titles


anthony berkeleyAnthony Berkeley Cox (1893 – 1971) was an English crime writer. He wrote under several pen-names, including Francis Iles, Anthony Berkeley and A. Monmouth Platts.

Anthony Berkeley Cox was born in 1893 in Watford, and educated at Sherborne School and University College London. After serving in the British Army in World War I, he worked as a journalist for many years, contributing to such magazines as Punch and The Humorist.

His first novel, The Layton Court Mystery, was published anonymously in 1925. It introduced Roger Sheringham, the amateur detective who features in many of the author’s novels including the classic ‘Poisoned Chocolates Case’. In 1930, Berkeley helped to found the legendary Detection Club in London along with Agatha Christie, Freeman Wills Crofts and several other established mystery writers.

His 1932 novel (as “Francis Iles”), Before the Fact was adapted into the 1941 classic film Suspicion, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine.

In 1938, he took up book reviewing for John O’London’s Weekly and the Daily Telegraph, writing under his pen name Francis Iles. He also wrote for the Sunday Times in the 1940s and for the Manchester Guardian, later The Guardian, from the mid-1950s until 1970. A key figure in the development of crime fiction, he died in 1971.

Edited from Wikipedia

More on Anthony Berkeley & more! & even more!

Note: All the Langtail Press (light blue cover) ebooks have now been removed from sale. Hopefully new ebook editions will soon follow. This page will be updated if these editions become available.

Note: Three of these titles also qualify as Locked Room Mysteries! To view Anthony Berkeley’s contributions to the Locked Room & Impossible Crime genre, use this link to go to his author page at: TheLockedRoomMystery.com


Mystery Novels as Anthony Berkeley


layton courtThe Layton Court Mystery (1925)

Available only in paperback editions.
Book  Amazon.ca

Best Review
****

Note: Originally published anonymously

A Roger Sheringham Mystery. In a typical English country house, a murder is committed. The wealthy Victor Stanworth, who’d been playing host to a party of friends, is found dead in the library. At first it appears to be suicide, for the room was undoubtedly locked. But could there be more to the case? As one of the guests at Layton Court, gentleman sleuth Roger Sheringham begins to investigate, many come under suspicion, but how could anyone have killed the man and gotten out of the room, leaving it all locked behind?


wychford poisoning The Wychford Poisoning Case (1926)

Available only in used paperback editions.
Book

Best Review
**

Note: Also originally published anonymously

Roger Sherringham is staying with Alec Grierson, who we met in, “The Layton Court Mystery,” and is now married to Barbara Shannon. A year has passed since the Layton Court case and Sherringham has now become interested in a new case of murder. Mrs Bentley, a French woman, has been accused of poisoning her husband with arsenic and is about to stand trial. Public opinion is not on her side, due to a love affair, and the husband’s family has turned against her after his death, but Sherringham is still convinced of her innocence and determined to clear her name. 

Probably the worst Berkeley novel, with no sympathetic reviews. Berkeley apparently refused to allow it to be reprinted – which has made it very scarce for all the wrong reasons!

More on The Wychford Poisoning Case


Professor Paws Professor on Paws (1926)

Available only in used hardcover editions.
Book

No Review

Note: Originally published as A.B Coxe

Very little information available. A long out of print volume.


roger sheringhamRoger Sheringham and The Vane Mystery (1927)
AKA: The Mystery at Lover’s Cave (US)

Available only in paperback editions.
Book  Amazon.ca

Best Review
****

Note: Roger gets it wrong!

When the Daily Courier sends Roger Sheringham to Hampshire, it’s a job after his own heart. The body of a woman has been found at the bottom of the cliffs at Ludmouth Bay, and despite a verdict of accidental death, the local sighting of Inspector Moresby from Scotland Yard suggests otherwise. Unable to resist a little amateur sleuth work, Sheringham starts digging around. Events lead him down one blind alley after another as he attempts to rival Inspector Moresby and devise the correct theory about the tragic death of Mrs Vane.

More on Roger Sheringham and The Vane Mystery


Pristley's ProblemMr Priestley’s Problem (1927)
AKA: The Amateur Crime (US)

Available only in used paperback editions.
Book

Best Review
***

Note: Originally published as A. B. Cox

Matthew Priestley is still young, but not very adventurous. He is content with his Greek and Latin studies, his books, china and an impressive collection of snuffboxes. Priestley’s friends are determined to force him out of his dull routine, and also perform a psychological study of the responses of a man who inadvertently commits a murder. They set up the drama, and it appears that Priestley kills a man, but, of course, things soon go wrong for all the plotters. A fairly amusing tale!


silk stocking The Silk Stocking Murders (1928)

Available only in paperback editions.
Book  Amazon.ca

Best Review
***

Note: An early serial killer case!

