The same gratitude for an online conference was shared by other attendees as well, based on the feedback provided by many international voices at the end of the day. Sincere thanks and congratulations to the organizers and tech (‘tec?) supervisors for a smooth and lively affair. It was immense fun to see and hear from all of the learned participants and enthusiastic fans, and the topics could not have been better chosen or more intriguing.
First, Martin Edwards, Alison Joseph, and Kate Ellis shared insights on the newly published Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by the Detection Club. Next, Martin and Christine Poulson discussed the criminous stage, screen, and book contributions of identical twin brothers Peter and Anthony Shaffer. Kate Jackson and The Puzzle Doctor explored the books of Brian Flynn, a GAD author once more in the spotlight thanks to the reprinting efforts of PD and Dean Street Press. Mark Green looked at the ease of readability among the prose of the four Crime Queens. Jim Noy shared a delightful classification of detective types “from Holmes to Hammer” and Curtis Evans (who will soon be publishing a comprehensive book on the subject) provided an overview of authors Rickie Webb and Hugh Wheeler, the driving forces behind the American pseudonyms of Patrick Quentin and Q. Patrick.
Whew. That’s a lot of fascinating GAD ground that was covered.
But wait; there’s more. As the creator of a tribute site for the sui generis, prolific mystery author Gladys Mitchell, I was particularly excited about the topic scheduled for 3.15 pip emma, British Summer Time. Moira Redmond from Clothes in Books and author L.C. Tyler were to provide an overview of “The Great Gladys” and her work, and their spirited discussion was delightful. While they rightly forewarned prospective new readers of some of GM’s elements that might disappoint or alienate – such as arbitrary killers or obscure motives revealed at a story’s solution – L.C. and Moira spent much of their time making the case for this highly original author and her strikingly strange psychoanalyst detective.
Moira Redmond has posted a blog entry at Clothes in Books campaigning for The Great Gladys once more, and recommends 1941’s When Last I Died, which is also my favorite Mrs Bradley title of the 66 books in the series. And as Moira argues, “we strongly encourage people to give her a chance and stick with the books with their weird plots, strange motives, and strange plot turns. Mrs Bradley is worth it!”
Who am I do disagree?