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John Gawsworth – Masterpiece Of Thrills

Posted by demonik on September 2, 2007

John Gawsworth (ed.) – Masterpiece Of Thrills (Daily Express, n.d.)


Dr. M. R. Anand – Kali
Nugent Barker – Death’s Door
Oswell Blakeston – Sluice Gates
Oswell Blakeston – The Grim Case Of Mrs. John
John Brownson – Felo De Se
Roger Burford – The Grey Room
Frederick Carter – Spells By Night
Frederick Carter – Bergamask’s Revenge
Frederick Carter – Fine Hands
Frederick Carter – The Fetch
Frederick Carter – The Mannikin’s Tale
Simon Dewes – Judgement
Ronald Dewsbury – What Happened To Larry?
Charles Duff – A Mysterious Coincidence
R. Dundass – A Man Of Spirit
Lawrence Durrell – The Cherries
Wilfrid Ewart – The Upstairs Room
Wilfrid Ewart – Sprigge
Lewis Grassic Gibbon – A Stele From Atlantis
Lewis Grassic Gibbon – The Woman Of Leadenhall Street
Lewis Grassic Gibbon – First And Last Woman
Herbert Gore – The Dark Wood
Stephen Graham – 5000 Enemy Planes Over London
John Greenidge – “Whither Thou Goest …”
Frances Gregg – The Man Upstairs
Frances Gregg – Charlie
Frances Gregg – Strange Idyll
Neil Harman – Dr. Samson Gregory
Neil Harman – The Superintendent’s Story
Philip Henderson – The Mother
John Lindsey – Melodrama
Anthony M. Ludovici – Mrs. Biggadyke’s ‘Unconscious’
Marcus Magill – The String Game
Frances Marsden – The Secret Chapel
Frances Marsden – The Companion
Frances Marsden – Duty
Frances Marsden – Shillings
E. H. W Meyerstein – Second Sight
E. H. W Meyerstein – The Folkema
E. H. W Meyerstein – The Crossword
E. H. W Meyerstein – Hengo
E. H. W Meyerstein – Death Pages Mr. Startle
Richard Middleton – The Failure
J. Leslie Mitchell – Busman’s Holiday
J. Leslie Mitchell – The Road To Freedom
J. Leslie Mitchell – Lost Tribes
J. Leslie Mitchell & Fytton Armstrong – Kametis And Evelpis
Kenneth Myer – Ghost Of Fleur-De-Lis Court
Eimar O’Duffy – Murder Most Foul
M. P. Shiel & John Gawsworth – Dr. Todor Karadja
M. P. Shiel & John Gawsworth – The Mystery Of The Red Road
M. P. Shiel & John Gawsworth – The Hanging Of Ernest Clark
Simon – The Flying Worm
Simon – Borderlines
Gay Taylor – The Traveller
Hedda Vesely & R. L. Megroz – Red Foam
E. H. Visiak – A Good Reprisal
E. H. Visiak – In The Mangrove Hall
Geoffrey West – The Mist Rider
P. Whitehouse – A Shawl From The East

Undated, uncredited but all sources I’ve seen agree it’s Gawsworth and that it was first published in 1936. Thirty illustrations and a scrimping 735 pages this time.

Kenneth Myer – Ghost Of Fleur-De-Lis Court: Walking toward Fleet Street, petite eighteen-year-old Mary Clifford is accosted by the spectre of notorious torture-murderer Elizabeh Brownrigg. The girl is dragged back to Brownrigg’s dingy room, stripped and severely horsewhipped.

This one would not be out of place in Creeps.

John Lindsay – Melodrama: Michael is Sir Lambert’s understudy for the duration of big hit Night Seed, eager to take his turn in the spotlight but every night without fail the old pro is out there, strutting the boards, “delivering his speeches, causing trouble, making amends, finally being shot by the hero of the piece.” His death-throes are the stuff of legend.
Thelma wants what’s best for her man and hits upon a plan. Suppose she replace the blanks with live ammo?

Marcus Magill – The String Game: Impatient for his rich old Aunt Florence to hurry up and die so he can get his hands on her lovely fortune, conniving Reggie Dougall boobytraps the staircase.

John Brownson – Felo De Se:

“He stirred his tea. There was something hard in the cup: he lifted the thing with his spoon. A cold blue eye broke the steaming surface of the liquid, winked at him and was gone again!”

A philanderer is haunted by the vacant stare of his latest conquest. Memories of the previous night filter back to him as he slumps miserably in a tea room trading insults with a waitress. How he uprooted a ‘No Trespassers’ placard and led her into a field; how they made lust; how he throttled her but surely not enough to kill her? as his mind falls apart he encounters the ghosts of his past and even a senile, half-blind God. He returns home and douses himself in petrol.

Frances Gregg – The Man Upstairs: Her partner Jan has been acting oddly of late, staying out nights, never telling her where he’s been. And then there’s the man upstairs: she’s only seen him once but, inexplicably, has lived in mortal fear of him ever since. This morning Tom arrives home with blood on his shirt, claiming to have spent the night sleeping rough after getting drunk and having his bicycle stolen. A young girl has been mutilated on the common. The police arrive.

2 Responses to “John Gawsworth – Masterpiece Of Thrills”

  1. Bardolph said

    Can anybody identify the writer using the pseudonym “Simon”, who contributed two stories to the MASTERPIECE OF THRILLS collection?

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