John Rhode / Miles Burton

Rhode - photo 3.JPG

Pseudonym of Major (Cecil) John Street, M.C., O.B.E.

  • Born: 3 May 1884, Gibraltar
  • Died: 8 December 1964, Eastbourne

Overview

“John Rhode’s books will appeal mostly to those who like a really intricate problem, the details of which can all be mapped out on paper.  Often one will need a map, ruler, and compass, and some of Mr. Rhode’s problems have been illustrated by diagrams.” – Collins blurb

John Street – soldier, intelligence officer, and electrical engineer – was one of the most respected British detective writers of the Golden Age.  He wrote more than 140 well-constructed, straightforward detective stories in the school of R. Austin Freeman and Freeman Wills Crofts.

His best-known pseudonym was John Rhode.  His detective is Dr. Priestley, a disputatious scientist with an unholy passion for mathematics.  From the mid-1930s, Dr. Priestley retires into the background; he becomes an oracle to policeman Jimmy Waghorn.

For Rhode’s views on his craft, see “Why People Like Detective Stories” (1935).

Recommended books

  • The Davidson Case (1929)
  • The Claverton Mystery (1933)
  • The Venner Crime (1933)
  • The Corpse in the Car (1935)
  • Death on the Board (1937)
  • Vegetable Duck (1944)
  • Death in Harley Street (1946)

Street’s second important pseudonym was Miles Burton.  Many of these are set in English villages, and pay more attention to character.

  • Death of Mr. Gantley (1932)
  • The Platinum Cat (1938)
  • Murder, M.D. (1943)
  • The Three Corpse Trick (1944)
  • Curtis Evans, Masters of the “Humdrum Mystery”: Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, Alfred Walter Stewart and the British Detective Novel, 1920-1961 (2012)

