L. P. Davies Analysis


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

L. P. Davies’ fascination with science (and pseudoscience), psychology, psychic phenomena, and the supernatural has resulted in a series of crime and mystery novels that he calls “psychic fiction.” The majority of these novels reflect this fascination and feature plots in which the principal character is experiencing some form of identity crisis or mental disorientation as a result of an operation, an accident, or the surreptitious administration of drugs. In developing these plots, Davies frequently introduces elements of science, pseudoscience, or the supernatural. As a result, his novels have sometimes been placed in the category of science fiction rather than crime and mystery. Davies’ novels belong in the latter category, however, because like their more traditional counterparts, their solutions depend on the use of the processes of logical deduction. It is this ability to flavor crime and mystery stories with elements of science fiction that constitutes Davies’ principal contribution to the literature.

L. P. Davies Bibliography

(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Joshi, S. T. The Evolution of the Weird Tale. New York: Hippocampus, 2004. This work concentrates on supernatural and horror fiction such as that written by H. P. Lovecraft. Contains an essay on Davies and his work.

The New York Times Book Review. Review of Give Me Back Myself, by L. P. Davies. 77 (January 23, 1972): 28. Contemporary review of one of Davies’ mystery novels, evaluating it for both popular and specialist audiences.

Royle, Nicholas. The Uncanny. New York: Routledge, 2003. Extended psychoanalytic study of the representation of supernatural events in literature. Provides perspective on Davies’ works. Bibliographic references and index.

Wilson, Neil. Shadows in the Attic: A Guide to British Supernatural Fiction, 1820-1950. Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, England: British Library, 2000. This study of Davies’ immediate and Victorian precursors helps elucidate both his influences and his innovations. Bibliographic references and index.