Part of a series on unexpected individuals who enjoy or enjoyed mystery-related works and authors.
The mystery writers he liked:
• Erle Stanley Gardner. "As a former practicing attorney he can be trusted not to cheat . . . the legal situation is always novel and fascinating."
• Dashiell Hammett, "The Cleansing of Personville"/Red Harvest. "He writes a good practical English."
• Selwyn Jepson (author of Man Running, adapted by Hitchcock as Stage Fright, 1950, and uncle of writer Fay Weldon). "A refreshing exception."
• Georges Simenon. "a law to himself . . . his diversity and brilliance put most of his rivals to shame."
The mystery writers he dissed:
• E. C. Bentley. "flat-footed."
• Raymond Chandler. "...I would succumb more often to his ingenious impostures, if the style were not so sadly meretricious..."
• G. K. Chesterton. "self-satisfied criminologist . . .a jolly Catholic priest."
• Agatha Christie. "... nobody could promise Agatha immortality as a novelist." (never mind that Christie dedicated a book to him)
• Edgar Allan Poe. "...Heaven knows why nobody in Paris caught sight of the ape [from "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"] during all that excitement, though it was wandering paw-loose for days and must have felt pretty hungry and thirsty."
• Dorothy L. Sayers. "Dorothy Sayers . . . will . . . sink without a trace; she clearly has no belief in her outrageous drawing-room charades..."
Graves's crystal ball seems to have been cloudy, given how seriously he missed the mark on Chandler, Christie, and Sayers, and Jepson is hardly a household name in the present day.