When the daughter of a country parson goes missing in London, Roger Sheringham receives a letter from her father pleading for help. As the amateur sleuth investigates, he discovers that the girl is already dead, found hanging from a door by her own silk stocking. It is presumed suicide, but when more young women are found dead in the same manner, questions arise. Was it merely copycat suicide, or will the case lead Sheringham into a maze of murder?

More on The Silk Stocking Murders


poisoned chocolatesThe Poisoned Chocolates Case (1929)

Available only in paperback editions.
Book  Amazon.ca

Best Review
*****

Note: Six alternative solutions!

In 1920s London, six members of the Crime Circle set out to solve a murder that has baffled Scotland Yard. Equipped with all of the facts, as told to them by Chief Inspector Moresby, club president Roger Sheringham and his armchair detectives pool their collective talents to formulate theories about the death of Mrs. Joan Bendix by nitrobenzene poisoning. Over six successive nights, each member puts forward a plausible theory, but will any of them be able to reveal the truth?

More on The Poisoned Chocolates Case & More


piccadilly murder The Piccadilly Murder (1929)

Available only in paperback editions.
Book  Amazon.ca

Best Review
****

Note: A second look required?

Once Mr Chitterwick had given his evidence, thus clarifying that the elderly lady’s death was murder and not suicide, it appeared a straightforward case. He had seen something being put into the lady’s coffee cup, after all. But then friends and relatives of the accused appeal to Mr Chitterwick, claiming he is incapable of such a crime. As Mr Chitterwick investigates, doubts begin to surface, until more evidence arises to hint at a more complicated set of occurrences. 

Not the best Anthony Berkeley, but better than reviews suggest.

More on The Piccadilly Murder


second shot The Second Shot (1930)

Available only in paperback editions.
Book  Amazon.ca

Best Review
****

Note: A murder game goes wrong!

Detective writer John Hillyard is entertaining a small house party at Minton Deeps Farm when a shocking accident takes place. Shortly after enacting a murder drama for their own amusement, the guests are returning to the house when Eric Scott Davies, the man who played the victim, is found dead after two gunshots go off. The police suspect murder, but when Roger Sheringham is summoned from London, it is not by Superintendent Hancock but by one of the guests. In a web of scandal, opportunity and multiple motives, the case turns out to be more complex than even Sheringham could have expected.


top storey Top Storey Murder (1931)

Available only in paperback edition.
Book

Best Review
****

Note: A not so routine murder!

Roger Sheringham is about to go to lunch with Chief Inspector Moresby, when the latter receives a telephone call and goes off to a routine case. A woman, rumoured to have stashed money in her apartment, had her flat burgled and was killed in the process. It’s the kind of affair Scotland Yard can deal with easily and efficiently, and Moresby invites Roger to accompany him to the crime scene to see how the pros go about their job. Roger accepts, of course, and right from the get-go the burglary doesn’t quite satisfy the master sleuth, who starts visiting the other tenants in the house and comes to the conclusion that this was no run-of-the-mill burglary.

Edited from at the scene of the crime review, see Best Review.


murder basement Murder in The Basement (1932)

Available only in paperback editions.
Book  Amazon.ca

Best Review
****

Note: A housewarming gift?

Roger and Molly Dane have something of a surprise in their new house. When Roger explores the basement on return from their honeymoon, he discovers something odd with the flooring. Hoping to find buried treasure, he digs up the body of a woman instead. Chief Inspector Moresby and Roger Sheringham are then left with the task of discovering who the lady was, how she came to be there, and who shot her in the back of the head.

More on Murder in The Basement – Pietro de Palma translation


jumping jennyJumping Jenny (1933)
AKA: Dead Mrs Stratton (US)

Available only in paperback editions.
Book  Amazon.ca

Best Review
****

Note: She deserved to die? A little harsh?

Gentleman sleuth Roger Sheringham is at a weekend house party when one of the guests is found hanged. The victim has spent most of the evening talking about suicide and had, apparently, left the party after a row with her husband. Life would be best for everyone if the death was suicide, but is that verdict too much to hope for? The victim was extremely unpopular, and many people’s lives would be better off without her. Some might even say that she deserved to die. What conclusion will the Coroner come to?

More on Jumping Jenny


Panic Party (1934)panic party
AKA: Mr. Pidgeon’s Island

Available only in paperback edition.
Book

Best Review
****

Note: Marooned with a murderer!

