Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Inspector Stoddart Mysteries of Annie Haynes: The Man with the Dark Beard (1928), The Crime at Tattenham Corner (1929), Who Killed Charmian Karslake? (1929), The Crystal Beads Murder (1930)

The reissues of the Inspector Stoddart detective novels by Golden Age detective novelist Annie Haynes will be out through Dean Street Press in the fall, in paper and electronic versions, and below you can see what the covers will look like. These tales will be followed by Haynes' three Inspector Furnival novels and her five non-series mysteries.

Also coming are three detective novels by yet another Golden Age British woman mystery writer, one who has been out-of-print for seventy-five years.  More to come on those books, but, in the meantime....

The Man with the Dark  Beard

Who did in the eminent Dr. Bastow in his own consulting room? Was it the man with the dark beard--or is he a red herring? Inspector Stoddart is on the case--his first recorded one.

The Crime at Tattenham Corner

Who left financier and racehorse owner Sir John Burslem dead in a ditch in Hughlin's Wood near Tattenham Corner?  Did his killing have something to do with the running of the Derby Stakes at the famed Epsom Downs Racecourse? Inspector Stoddart is on the case again, this time with a little romance in store--strictly in the line of duty, of course....

Who Killed Charmian Karslake? 

It's the question on everyone's lips when a popular American stage actress is found murdered in her bedroom at the country house where she had been invited for the weekend. There's a mansion full of suspects, but Inspector Stoddart always gets his man--or woman.
The Crystal Beads Murder

Who slew that lecherous swine Saunderson in the summer-house?  What could the cryptic clue of the three white crystal beads mean?  Inspector Stoddart answers all questions in his last recorded case, which may have been completed by crime writer Anthony Gilbert, Annie Haynes having passed away before she finished the manuscript.  It's a fine finish to an entertaining mystery series.


  1. I recently read _Who Killed Charmian Karslake?_ and enjoyed it, though it was more than a bit melodramatic in parts. I'm looking forward to reading more of Haynes' work.

    1. Her American millionaire (naturally) was so of the period, I thought, reminded me of Christie.

      I think Haynes does definitely have some melodrama--she was born in the decade when Wilkie Collins and Mary Braddon were enjoying such great success--but she has a good narrative pace like Christie, I think.

  2. I haven't read any of Annie Haynes's work, but I enjoyed the recent Dean Street Press release, 'Dead Man's Quarry'. Which of these novels by Haynes would you recommend that I start off with, to see if I want to purchase the entire set - and which do you think is her best work?

    1. Well, Crystal Beads was completed by another writer and was the last in the Stoddart series, so that's probably not the best place to start, though there is a lot I like about that one. Charmian Karslake is very much a country house party mystery, which is always fun, but I like a lot of the twists in Tattenham. Beard has one of my favorite Annie Haynes characters, the outspoken spinster aunt Lavinia Priestley.

      I think some of the non-series ones are quite interesting as well, but those won't be reprinted until the winter, as I understand it currently. Haynes connoisseur Carl Woodings tells me the first one, The Bungalow Mystery, is his favorite. I'll be posting more about all these periodically over the next couple of months.

  3. It seems like Dean Street Press is releasing 'Abbey Court Murder', 'House on Charlton Crescent' and 'Crow's Inn Tragedy', which is exciting news. :) Just wondering if you have any recommendations and preferences between these three titles? It's hard to find good reviews of these titles online...