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)

Recommended reading

  • 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)