Saturday, February 24, 2007

Happy birthday, Grant Allen, August Derleth, and Rupert Holmes.

February 24th proves to be a popular day for mystery birthdays.

The pioneering Grant Allen (seen at left) was born on this day in 1848. He died in 1899. He achieved a certain level of notoriety with his novel The Woman Who Did (1895), which advocated free love. Some of his better known mystery works are An African Millionaire (1897), Miss Cayley's Adventures (1899), and Hilda Wade (completed by his friend Arthur Conan Doyle, 1900), the latter two featuring early female detectives.

August Derleth, well known for his science fiction, works of the macabre, and admiration for H.P. Lovecraft but also author of a number of Sherlock Holmes pastiches featuring Solar Pons, was born today in 1909. He died in 1971.

And mystery author Rupert Holmes, Tony-winning composer of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and forever dubbed the "Pina Colada guy" for his hit song "Escape," turns 60 today. His latest novel is Swing, featuring a 1940s jazz musician who is implicated in a murder.

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