13 EpisodesProduced by Caroline Crampton

Unravelling the mysteries behind classic detective stories

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12. Round Robin

March 20th, 2019


Writing is usually a solitary pastime, yet a group of detective fiction authors in the early 1930s decided to work together on murder mystery …

11. The Other Detectives

March 6th, 2019


Some sleuths need no introduction. But other characters, also created by famous authors like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, lurk in obscurity. In this episode, we’re on the hunt for the other detectives.

Find …

10. Nurse Daniels

February 20th, 2019


On 6 October 1926, a woman went into a cloakroom in Boulogne, France and never came out. She was never seen alive again. Her disappearance …

9. The Rules

February 6th, 2019


A good detective story has a recognisable rhythm and plot points. But how did these tropes come about? And what happens when you break the rules?

8. Dining with Death

January 23rd, 2019


Food matters in books. It helps to set the scene, build up characters and evoke a period, and it also symbolises comfort, security and domesticity. …

7. Edith Thompson

January 9th, 2019


On the morning of 9 January 1923, a brutal and horrifying execution took place at Holloway Prison in London. The condemned young woman screamed and …

6. Adaptations (with Sarah Phelps)

December 26th, 2018


For many people, their main contact with detective fiction is via film and television adaptations. For a huge global audience, Agatha Christie’s work is as often watched as it is read. Any new production is greeted …

5. Crime at Christmas

December 19th, 2018


Reading crime fiction from the early twentieth century is a really popular activity at Christmas. It’s nice to curl up with a good whodunnit by the …

4. The Lady Vanishes

December 12th, 2018


On 3 December 1926, Agatha Christie left her home in the southern English county of Berkshire just after 9.30 in the evening. She drove away, taking …

3. Queer Clues

November 28th, 2018


The detective stories of the 1920s and 30s aren’t exactly well known for being edgy, or at the vanguard of the struggle for gay rights. But there are queer clues everywhere in these books, if you only know where to …

2. Crippen

November 15th, 2018


The detective writers of the 1920s and 1930s weren’t working a vacuum. They took a keen interest in the crimes of their time, often weaving elements from actual murder cases into their plots or referencing them …

1. Surplus Women

October 31st, 2018


After the First World War, there was a great flowering of female independence as more women chose to live single lives. This change, and the backlash to it, is all there to be found in the murder mysteries of the …

0. Whodunnit?

October 24th, 2018


For a couple of decades between the first and second world wars, something mysterious happened. A golden age of detective fiction dawned, and people …

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