Publisher’s Weekly calls Derek Smith’s Whistle Up The Devil “one of the most intelligent and crafty impossible murder novels of all time.” Frequently cited in Top 10 locked room mystery lists, and nominated to the Masterpiece category in Roland Lacourbe et al's 1001 Chambres Closes (1001 Locked Rooms) 2013 bibliography, Whistle up the Devil (1953) is an indispensable addition to any locked room lover's library. But Derek Smith also wrote two other impossible crime novels, neither of which was published in the USA or the UK: -Come to Paddington Fair (1997) featured the same series detective Algy Lawrence, solving a very clever murder in plain sight on a London stage during a live performance, which no one could have committed. Its Japanese publisher called it a masterpiece. -Model for Murder, written as an addition to the Sexton Blake canon, but probably too cerebral for the audience, it is nevertheless a well-constructed thriller with an ingenious locked room puzzle. This omnibus edition includes all three novels, together with an introduction by noted locked room expert Bob Adey, who knew Derek well, plus an unpublished short story (not an impossible crime.) It also includes a mass of illuminating background material about this little-known Golden Age writer who deserves a much wider audience.
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Derek Smith was born in 1926 and died in 2002. He did not enjoy good health and led a secluded life, never marrying. He saw active duty after World War II as a radio operator in Italy and Bulgaria. After being invalided out of service, he tuned his hand to writing mystery stories, one of which is considered to be of the highest rank.
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