Contribution

(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

The authors who used the pseudonyms Patrick Quentin, Q. Patrick, and Jonathan Stagge moved the fair-play, challenge-to-the-reader tradition away from the chess-problem story. In many of their novels, the focal character is not a detective solving the crime for intellectual or professional satisfaction but rather someone caught in the mesh of circumstance who must discover the guilty party to save himself or someone he loves. In some of the stories, especially those of the middle and later 1930’s, the challenge is to discover not only who committed the crime but also who will eventually solve it. Few other authors dared to try a “least-likely detective” gambit.

Bibliography

(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Endrebe, Maurice. “Patrick Quentin.” Enigmatika 19 (June, 1981): 47-49. Brief profile of the pseudonymous collective author and “his” works.

Horsley, Lee. Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Comprehensive overview of the development of crime fiction in the twentieth century helps place the nature and importance of Quentin’s contributions.

Shibuk, Charles. Review of Puzzle for Fiends. The Armchair Detective 13 (Winter, 1980): 75. Review of a Peter Duluth book in which the main character has amnesia. This look back at an earlier work allows for an examination of its staying power.

Shibuk, Charles. Review of Puzzle for Pilgrims. The Armchair Detective 13 (Spring, 1980): 135. A review of a Peter Duluth series book in which the Duluths struggle in their marriage. Shibuk assesses the work’s ability to withstand the “test of time” and its enjoyability for later audiences.