Wednesday, September 14, 2011

AKA: Five pseudonymous female mystery authors.

M. C. Beaton. The lighthearted Beaton mysteries feature dour Scottish constable Hamish MacBeth (adapted for television) and the always-in-trouble Agatha Raisin (adapted for radio with Penelope Keith), but under Beaton's real name, Marion Chesney, other mysteries have appeared (such as the Edwardian-set Snobbery with Violence) as well as romance novels.

Italian ed. of David Frome's
The Hammersmith Murders
David Frome/Leslie Ford. Zenith Jones Brown began her mystery career with Murder of an Old Man (1929) under the pseudonym David Frome, followed by more than 15 Frome mysteries and more than 30 mysteries under the name Leslie Ford. Her sleuths include Mr. Pinkerton, Inspector Bull, Colonel Pickering, and Grace Latham. The bookstore Mystery Loves Company selected Ford's Girl from the Mimosa Club (1957) as one of the best mysteries of the 20th century.

Nina Foch in
My Name Is Julia Ross (1945),
based on Anthony Gilbert's
The Woman in Red (1943)
Anthony Gilbert. Lucy Beatrice Malleson, a relative of actor Miles Malleson (Kind Hearts and Coronets, etc.), wrote 32 books under the four pseudonyms of Anne Meredith, J. Kilmeny Keith, Sylvia Denys Hooke, and Lucy Egerton. However, vulgar lawyer Arthur Crook is the star of most of the 60 novels under Malleson's pen name of Anthony Gilbert. Crook debuted in Murder by Experts (1936); the final Gilbert book was A Nice Little Killing (1974). A Detection Club member, she was an Edgar nominee for "Door to a Different World" (EQMM Mar. 1970) and "Fifty Years After" (EQMM Mar. 1973).

Evelyn Piper. Merriam Modell, wife of a Cornell pharmacology professor, wrote stories for the New Yorker and the novel The Sound of Years (1946), but it was under the name Evelyn Piper that she published her most well-known work: Bunny Lake Is Missing (1957, film 1965). Other Piper books include the Edgar-nominated The Innocent (1949), the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone work The Motive (1950; called by the New York Times "a fine study in the detection not of who, but of why"), The Plot (1951), The Lady and Her Doctor (1956), Hanno's Doll (1961), The Naked Murderer (1962), The Nanny (1964, film 1965), and The Stand-In (1970).

Peter Vaughan in
Die! Die! My Darling
(1965), based on
Anne Blaisdell's Edgar-
nominated Nightmare
Dell Shannon. Illinois-born author Elizabeth Linington wrote under the pseudonyms Anne Blaisdell, Egan O'Neill, and Leslie Egan, as well as her own name; her police procedurals under the name Dell Shannon feature the LAPD's Luis Mendoza, including the Edgar-nominated novels Case Pending (1960) and Knave of Hearts (1962).

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