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Old 03-04-2017, 04:30 AM   #1
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Detective Cavalcade, Ed. Dorothy L Sayers

Detective Cavalcade
Edited by Dorothy L Sayers

Back in 1936, the London newspaper The Evening Standard commissioned Dorothy L Sayers to edit a selection of detective stories as a weekly feature. She wrote an introduction, and chose 30 short stories from 30 different authors (if you count Ellery Queen and GDH and M Cole as sole authors rather than double acts). For each story (except the one of her own) she wrote a headnote.

What's more, she prevailed on a number of her contemporary writers to produce new stories specially for the series. This remarkable collection has never been published as a book, and maybe it's high time it was.

After the run ended in The Evening Standard, the series was syndicated, and appeared in whole or in part in "colonial" newspapers, and, I shouldn't be suprised, in the USA and Canada. In Australia, at least six different newspapers ran the series, although none, so far as I can tell, ran the whole lot. However, between them, all the stories were published, in rather higgledy piggledy order, and with Ms Sayers' headnotes.

Each story featured the author's most characteristic detective, and in some cases are the only short stories in which that character appeared (eg Mrs Bradley).

The full list, not necessarily in the order published in The Evening Standard, (although I'm fairly sure the first and last are about right!) is:

1: The Tremarn Case / Baroness Orczy (d. 1947) OLD MAN
2: The Invisible Man / G K Chesterton (d 1936) FATHER BROWN
3: The Stealer of Marble / Edgar Wallace (d. 1932) J G REEDER
4: East Wind / Freeman Wills Crofts (d. 1957) FRENCH
5: The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge / Agatha Christie (d 1983) POIROT
6: The Nail and the Requiem / C Daly King (d 1963) TREVIS TARRRANT
7: The Hanover Court Murder / Sir Basil Thompson (d. 1939) RICHARDSON
8: Seven Black Cats / Ellery Queen (Lee d. 1971. Dannay 1982) QUEEN
9: The Wrong Problem / John Dickson Carr (d. 1977) FELL
10: Clever Cockatoo / E C Bentley (d. 1956) TRENT
11: The Cyprian Bees / Anthony Wynne (Robert McNair Wilson), d. 1963 DR HAILEY
12: Sower of Pestilence / R Austin Freeman (d 1943) THORNDYKE
13: The Elusive Bullet / John Rhode (Cecil Street, d. 1964 ) DR PRIESTLY
14: The Dragon's Head / Dorothy L Sayers (d 1957) WIMSY
15: The Missing Undergraduate / Henry Wade (Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, Bt); d. 1960) INSPECTOR POOLE
16:Gentlemen and Players / E W Hornung (d. 1921) RAFFLES
17: A Drop Too Much / Christopher Bush (d. 1973) LUDOVIC TRAVERS
18: Diamond Cut Diamond / F. Britten Austin (d. 1941) "Q.Q."
19: Policeman's Cape / David Frome (Leslie Ford, d. 1983) MR PINKERTON
20: A Question of Coincidence / G D H and M Cole (GDH d 1959, M 1980) SUP. WILSON
21: Sexton Blake Solves It / Anon / unknown SEXTON BLAKE
22: A Study in the Obvious / E R Punshon (d. 1956) SGT BOBBY OWEN
23: Locked in / E. Charles Vivian , (d. 1947) INSP.HEAD
24: Lord Chizelrigg's Missing Fortune / Robert Barr (d.1912) VALMONT
25: The Wrong Hand / Melville Davisson Post (d 1930) UNCLE ABNER
26: The Case of the 100 Cats / Gladys Mitchell. (d 1983) MRS BRADLEY
27: White Butterfly / Anthony Berkeley [Cox]. (d. 1971) SHERINGHAM
28: The Borderline Case / Margery Allingham (d. 1966) CAMPION
29: Ghost At Massingham Mansions / Ernest Bramah (d. 1942) MAX CARRADOS
30: Before Insulin / J.J. Connington(Alfred Walter Stewart, d. 1947) SIR CLINTON


For any student and/or fan of the early days of the classic detective story, this would be an invaluable book to have, but as you can see, at least half the stories are still copyright. And it would be a big book, I guess around 180-200 thousand words. The Evening Standard preferred 4,000 words per story, but many went to 6,000 . Some older ones to 10,000, and were published in two parts.
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Old 08-18-2018, 07:17 PM   #2
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:18 AM   #3
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If you are going to work with copyright material, you need a better understanding of copyright law.

