Thursday, June 06, 2013

Julian Symons. The Great Detectives (1981)

     Julian Symons. The Great Detectives (1981) Illustrated by Tom Adams. Symons, a pretty good maker of detective puzzles himself, has taken on the task of assembling “biographies” of seven of the most popular fictions: Holmes, Miss Marple, Ellery Queen, Maigret, Poirot, Nero Wolfe, and Philip Marlowe. He does a lovely job, utilising various genres, and mischievously and ingeniously suggesting possible links between the sleuths. Very well done pastiches, with excellent period illustrations by Adams, who took great care to match the pictures to the books. End notes supply the sources for the information included in the bios, but Symons doesn’t hesitate to add his inventions where the canon leaves gaps. I bought this book as remaindered copy some years ago, but didn’t read it until now. I liked it. *** (2005)

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