Sheringham joins a yachting party organised by Guy Pidgeon, an Oxford don who has recently come into the money. The group finds itself marooned on a deserted island, where Pidgeon announces that their party includes a murderer. His ‘murder game’ has an all too  predictable outcome – he is murdered! 


not takenNot To Be Taken (1937)
AKA: A Puzzle in Poison (US)

Available only in paperback editions.
Book  Amazon.ca

Best Review
****

Note: That character name sounds familiar…

A classic case of the apparent suicide that proves to be murder. John Waterhouse’s death certificate gives cause of death as gastric ulcers, but when his brother insists on the body being exhumed so that a post mortem can be carried out, it proves the case that poison has been at work. Will Douglas Sewell, who watched his good friend die, be able to use his knowledge of those concerned to unravel the clues and uncover the murderer?


trial error Trial and Error (1937)

Available in paperback and ebook editions.
Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Best Review
****

Note: Murder as a good deed?

Non-descript, upstanding, Mr Todhunter is told that he has only months to live. He decides to commit a murder for the good of mankind. Finding a worthy victim proves far from easy, and there is a false start before he settles on and dispatches his target. But then the police arrest an innocent man, and the honourable Todhunter has to set about proving himself guilty of the murder.


death house Death in The House (1939)

Available only in paperback editions.
Book  Amazon.ca

Best Review
****

Note: Murder in Parliament!

Lord Wellacombe, Secretary of State for India, dies while giving a speech to introduce a new bill on the floor of the House of Commons. His untimely demise looks like a stroke, but is it mere coincidence that a threat on his life had been made? The bill needs to be passed, but is anyone brave enough to defy the threats and risk potential murder?

Not generally a reviewers favourite (only one review found), but I quite enjoyed this last Berkeley novel! A GoodMystery review to follow as time permits, but well worth the read!


Mystery Novels as Francis Iles


malice aforethought Malice Aforethought (1931)

Available in paperback and ebook editions.
Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Best Review
****

Note: The first psychological suspense thriller??

On a balmy summer’s day in 1930 the great and the good of the county are out in force for the annual, much-anticipated tennis party at the Bickleighs, although not everyone has much enthusiasm for the game. The tennis party exists for other reasons – and charmingly mannered infidelity is now the most popular pastime in the small but exclusive Devonshire hamlet of Wyvern’s Cross.

Which is why, in his own garden, the host, Dr Edmund Bickleigh, is desperately fighting to conceal the two things on his mind: a mounting passion for Gwynfryd Rattery – and the certain conviction that he is going to kill his wife!

More on Malice Aforethought (wiki) & Gadetection 


Before The Fact (1932)before fact

Available in paperback and ebook editions.
Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Best Review
****

Note: A bad bargain?

Described on its first publication in 1932 as ‘one of the finest studies of murder ever written’! Before the Fact tells the tale of wealthy but plain Lina Mclaidlaw, who marries the charming and feckless Johnny Aysgarth against the advice of her father. Lina is certain she can change him for the better, until she is forced to acknowledge that he is a compulsive liar, a crook and a murderer. But still she loves him, while fearing she will inevitably become one of his victims.

Read this many years ago and enjoyed it, must reread in light of Patrick’s Best Review.

More on Before The Fact


The Rattenbury Case (1936)

See Anatomy of Murder by The Detection Club below.


as for womanAs For The Woman (1939)

Available only in used hardcover editions.
Book

Best Review
****

Note: A very dark tale!

Alan Littlewood, Oxford boy, is a girlish, delicate sonneteer, hiding a deep insecurity and ill case under the pomposity and affectations of youth. He goes to summer with a Dr. Pawle, after a t.b. patch on one lung is discovered, and Mrs. Pawle, obviously to all concerned save Alan, executes a fine seduction. In the background is Dr. Pawle, scornful of the foppish Alan, scornful of his unrestrained, lightheaded wife – striking back!


Mystery Novels as A. Monmouth Platts


ciceley disappears Cicely Disappears

Available only in used hardcover editions.
Book

Best Review
**

Note: Very rare & not deserving of rescue?

The rather drawn out and less than thrilling story of Cicely’s disappearance, began life as a serialisation published by The Daily Mirror, under the by-line of A.B. Cox. The Mirror ran a competition with prizes for those who guessed the solution correctly, and according to Tony Medawar, a famous mystery critic, Agatha Christie’s husband Archie was a runners-up. 


Short Fiction as Anthony Berkeley


Collection: The Roger Sheringham Stories (1994)
Detectives: Roger Sheringham

No Review

Available only in limited edition of 95 copies. No image available.

Not Currently Available


avenging chanceCollection: The Avenging Chance & Other Mysteries
Detective: Sheringham

 

Best Review
****

Available only in new paperback edition. Crippen & Landru’s Lost Classics series.

Book

Includes:

Concerning Roger Sheringham
The Avenging Chance
Perfect Alibi
The Mystery of Horne’s Corpse
Unsound Mind
White Butterfly
The Wrong Jar
Double Bluff
“Mr. Bearstowe Says…”
Why Do I Write Detective Stories?
The Body’s Upstairs, A Parody


Short Fiction as Francis Iles


Outside the LawEQMM June 1949
Collection: Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, June 1949

 

No Review

Available only in original magazine.

