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    Mystery Publishers

    • Academy Chicago Publishers
      An imprint of the Chicago Review Press. Features a number of interesting authors, most long out of print, plus some other odds and ends, including some horror stories by Conan Doyle.
    • Crippen & Landru
      Crippen & Landru publish mystery short story collections. Of particular interest is what they call "Lost Classics," a series of anthologies of mostly uncollected stories by authors who might be enjoyed by a new generation of readers.
    • Dean Street Press
      This small British publisher has a great many classic crime books in its much broader catalog. They are bringing back many Golden Age classics by authors who deserve another chance at a new audience.
    • Felony & Mayhem
      This publisher specializes in classic mysteries, broadly defined, including newer mysteries that adhere to classic standards. They have just overhauled their website to make it much more informative and user-friendly.
    • Locked Room International
      A small press, specializing in very good English-language translations of (so far) mostly-French authors of locked room and impossible crime stories. They publish in Print-On-Demand and electronic editions.
    • Merion Press
      The Merion Press is an independent publisher of out-of-print works that were originally published over 75 years ago, but are enduring even today.
      The brainchild of editor/anthologist/author/bookstore-owner Otto Penzler, the Mysterious Press has recently returned to life and now works with Open Road Media as an electronic book publisher. It is already republishing the work of a lot of classic authors, with more books on the way.
    • Oconee Spirit Press
      A small, independent publisher committed to publishing "lively fiction, and provocative non-fiction." Most of their list covers early works by established authors writing traditional mysteries, such as Carolyn Hart and Margaret Maron.
    • Oleander Press
      This small eclectic British publisher has begun publishing a series of classic British mystery novels, primarily from the Golden Age. The series is grouped into a section of their catalogue named "London Bound," as the books are set in London.
    • Ostara Publishing
      "Ostara Publishing re-issues titles that have unjustifiably become unavailable either through the ravages of time or the forces of publishing economics. We specialise in Crime and Thriller fiction titles and our range goes from the1920s through to the 21st century. We publish thematically and currently have six series available. All our titles are published in a 'trade paperback' format and printed to order."
    • Poisoned Pen Press
      Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Poisoned Pen Press publishes a fairly wide variety of mysteries. Some are reprints; many are new, by newer authors. Their website has a great deal of information about their books and authors.

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    April 21, 2010


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    I was lucky enough to find the ImPress Mysteries edition of The Three Coffins at one of the many Portland-area Goodwill thrift stores.

    (Do you know about ImPress? It's a publishing effort by Readers' Digest--I think-- to republish classic mysteries in brightly-colored hardback volumes with foil-embossed covers; the books look kind of like childrens' toys.)

    After reading & listening to your reviews, I decided to pick up my copy and dig in. I'm about a third of the way through, and it's really great so far. There's so much information to keep track of, that I had to break down and start underlining passages and writing in the margins, but it's a really fun challenge.

    I also read somewhere that Dr. Gideon Fell (great name) is based on Gilbert Chesterton, and at one point Superintendent Hadley says, "I always dread the time when you begin to trot out your damned paradoxes."

    So, that sealed it. Fell is definitely based on G.K. Chesterton

    Les Blatt

    I'm not familiar with the Reader's Digest series - and even on Google, they're hard to find. I can't tell if they're still going; Library Thing has a list which suggests they were publishing at least through last year.

    Yes, Dr. Fell is based on Chesterton - physical descriptions of Dr. Fell seem to match those of Chesterton, who was certainly one of Carr's favorites. Doug Greene, in his excellent biography of Carr, calls Chesterton "Carr's literary idol," and notes that Dr. Fell's speech patterns are also drawn from Chesterton. The paradoxes are another clue; so, I believe, is Dr. Fell's fondness for good English beer.


    I've only managed to find the odd ImPress book through second-hand stores. I don't think there's anywhere online that specializes in selling them. I think the Readers' Digest website has a few of the more current volumes for sale. It might be a book or two by Dorothy Sayers, if I remember right. Like you can't find those anywhere else.

    Which brings us to the weirdness of the ImPress ImPrint. Some of the books are hard-to-find classics like Calamity Town by Ellery Queen (which I own, but have yet to read) and Ashenden, or the British Spy by Somerset Maugham (which I have yet to find, but I'm looking).

    But the ImPress line also puts out ubiquitous books like The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, and The Scarlet Pimpernel, which don't--under any circumstances--cry out for new editions.

    But I guess I can't complain too much. Readers' Digest isn't a house run by-mystery-nerds/for-mystery-nerds.

    I should just thank them for The Three Coffins.

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    Disclosure: Amazon Associates

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      That means that if you order anything from Amazon through a link from my site I get a small commission. As a result, I'd consider it a favor if you would consider making your purchases through my links. As always, though, if you have a local mystery book store, I encourage you to use them as your first choice. For anything else...thank you.

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