Thursday, 26 January 2012

Nicholas and Nigel Part I

"Nigel's six feet sprawled all over the place; his gestures were nervous and little uncouth; a lock of sandy coloured hair dropping over his forehead, and the deceptive naïveté of his face in repose gave him a resemblance to an overgrown prep. schoolboy. His eyes were the same blue as his uncle's, but shortsighted and noncommittal. Yet there was an underlying similarity between the two. A latent, sardonic humor in their conversation, a friendliness and simple generosity in their smiles, and that impression of energy in reserve which is always given by those who possess an abundance of life directed towards consciously-realised aims." (from Thou Shell of Death, 1936)

This May Vintage is publishing the 16 books in Nicholas Blake's Nigel Strangeways crime series - the first four as trade paperbacks, the last 12 as POD (hiss, boo). Blake was Cecil Day-Lewis (1904-1972) and the Strangeways series ran from 1935 to 1966. All the books were first published by Wm. Collins Sons & Co in the UK. The Collins Canadian subsidiary published in its White Circle imprint seven of the nine books that came out before 1950 . The final seven were published after the White Circle imprint ended in 1952.

But the publishing was haphazard. In addition to missing the first and third books the others were published out of order. 

1                 A Question of Proof
2    44          Thou Shell of Death
3                 There's Trouble Brewing
4    66          The Beast Must Die
5    268        The Smiler with the Knife
6    450        Malice in Wonderland (The Summer Camp Mystery)
7    202        The Case of the Abominable Snowman (The Corpse in the Snowman)
8    370        Minute for Murder
9    493        Head of a Traveler

White Circle 44 - 1942

White Circle 44 back

White Circle 66 - 1943

White Circle 66 back

White Circle 202 - 1944

White Circle 202 back

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