Death of an Airman

deathairman
(first published 1934)

Christopher St John Sprigg (1907 – 1937)
Language: English

The scene of this classic ‘whodunit’ story from the ‘Golden Age of detective fiction’ is a 1930’s Aero Club, filled with small open-cockpit aircraft and a host of eccentric characters. Experienced flight instructor George Furnace dies in a plane crash near the airfield, in full view of witnesses. The verdict at the inquest is ‘death by misadventure’. But an Australian bishop, who had signed up for flying lessons just before the incident, starts to question this. Could it have been murder? Or suicide? It takes some persistent work by police detectives Creighton and Bray, that takes them all over the UK and to France, to unravel the whole story.
Author Christopher St John Sprigg, also known under his pseudonym Christopher Caudwell (1907-1937) had a passion for aviation; he had previously published two beginners textbooks on the art of flying, so presumably he got his details right. Famous crime fiction novelist Dorothy L. Sayers wrote a glowing review for this novel at the time. (Summary by Anna Simon)

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The Gardener and The Burden

cover

(first published 1925)

Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)
Language: English

Helen Turrell’s life has been one of respectability and duty, and she adopts and raises her illegitimate nephew upon her scapegrace brother’s death. When the young man’s promising future is cut short by the First World War, Helen travels to his grave for a final meeting.
(Summary by Newgatenovelist)

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The Call of Cthulhu

cthulhu_lovecraft(first published 1928)

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)
Language: English

“[The Call of Cthulhu] is a masterpiece, which I am sure will live as one of the highest achievements of literature. Mr. Lovecraft holds a unique position in the literary world; he has grasped, to all intents, the worlds outside our paltry ken.” — Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan.

The cover illustration is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license by Danilo Neira (http://dibujando.net/dib/cthulhu-96836)

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Emily Climbs


(first published 1925)

meyrink_spaetewerkeLucy Maud Montgomery 1874-1942


Language: English
Teenage orphan Emily Starr of New Moon has always wanted to be a great writer. But her old-fashioned aunt, who has never liked Emily’s writing, refuses to let Emily go to high school unless she stops! Shrewsbury brings new friends, new adventures, and new enemies, and the town is scandalized by some of Emily’s exploits. Perhaps the hardest trial is having to board with her Aunt Ruth. Or is it her promise to Aunt Elizabeth? But Emily’s troubles are only the beginning of her climb to success … and perhaps romance.
(Summary by Rachel)

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The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes Part 1

casebooksherlockholmes(first published 1927)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)
Language: English

And so, reader, farewell to Sherlock Holmes! These are positively the last stories. There is some disagreement as to their quality, and some claim that Conan Doyle was writing more experimentally, rather than to the conventional Sherlock Holmes formula. Not all the stories are narrated by the faithful Watson, and the stories are regarded as the darkest of the Holmes canon, with some unusual villains.

Part 2 of this audio book will available as soon as it is recorded.

Please note: Section 5, The Adventure of the Three Gables, includes language which, though normal for the time it was written, is now regarded as highly unacceptable racial slurs. Anyone who finds this too offensive may wish to omit this story. Indeed, any listener who would understandably prefer to avoid my poor attempt at American accents, may prefer not to listen to a number of these stories. Conan Doyle seemed to like American villains. … (summary by Ruth Golding)

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Shall We Join The Ladies?

(first published 1928)
by J.M. Barrie (1860-1937)
Language: English

For the past week the hospitable Sam Smith has been entertaining a country house party, and we choose to raise the curtain on them towards the end of dinner.
Legamus presents: ‘Shall We Join the Ladies?’ a truly unique mystery play in one act, set around a mysterious dinner party.
(Summary by Charlotte Duckett)

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The Testament of Beauty

(first published 1929)

Robert Bridges (1844 – 1930)
Language: English

The Testament of Beauty is a long poem in four books, and was the last work of the English Poet Laureate, Robert Bridges. It was first published in 1929. Like The Prelude by William Wordsworth and The Divine Comedy, the poem is a voyage of self-discovery, in which the author seeks to resolve philosophical and spiritual issues raised in his earlier works, particularly in the sonnet sequence, The Growth of Love (1898). It is written in a style that Bridges described as “loose alexandrines”, which are constructed on the basis of syllables rather than accents, a metrical structure developed by the author himself. The work also features Bridges’ idiosyncratic approach to the spelling of English. (Summary by Algy Pug)

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The Tale of Little Pig Robinson

(first published 1930)LittlePigRobinson_CoverArt

Beatrix Potter 1866-1943
Language: English

“Poor Pig Robinson Crusoe!
Oh, how in the world could they do so?
They have set him afloat, in a horrible boat,
Oh, poor pig Robinson Crusoe!” – from the book

The charming story of Robinson, the pig from Edward Lear’s poem The Owl and the Pussycat. Robinson is sent to market by his aunts, both of whom are two fat to go themselves. (Summary by Rachel)

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