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John Gawsworth – Thrills, Crimes & Mysteries

Posted by demonik on September 2, 2007

John Gawsworth (ed.) – Thrills, Crimes & Mysteries (Associated Newspapers, n.d., 1935)


Illustrations: Norman Keene

John Gawsworth – Foreword

Frederick Carter – The Skeleton, Gold Like Glass, The Harrying Of The Dead
Sir Ronald Ross – The Vivisector Vivisected
Arthur Machen – The Gift Of Tongues, Torture, Drake’s Drum
M. P. Shiel – The Purchester Instrument, The Flying Cat, The Death-Dance, At The Eleventh Hour, The Place Of Pain
Hubert Crackanthorpe – A Fellside Tragedy
Nugent Barker – The Invalid, The Six, Whessoe
Richard Middleton – The Wrong Turning, The Last Adventure
Richard Middleton & Edgar Jepson – The Cry Of A Century
Charles Duff – The Old Lawyer’s Tale
E. H. Visiak – Rescued, The Legacy
E. H. Visiak & A. Vesselo – “I Am A Murderer”
E. H. W. Meyerstein – A Woman A Dog And A Walnut Tree, The Bath, The Triptych, Statement Of A Scholar, The Pageant, The Rival Poets
Francis Marsden – The Mask, The Captain,
Anthony M. Ludovici – What The East Wind Brought
Eimar O’Duffy – The Mystery Of The Octagon Room, The Glass Panel, Miss Kitten’s Case
Herbert De Hamel – The Mills Of Hell
Stephen Graham – Kitchener At Archangel, A Document: From The Russian, Aha
T. F. Powys – A Suet Pudding
Oswell Blakeston – The Fear From The Lake, The Solution, Superintendent Deering’s Dilemma, Superintendent Deering Puts A Question
Edgar Wallace – The Strangeness Of Joab Lashmere
R. L. Megroz – December, The Disappearance Of George Wake, The Fluke Cannon
Malachi Whitaker – The Flying Pig
Dorothy L. Sayers – A Shot At Goal
Louis Golding – The Haunted Cinema
Thomas Burke – The Funspot Street Affair
John Lindsey – You Wouldn’t Understand
M. R. James – There Was A Man Dwelt By A Churchyard
Simon Dewes – Mr Parsons’ Revenge
Agatha Christie – The Second Gong
L. A. G. Strong – Orpheus
Hugh MacDiarmid – Tam Mackie’s Trial
Mary Francis McHugh – Encounters At Night
Caradoc Evans – The Coffin
G. R. Malloch – The Shopwalker’s Wife
Marcus Magill – Flat To Let
Rhys Davies – The Friendly Creature

A mere 864 pages, but, for me, much harder to digest than the Centuries … because you can’t always spot the boring crime stories … until it’s too late! Hugh Lamb has revived some from the series – by Nugent Barker, Oswell Blakestone and Charles Duff – in his two volume Star Book Of Horror and it’s to be hoped that somebody performs the same service for Frederick Carter’s The Skeleton and Sir Ronald Ross’s The Vivisector Vivisected. E. H. Visiak’s short novel, Medusa, has been credited by Karl E. Wagner as a huge influence on him.
Probably too literary for the more pulp-orientated, these are still nice to have around the place if you can pick them up at a reasonable price, though they’re nowhere near as fun as the Not At Night‘s and Creeps from the same era. You could probably compile a great 25 story horror anthology from the picks of the books.

John Gawsworth (1912-1970) edited at least another six of these “superdreadnought class horror anthologies” (featuring many of the same authors); Strange Assembly (1932), Full Score (1933), New Tales Of Horror (1934), Thrills (aka Crimes, Creeps And Thrills) and Masterpiece Of Thrills (both 1936). Arguably the best known story from the entire series is his collaberation with Edgar Jepson, The Shifting Growth.

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