Friday, May 12, 2006

Julian Symons, who died in 1994, was not only the brother (and biographer) of the author of the amazing THE QUEST FOR CORVO but also a masterful mystery writer – winner of the Diamond Dagger planted in him by the Crime Writers Association, and a Grand Master kiss from the Mystery Writers of America. Toward the end of his career, he didn’t have much respect for short stories, but earlier – from 1950 to 1955 – he wrote a series of stories for the London Evening Standard about a private eye called Francis Quarles with an office in Trafalgar Square and a history of secret activities during World War II. The dedicated Crippen & Landru have put together 41 of these previously uncollected outings as part of their Lost Classics series, and each is a tasty morsel from a menu which no longer exists.