EQMM, June 1949


Dark Journeyshort sweet
Collection: Murder Short & Sweet by Paul D. Staudohar 

 

No Review

Available only in hardcover edition.

Book


It Takes Two To Make A Herocolliers 9:43
Collection: Colliers Magazine, Sept. 4, 1943

 

No Review

Available only in original magazine.

Not currently available


Anthony Berkeley Detection Club stories


The Floating AdmiralDC Floating Admiral 2
Series: Detection Club

 

Best Review
****

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Note: A Round Robin novel!

Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.K. Chesterton and nine other writers from the legendary Detection Club collaborate in this fiendishly clever but often forgotten crime novel first published 80 years ago.

Inspector Rudge does not encounter many cases of murder in the sleepy seaside town of Whynmouth. But when an old sailor lands a rowing boat containing a fresh corpse with a stab wound to the chest, the Inspector’s investigation immediately comes up against several obstacles. The vicar, whose boat the body was found in, is clearly withholding information, and the victim’s niece has disappeared. There is clearly more to this case than meets the eye – even the identity of the victim is called into doubt. Inspector Rudge begins to wonder just how many people have contributed to this extraordinary crime and whether he will ever unravel it…

In 1931, Anthony Berkeley, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and nine other crime writers from the newly-formed ‘Detection Club’ collaborated in publishing a unique crime novel. In a literary game of consequences, each author would write one chapter, leaving G.K. Chesterton to write a typically paradoxical prologue and Anthony Berkeley to tie up all the loose ends. In addition, each of the authors provided their own solution in a sealed envelope, all of which appeared at the end of the book, with Agatha Christie’s ingenious conclusion acknowledged at the time to be ‘enough to make the book worth buying on its own’.

The authors of this novel are: G. K. Chesterton, 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.


anatomy murderThe Rattenbury Case
Collection: The Anatomy of Murder

 

Best Review
****

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Note: Seven notorious true murders retold by GA greats!

A unique anthology for crime aficionados – seven of the world’s most notorious genuine murder mysteries retold by the most accomplished classic crime writers of their generation.

A manipulative murderer who stalked the streets of Paris; a young wife who poisoned her eccentric husband; a bank cashier’s mysterious suicide; a brutal double murder in New Zealand… Seven of the world’s greatest crime writers turn their hand to some of the world’s most spine-tingling mysteries – all of them astonishingly true!

This remarkable collection from the archives of the Detection Club follows The Floating Admiral, Ask a Policeman and Six Against the Yard back into print after more than 75 years, and shows some of the most accomplished authors of their generation retelling real-life murder mysteries with all the relish of the tastiest crime fiction.

Includes:

‘Death of Henry Kinder’ by Helen Simpson. A man murders the husband of his mistress.

‘Constance Kent’ by John Rhode. A girl commits a brutal murder as revenge on her stepmother.

‘The Case of Adelaide Bartlett’  by Margaret Cole. An odd tale of foolish murder.

 ‘An Impression of the Landru Case’  by E.R. Punshon.  A man conceals the fate of his 11 victims. 

‘The Murder of Julia Wallace’ by Dorothy Sayers.  Was William Wallace guilty or innocent? 

‘The Rattenbury Case’ by Francis Iles. One of the most stupid murders ever committed!

‘A New Zealand Tragedy’ by Freeman Wills Crofts. A brutal double murder caught by clever detection.


The Scoop & Behind The ScreenDC scoop and screen
Series: Detection Club

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Includes two Anthony Berkeley short fiction titles:

Two collaborative short story series. The first set in a newspaper office, the second in an ordinary family house.

The Scoop
1 Over the Wire by Dorothy L. Sayers
2 At the Inquest by Agatha Christie
3 Fisher’s Alibi by E.C. Bentley
4 The Strange Behaviour of Mr Potts by Agatha Christie aka The Weapon
5 Tracing Tracey by Anthony Berkeley
6 Scotland Yard on the Job by Freeman Wills Crofts
7 Beryl in Broad Street by Clemence Dane
8 The Sad Truth about Potts by E.C. Bentley
9 Bond Street or Broad Street? by Anthony Berkeley
10 Beryl takes the Consequences by Clemence Dane
11 Inspector Amart’s Nasty Jar by Freeman Wills Crofts
12 The Final Scoop by Dorothy L. Sayers

Behind the Screen
1 The Guest in the House by Hugh Walpole
2 Something is Missing by Agatha Christie
3 Man at the Gate by Dorothy L. Sayers
4 I Killed Mr Dudden by Anthony Berkeley
5 Amy Intervenes by E.C. Bentley
6 How Dudden Died by Ronald Knox


Anthony Berkeley Coxe Bibliography


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