The Detective Fiction Reviews of Charles Williams, 1930–1935


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About the Book

“‘The new Sayers’ is not merely admirable; it is adorable. There were, in Miss Sayers’s more recent books, signs that a strange element was struggling to be free. In one this element seemed like philosophy; in one like fantasy. It has now become perfectly freed itself, and become perfectly united with her other capacities. The Nine Tailors is consequently not a tale of murder, but an experience of life.”—Charles Williams, review of The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers, January 17, 1934.

English editor, literary critic, poet, novelist, theologian, and Inkling, Charles Williams (1885–1945) wrote popular-press reviews of detective fiction in its golden age of popularity (early thirties) for such newspapers as The Westminster Chronicle & News-Gazette and The Daily Mail. This book presents all of Williams’ published reviews of detective fiction—covering works by Agatha Christie, Sax Rohmer, Ellery Queen, Dashiel Hammett and E. Phillips Oppenheim, to name a few. It begins with a discussion of Williams as a detective fiction reviewer, then presents the reviews year-by-year, from 1930 to 1935, and concludes with a discussion of the end of the golden age of detective fiction. An appendix lists the authors that Williams reviewed, which books were reviewed, the date that they were reviewed, and additional information on each author.

About the Author(s)

The late Jared Lobdell was a writer and researcher. He lectured at Millersville University of Pennsylvania and Harrisburg Area Community College. He lived in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Jared Lobdell

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 221
Bibliographic Info: appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1454-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

Charles Williams as Detective Fiction Reviewer      5
The Year 1930      23
The Year 1931      49
January 1, 1932–April 26, 1933      75
June 5, 1933–February 15, 1935      97
The Ways of the Golden Age and the Ways Out      118

Appendix: Authors and Books Reviewed      141
Index      209

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Elegantly constructed”—Midwest Book Review

• “People who enjoy the writings of Charles Williams will want to have this book…a fine job looking at and commenting upon the importance of this period…a source for further research or simply for people to find more about the authors of this period…what a treat!”—Mythprint

• “This collection is a useful and interesting aid for the Golden Age fan and Williams’ reviews shine a light on a plethora of long forgotten writers.”—Cross Examining Crime

• “The collection itself is a delight”—The Charles Williams Society Newsletter

• “Useful”—SEVEN

“Highly recommended…very enjoyable”—CADS