R Richardson Sleeping in the Blood
This is the first Scorpion Press book published in 1991. Robert Richardson is a keen follower of the Golden Age mystery and this is a contemporary equivalent with a likeable detective duo with a stage/writing background.
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Robert Richardson possesses an in-depth knowledge of the classical Golden Age of crime fiction. He has been active in the Crime Writers’ Association and was twice its chairman. His first novel, The Latimer Mercy (1989) won the John Creasey Award and is a scarce and desirable crime first edition. The early Richardson novels are shrewd and witty puzzle books with amateur detective playwright Gus Maltravers and actress girlfriend Tess Davy. These are modern variants on classic Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane amateur detective combination.
Richardson adroitly used various settings – the artist colony, Cathedral Close, the theatre and showbiz worlds – for his mysteries, as noted by Robert Barnard in his appreciation: “In using this sort of setting Richardson provides a clever modern equivalent to the manor house and cosy village settings of the Golden Age writers: we are mingling with our betters, but they are not so much our betters as to make us feel uncomfortable about ourselves”. Later Richardson turned to psychological thrillers or what were called ‘why-dunnits’ such as Significant Others (1997). It is a pity that he has not added to these, for they are immensely readable and entertaining.
This was the very first Scorpion Press book, one of 75 signed copies with an appreciation by Christie devotee and prolific crime writer Robert Barnard.