Contribution

(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Midway in her writing career, Jean Stubbs wrote two historical thrillers; in each of them, retired Scotland Yard inspector John Lintott is persuaded to undertake a private investigation. Although she then left the genre to write a historical saga, Stubbs is notable for her unique mixture of genres in novels that are variously called historical romantic mysteries, historical thrillers, and historical mystery stories. These two books are also memorable in that by placing the conservative, down-to-earth Inspector John Lintott in exotic surroundings, Stubbs uses the private investigator format for ironic social commentary in the tradition of the naïve fictitious foreign observer. The mixture fascinated readers; the fact that Stubbs then abandoned her unique format is a matter for regret.