Works as John Rhode

  1. A.S.F. (1924; published in the US as The White Menace)
  2. The Double Florin (1924) **
  3. The Alarm (1925)
  4. The Paddington Mystery (1925; Dr. Priestley) ***
  5. Dr. Priestley’s Quest (1926; Dr. Priestley) ***
  6. The Ellerby Case (1927; Dr. Priestley) ***
  7. The Murders in Praed Street (1928; Dr. Priestley) **(+)
  8. Tragedy at the Unicorn (1928; Dr. Priestley) **
  9. The House on Tollard Ridge (1929; Dr. Priestley) ****
  10. The Davidson Case (1929; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Murder at Bratton Grange) ****
  11. Peril at Cranbury Hall (1930; Dr. Priestley)
  12. Pinehurst (1930; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Dr. Priestley Investigates)
  13. Tragedy on the Line (1931; Dr. Priestley) **
  14. The Hanging Woman (1931; Dr. Priestley) ***
  15. Mystery at Greycombe Farm (1932; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as The Fire at Greycombe Farm) *
  16. Dead Men at the Folly (1932; Dr. Priestley)
  17. The Motor Rally Mystery (1933; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Dr. Priestley Lays a Trap) **
  18. The Claverton Mystery (1933; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as The Claverton Affair) ****
  19. The Venner Crime (1933; Dr. Priestley) ****
  20. The Robthorne Mystery (1934; Dr. Priestley) **
  21. Poison for One (1934; Dr. Priestley) **
  22. Shot at Dawn (1934; Dr. Priestley) **
  23. The Corpse in the Car (1935; Dr. Priestley) ****
  24. Hendon’s First Case (1935; Dr. Priestley) ***
  25. Mystery at Olympia (1935; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Murder at the Motor Show) **(+)
  26. Death at Breakfast (1936; Dr. Priestley) ***
  27. In Face of the Verdict (1936; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as In the Face of the Verdict) ***
  28. Death in the Hopfields (1937; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as The Harvest Murder) **
  29. Death on the Board (1937; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Death Sits on the Board) ****
  30. Proceed with Caution (1937; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Body Unidentified) ****
  31. Invisible Weapons (1938; Dr. Priestley) **
  32. The Bloody Tower (1938; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Tower of Evil) ***
  33. Fatal Descent (1939; co-written with John Dickson Carr; published in the UK as Drop to his Death) **
  34. Death Pays a Dividend (1939; Dr. Priestley)
  35. Death on Sunday (1939; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as The Elm Tree Murder)
  36. Death on the Boat-Train (1940; Dr. Priestley) **(+)
  37. Murder at Lilac Cottage (1940; Dr. Priestley) **
  38. Death at the Helm (1941; Dr. Priestley)
  39. They Watched by Night (1941; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Signal for Death)
  40. The Fourth Bomb (1942; Dr. Priestley) **(+)
  41. Night Exercise (1942; published in the US as Dead of the Night)
  42. Dead on the Track (1943; Dr. Priestley)
  43. Men Die at Cyprus Lodge (1943; Dr. Priestley) *
  44. Death Invades the Meeting (1944; Dr. Priestley) *
  45. Vegetable Duck (1944; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Too Many Suspects) ****
  46. Bricklayer’s Arms (1945; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Shadow of a Crime)
  47. The Lake House (1946; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as The Secret of the Lake House) ***
  48. Death in Harley Street (1946; Dr. Priestley) ****
  49. Nothing But the Truth (1947; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Experiment in Crime) *
  50. Death of an Author (1947; Dr. Priestley) **
  51. The Paper Bag (1948; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as The Links in the Chain)
  52. The Telephone Call (1948; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Shadow of an Alibi) *(+)
  53. Blackthorn House (1949; Dr. Priestley)
  54. Up the Garden Path (1949; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as The Fatal Garden) ***
  55. The Two Graphs (1950; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Double Identities) **
  56. Family Affairs (1950; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as The Last Suspect) **
  57. Dr. Goodwood’s Locum (1951; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as The Affair of the Substitute Doctor) ***
  58. The Secret Meeting (1951; Dr. Priestley) **
  59. Death in Wellington Road (1952; Dr. Priestley) ***
  60. Death at the Dance (1952; Dr. Priestley) **
  61. By Registered Post (1952; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as The Mysterious Suspect) *
  62. Death at the Inn (1953; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as The Case of the 40 Thieves) **
  63. The Dovebury Murders (1954; Dr. Priestley)
  64. Death on the Lawn (1954; Dr. Priestley)
  65. The Domestic Agency (1955; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Grave Matters)
  66. Death of a Godmother (1955; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Delayed Payment)
  67. An Artist Dies (1956; Dr. Priestley; published in the US as Death of an Artist)
  68. Open Verdict (1956; Dr. Priestley) **
  69. Robbery with Violence (1957; Dr. Priestley)
  70. Death of a Bridegroom (1957; Dr. Priestley)
  71. Murder at Derivale (1958; Dr. Priestley) **
  72. Death Takes a Partner (1958; Dr. Priestley)
  73. Licenced for Murder (1958; Dr. Priestley) ***
  74. Three Cousins Die (1959; Dr. Priestley)
  75. Twice Dead (1960; Dr. Priestley)
  76. The Fatal Pool (1960; Dr. Priestley)
  77. The Vanishing Diary (1961; Dr. Priestley)

