First published: UK, Chapman & Hall, 1929
Blurb (Dean Street Press reprint, 2015)
“He is dead. It is quite impossible that he should have killed himself. He has been murdered. About half an hour ago. By a long knife passed under the left shoulder-blade into the heart.”
On a fog-bound London night, a soirée is taking place in the studio of artist Laurence Newtree. The guests include an eminent psychiatrist, a wealthy philanthropist and an observant young friend of Newtree’s, John Christmas. Before the evening is over, Newtree’s neighbour is found stabbed to death in what appears to be an impossible crime. But a mysterious man in a fez has been spotted in the fog asking for highly unlikely directions…
The resourceful John Christmas takes on the case, unofficially, leading to an ingenious solution no one could have expected, least of all Inspector Hembrow of Scotland Yard.
The Studio Crime is the first of Ianthe Jerrold’s classic whodunit novels, originally published in 1929. Its impact led to her membership of the elite Detection Club, and its influence can be felt on later works by John Dickson Carr, Ngaio Marsh and Dorothy L. Sayers among others.
This edition, the first in eighty years, includes a new introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
“The best out of a new batch of detective stories.”J.B. PRIESTLEY“Very carefully constructed, is very well written, and keeps its secret until the end.”THE MORNING POST“Can be most heartily recommended to those who like a good mystery story written in good English.”NEWCASTLE CHRONICLE“An admirable piece of detective work.”TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
Ianthe Jerrold writes better than she writes detective fiction. She wrote four detective stories sporadically throughout her career as a writer of straight fiction. This is her first; it’s light-hearted and engaging, rather like a Margery Allingham story, and makes pleasant reading. The people are well observed, and there’s plenty of wit and atmosphere. Jerrold, though, makes little attempt to mislead the reader or to conceal the murderer.