Photographs taken before 1955 are out of copyright in Australia. But not the text of the articles!

I agree that the wording of that page could be better. But the text of, for example, "The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge" by Agatha Christie is most definitely in copyright in Australia and most of the rest of the world.
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:04 AM   #4
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Just because it's available on-line through Trove does NOT make it out of copyright. Copyright in Australia is based on the date of death of the author, and has two legs.

Until recently Australia was a life +50 country but then extended it to Life +70. It did not re-copyright anything that had already been in the PD under life+50 but started a new regime.

While you can read anything on Trove free, including works by authors whose works are still copyright, and you can (arguably) download such copyright material for strictly your own use, you cannot then copy it to someone else, or publish it.

There is nothing in Australian copyright law that makes everything on Trove in the PD. The Act would have to make an explicit provision to that effect, and it doesn't. Trove is a research facility.

Those people who download from Trove and make it available on legitimate sites, here or elsewhere, as ebooks, make sure that it is out of copyright first. Thus the collections of Mark Hellinger (d. 1947) stories I placed on Mobile Read are PD in Australia and in the Life +70 Public Domain, or I wouldn't have done it. Similarly, the Aiden de Brune (d 1946) serials on Project Gutenberg Aust and Roy Glashan's Library are PD in Australia and in all L+70 jurisdictions. Neither of these two e-book libraries will accept anything not in the Australian PD.
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Old 08-25-2018, 01:48 PM   #5
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For those who are interested, this would still be an intriguing collection if the correct parties were paid and the ebook was made available to purchase.
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:06 PM   #6
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I've since discovered that Sayers actually edited four books on similar lines.

Great Short Stories of Detection, Mystery and Horror (1928),
ditto, second series 1931
ditto, third series 1934

and what may well be the same as Detective Cavalcade, "Tales of Detection, 1936."

It may have started as the newspaper series, or maybe the newspaper series came from the book. I don't know the content of the book "Tales of detection", and I have never seen any of these books in the flesh, so to speak.

The whole set would be a great golden age short story library! It's odd that they are so obscure.

Last edited by Pulpmeister; 08-26-2018 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:20 PM   #7
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Follow-up: I found a partial contents list of Tales of Detection, also known as Great Tales of Detection, which has 19 stories, and none of those mentioned are in Detective Cavalcade. So that's not the answer.

The early books are available second hand, and at least one has been reprinted lately.

PS: found full contents list of "Tales of Detection" 1936

The purloined letter / Edgar Allan Poe --
The biter bit / Wilkie Collins --
Was it murder? / Robert Louis Stevenson --
The man in the passage / Gilbert Keith Chesterton --
The clever cockatoo / Edmund Clerihew Bentley --
The ghost at Massingham mansions / Ernest Bramah --
The tea-leaf / Edgar Jepson and Robert Eustace --
The contents of a mare's nest / Richard Austin Freeman --
The hands of Mr. Ottermole / Thomas Burke --
Solved by inspection / Ronald Knox --
Philomel cottage / Agatha Christie --
The avenging chance / Anthony Berkeley --
The mystery of the sleeping-car express / Freeman Willis Crofts --
The elusive bullet / John Rhode --
The image in the mirror / Dorothy Leigh Sayers --
A matter of luck / Henry Wade --
Superfluous murder / Milward Kennedy --
The yellow slugs / Henry Christopher Bailey --
The episode of the nail and the requiem / C. Daly King.

One or two stories overlap Detective Cavalcade (the C Daly King, the Ernest Bramah, for instance). I am now thinking that Detective Cavalcade was a selection from all the above books, specially for The Evening Standard newspaper series.

If so, no need to worry about Detective Cavalcade: just round up copies of the four printed books and you have it!

Last edited by Pulpmeister; 08-25-2018 at 10:56 PM.
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