Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Golden Age (21) : The Crime Club

The Crime Club by Frank Fro√ęst and George Dilnot is an enjoyable though uneven collection of crime short stories first published in 1915. Unlike a lot of other crime fiction of the early twentieth century, the stories contained within involve crimes handled by the professionals from the police and not enthusiastic amateurs.

The authors were indeed retired police officers and this gives the stories an air of authenticity with the often detailed descriptions of police procedure, though maybe the writing lacks a bit of flair.

The stories are a mixed bag, the crimes and the hunt for the criminals vary in keeping the reader's interest like any collection of short stories. The "Red Haired Pickpocket" stands out with it's hunt for a NY pickpocket who had come over to London to escape the heat, but reckoned without the Met's finest. The story is so good that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle "borrowed" the plot for one of his own tales a few years later!