The name of J. J. Connington, whose "The Tau Cross Mystery" is the subject of this week's podcast review, was unfamiliar to me until recently - which is wrong, for so talented and prolific a writer. Born Alfred Walter Stewart, Connington is one of the writers referred to dismissively by too many "serious" scholars of crime fiction as "the humdrums," dismissed too easily as mere "plotters" who allegedly don't have the necessary serious writing skills for their books to be taken as "literature."
In addition to Connington, two other authors, in particular, are classified that way: Cecil John Charles Street, who wrote as Miles Burton, John Rhode and a couple of other names, and Freeman Wills Crofts, the master of the alibi-and-timetable mystery. All are largely forgotten today - which is a pity.
All have written books - many books - that are still great fun and very much worth reading, particularly if you enjoy traditional, puzzle-based mysteries. Many are extremely well-written, too.
One scholar who has most emphatically not been dismissive of the humdrums is Curtis Evans, whose book, Masters of the "Humdrum" Mystery: Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, Alfred Walter Stewart and the British Detective Novel, 1920-1961, looks at these masters of the classic mystery and provides good, positive analysis of their strengths, There's an affordable Kindle edition, which is good because the book itself comes from a "scholarly" press, meaning it is pretty costly in its printed form. I'd love to see it stocked in more libraries; the electronic version lives on my Kindle. It is extremely readable and quite entertaining, two adjectives which unfortunately don't always apply to good scholarly research books. If you're at all curious about these masterful authors, you might very much enjoy this book.
I have reviewed a few of the books by these authors - you can find the audio reviews listed on the Backlist page. And I should mention Curt's first-rate blog about (mostly) traditional mysteries, The Passing Tramp.