As Miles Burton

  1. The Hardway Diamonds Mystery (1930)
  2. The Secret of High Eldersham (1930; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as The Mystery of High Eldersham) ***
  3. The Three Crimes (1931; Desmond Merrion)
  4. The Menace on the Downs (1931; Desmond Merrion) **
  5. Death of Mr. Gantley (1932; Desmond Merrion) ****
  6. Murder at the Moorings (1932)
  7. Fate at the Fair (1933; Desmond Merrion) **
  8. Tragedy at the Thirteenth Hole (1933; Desmond Merrion)
  9. Death at the Cross Roads (1933; Desmond Merrion)
  10. The Charabanc Mystery (1934; Desmond Merrion)
  11. To Catch a Thief (1934; Desmond Merrion)
  12. The Devereux Court Mystery (1935; Desmond Merrion)
  13. The Milk-Churn Murder (1935; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as The Clue of the Silver Brush) *
  14. Death in the Tunnel (1936; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as Dark is the Tunnel) **
  15. Murder of a Chemist (1936; Desmond Merrion)
  16. Where is Barbara Prentice? (1936; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as The Clue of the Silver Cellar) **
  17. Death at the Club (1937; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as The Clue of the Fourteen Keys) **
  18. Murder in Crown Passage (1937; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as The Man with the Tattooed Face)
  19. Death at Low Tide (1938; Desmond Merrion) ***
  20. The Platinum Cat (1938; Desmond Merrion) ***
  21. Death Leaves No Card (1939; Inspector Arnold only) **
  22. Mr. Babbacombe Dies (1939; Desmond Merrion) **
  23. Murder in the Coal Hole (1940; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as Written in Dust) ***
  24. Mr. Westerby Missing (1940; Desmond Merrion) ***
  25. Death Takes a Flat (1940; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as Vacancy with Corpse) ***(+)
  26. Death of Two Brothers (1941; Desmond Merrion)
  27. Up the Garden Path (1941; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as Death Visits Downspring) **
  28. This Undesirable Residence (1942; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as Death at Ash House) *
  29. Dead Stop (1943; Desmond Merrion) ***
  30. Murder, M.D. (1943; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as Who Killed the Doctor?) ****
  31. Four-ply Yarn (1944; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as The Shadow on the Cliff)
  32. The Three Corpse Trick (1944; Desmond Merrion) ****
  33. Not a Leg to Stand On (1945; Desmond Merrion) **
  34. Early Morning Murder (1945; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as Accidents Do Happen) ***
  35. The Cat Jumps (1946; Desmond Merrion) **
  36. Situation Vacant (1946; Desmond Merrion) **(+)
  37. Heir to Lucifer (1947; Desmond Merrion) **
  38. A Will in the Way (1947; Desmond Merrion)
  39. Death in Shallow Water (1948; Desmond Merrion) **
  40. Devil’s Reckoning (1948; Desmond Merrion) *
  41. Death Takes the Living (1949; Desmond Merrion; published in the US as The Disappearing Parson)
  42. Look Alive (1949; Desmond Merrion) **
  43. Ground for Suspicion (1950; Desmond Merrion) ***
  44. A Village Afraid (1950; Desmond Merrion)
  45. Beware Your Neighbour (1951; Desmond Merrion) **
  46. Murder Out of School (1951; Desmond Merrion)
  47. Murder on Duty (1952; Desmond Merrion)
  48. Something to Hide (1953; Desmond Merrion) *
  49. Heir to Murder (1953; Desmond Merrion) **
  50. Murder in Absence (1954; Desmond Merrion)
  51. Unwanted Corpse (1954; Desmond Merrion)
  52. Murder Unrecognised (1955; Desmond Merrion)
  53. A Crime in Time (1955; Desmond Merrion)
  54. Found Drowned (1956; Desmond Merrion) *
  55. Death in a Duffle Coat (1956; Desmond Merrion)
  56. The Chinese Puzzle (1957; Desmond Merrion)
  57. The Moth-Watch Murder (1957; Desmond Merrion) ****
  58. Bones in the Brickfield (1958; Desmond Merrion)
  59. Death Takes a Detour (1958; Desmond Merrion) *
  60. Return from the Dead (1959; Desmond Merrion) *
  61. A Smell of Smoke (1959; Desmond Merrion)
  62. Legacy of Death (1960; Desmond Merrion)
  63. Death Paints a Picture (1960; Desmond Merrion)

Works as Cecil Waye

  1. Murder at Monk’s Barn (1931) ***
  2. The Figure of Eight (1931) *
  3. The End of the Chase (1932)
  4. The Prime Minister’s Pencil (1933) *