The Man Who Wasn't There
By Anthony Gilbert
'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday Express
Marjorie Hyde, a gifted but unsuccessful actress, is happily married. Like many members of her profession she is temperamental, and though not that beautiful has that Titian colouring that is supposed to make men mad. Her husband, Christopher, is insanely jealous, and after learning that she is frequently in the company of Philip Clare, a barrister and Parliamentary candidate, Christopher threatens to instigate divorce proceedings that would ruin his rival's career.
The same night, he drinks his usual glass of after-dinner port and dies from hyosin poisoning. And in the unravelling of the mystery surrounding his death, nobody is free from suspicion.
Anthony Gilbert was the pen name of Lucy Beatrice Malleson. Born in London, she spent all her life there, and her affection for the city is clear from the strong sense of character and place in evidence in her work. She published 69 crime novels, 51 of which featured her best known character, Arthur Crook, a vulgar London lawyer totally (and deliberately) unlike the aristocratic detectives, such as Lord Peter Wimsey, who dominated the mystery field at the time. She also wrote more than 25 radio plays, which were broadcast in Great Britain and overseas. Her thriller The Woman in Red (1941) was broadcast in the United States by CBS and made into a film in 1945 under the title My Name is Julia Ross. She was an early member of the British Detection Club, which, along with Dorothy L. Sayers, she prevented from disintegrating during World War II. Malleson published her autobiography, Three-a-Penny, in 1940, and wrote numerous short stories, which were published in several anthologies and in such periodicals as Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and The Saint. The short story 'You Can't Hang Twice' received a Queens award in 1946. She never married, and evidence of her feminism is elegantly expressed in much of her work.
- Other details
- Publication date:
14 Jan 2016
- Page count:
The Murder Room