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Mike Ripley was born in 1952. As well as being a noted critic and Lecturer in Crime Writing, he is the author of the 'Angel' series of crime novels, for which he has twice been the recipient of a Crime Writers' Association Award. Working with the Margery Allingham Society, he completed the Albert Campion novel left unfinished, Mr Campion's Farewell, and has written further continuation novels in the series.
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | Maxim Jakubowski June 2017 Book of the Month. Following on from Martin Edwards' splendid, award-winning Golden Age of Murder, about Christie and the heyday of the British cozy school of crime writing, Ripley's exploration of popular literature's history moves on in time and closely examines the boom in British thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed, a period and genre that had hitherto mostly been glossed over by both academia and critics. Witty and meticulously researched, Ripley's exploration of a much-maligned category demonstrates how British values and the shadow of the Empire coloured the works of so many authors, many of whom so deserve to be revived, following their initial heyday, like Desmond Bagley, Alastair MacLean, Alan Williams, Hammond Innes, Ted Allbeury, Lionel Davidson and scores of others alongside better-known names like Le Carre, Deighton, Jack Higgins, etc... Many of the books and authors evoked were a reflection of their time and Ripley cleverly argues for their posterity in an impeccable exercise in scholarship and entertainment that makes you want to scour the second-hand shelves or EBay every few pages, or hark back to memories of your reading youth should you be of a certain age. Indispensable and destined for awards. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
The Golden Age of British Detective FictionThe idyllic English village of Lindsay Carfax isn't run by the parish council, the rating authority, the sanitary inspector nor the local cops as you might suppose. The real bosses are the Carders - something to do with wool, four hundred years back. They wound stuff on cards, I suppose. But these boys are very fly customers - they're right on the ball. Boiled down, it comes to this; they're a syndicate who run this place - which makes a packet - with their own rules. One way and another they probably own most of it."e; Thus ruminated Superintendent Charles Luke to Albert Campion who was contemplating visiting his wayward artistic niece in Carfax. And when a missing schoolteacher reappeared after nine days, and Campion's car was "e;inadvertently"e; damaged, not to mention Campion himself, then all the signs were that not all was what it seemed. Campion himself plays the central role in this quintessentially British mystery, but there are appearances too from all of Margery Allingham's regular characters, from Luke to Campion's former manservant Lugg, to his wife Lady Amanda Fitton and others. The dialogue is sharp and witty, the observation keen, and the climax is thrilling and eerily atmospheric.
Roy Angel is slowly adjusting to the pressures of working at Rudgard & Blugden Confidential Investigations, although his Raymond Chandler 'training manuals' still haven't reconciled him to going to work every day. It would seem that Angel could take it easy with his latest case however; finding the retired Mr Ellrington's long-lost love shouldn't be too demanding, should it? Handling his partner Amy May, fashionista turned fearsome nesting mother-to-be, as well as his ailing father and his Page 3 girlfriend, might be another matter though. From meeting Huddersfield's very own Double-O-Seven, to getting entangled in a shootout where the OAPs are acting like kids, Angel's latest caper boasts a cast of unforgettable characters and the indefatigable humour that rightly makes Mike Ripley the King of Comedy Crime.