Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Golden Age of Murder - Blog Tour Review

The Golden Age of Murder

by Martin Edwards

on Tour April 28 - May 31, 2015

Book Details:

Genre: Biography, Mystery, Classic Crime
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 7th 2015
Number of Pages: 512
ISBN: 0008105960 (ISBN13: 9780008105969)
Purchase Links:


A real-life detective story, investigating how Agatha Christie and colleagues in a mysterious literary club transformed crime fiction, writing books casting new light on unsolved murders whilst hiding clues to their authors’ darkest secrets.
This is the first book about the Detection Club, the world’s most famous and most mysterious social network of crime writers. Drawing on years of in-depth research, it reveals the astonishing story of how members such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers reinvented detective fiction.
Detective stories from the so-called “Golden Age” between the wars are often dismissed as cosily conventional. Nothing could be further from the truth: some explore forensic pathology and shocking serial murders, others delve into police brutality and miscarriages of justice; occasionally the innocent are hanged, or murderers get away scot-free. Their authors faced up to the Slump and the rise of Hitler during years of economic misery and political upheaval, and wrote books agonising over guilt and innocence, good and evil, and explored whether killing a fellow human being was ever justified. Though the stories included no graphic sex scenes, sexual passions of all kinds seethed just beneath the surface.
Attracting feminists, gay and lesbian writers, Socialists and Marxist sympathisers, the Detection Club authors were young, ambitious and at the cutting edge of popular culture – some had sex lives as bizarre as their mystery plots. Fascinated by real life crimes, they cracked unsolved cases and threw down challenges to Scotland Yard, using their fiction to take revenge on people who hurt them, to conduct covert relationships, and even as an outlet for homicidal fantasy. Their books anticipated not only CSI, Jack Reacher and Gone Girl, but also Lord of the Flies. The Club occupies a unique place in Britain’s cultural history, and its influence on storytelling in fiction, film and television throughout the world continues to this day.
The Golden Age of Murder rewrites the story of crime fiction with unique authority, transforming our understanding of detective stories and the brilliant but tormented men and women who wrote them.

My Review:

Agatha Christie is probably my all time favorite author and I absolutely could not resist this book that promised to give me a peek not only into Agatha's life but her peers as well in one of the most productive and groundbreaking eras in detective fiction history.  Somehow I was completely unaware that this club ever existed what an impressive membership!  Christie, Chesterton, Berkley, Marsh, Mitchell, Allingham, Milne, Carr, and Sayers are all represented on the membership roster and in this book.  Just the mental image of all these great minds gathering for dinner to discuss plots, methods of deaths, famous crimes and publisher problems is wonderful.

What I loved even more than learning about the authors themselves was learning about what influenced them.  Edwards discusses the famous crimes that were occurring during the 20s adn 30s and how they influenced the different books.  Dorothy L. Sayers in particular used her own experiences with crime to influence and inspire her writing and her book Unnatural Death was inspired by her time at the scene where Agatha Christie's car was found after her famous disappearance.  Agatha Christie's short story collection Partners in Crime in which Tommy and Tuppence decide to act like a series of different famous literary detectives was inspired by the authors of the Detection Club's creations.

This book can be a tad on the dry side and I was never quite sucked into the story though I did find it readable.  If you love the classic mystery authors this is a treasure trove of details that just can't be missed!

Author Bio:

Martin Edwards was educated in Northwich and at Balliol College, Oxford University, taking a first class honours degree in law. He trained as a solicitor in Leeds and moved to Liverpool on qualifying in 1980. He published his first legal article at the age of 25 and become a partner in the firm of Mace and Jones in 1984.

He is married to Helena with two children (Jonathan and Catherine) and lives in Lymm. Martin is a member of the Murder Squad collective of crime writers, and is chairman of the nominations sub-committee for the CWA Diamond Dagger (crime writing's most prestigious award). In 2007 he was appointed the Archivist of the Crime Writers Association.

Catch Up:

Tour Participants:


This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Martin Edwards & Harper Collins. There will be one winner of 1 physical copy of The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards to a US recipient. The giveaway begins on April 28th, 2015 and runs through June 3rd, 2015 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours




  1. I can certainly understand why you were drawn to this book!

  2. I was unaware of this club too! Thanks so much for introducing us to what sounds like a most fascinating book.

  3. I'm so glad you ended up liking this book! I've entered the giveaway, here's hoping I win. :)

  4. This sounds fascinating! And you know how much I love mysteries. I will have to look for this one and give it a try.