Evelyn Berckman

(Evelyn Domenica Berckman)
USA flag (1900 - 1978)

Evelyn Domenica Berckman was a British author of post-war detective fiction, horror and naval history, with a gift for engaging titles, featuring no one detective but a series of independent young women. The Evil of Time, for instance, features an archaeologist involved in tracing and restoring works of art stolen and hidden by the Nazis. Slightly marred by occasional fluffy love scenes, but presented with competence and an obvious knowledge of and love for the subject.

Many of her other novels made use of strong backgrounds. For example, A Simple Case of Ill-Will involves intrigue at a bridge club. In addition, The Heir of Starvelings (published as a Gothic), set in a ruined British mansion full of neglected and damaged antiques, was dedicated to the memory of Rupert Gunnis (1899-1965), an expert in antiquities. Also, The Voice of Air has a strong background involving antique automatons.  

Evelyn Berckman was born in Philadelphia and moved to London in 1960. For many years she was a pianist and composer, and wrote plays and (mainly historical) non-fiction in addition to her novels. Her musical career was sidelined by injury for a number of years -- she suffered from temporary paralysis brought on by long sessions of practice on the piano. Her writing career didn't really start until the 1940s.

Evelyn Berckman died on September 18, 1978. The Mugar Memorial Library of Boston University houses a collection of Berckman's manuscripts.
   Beckoning Dream (1940)
     aka Worse Than Murder
   The Hovering Darkness (1940)
   The Evil of Time (1955)
   The Strange Bedfellow (1955)
     aka Jewel of Death
   The Blind Villain (1957)
     aka House of Terror
   No Known Grave (1958)
   Lament for Four Brides (1960)
   Do You Know This Voice? (1961)
   Blind-Girl's-Bluff (1962)
   A Simple Case of Ill-Will (1964)
   A Thing That Happens to You (1964)
     aka Keys from a Window
   Stalemate (1966)
   The Heir of Starvelings (1967)
   A Case in Nullity (1968)
     aka A Hidden Malice
   She Asked for It (1970)
   The Stake in the Game (1971)
   Voice of Air (1971)
   Finger to Her Lips (1971)
   The Fourth Man on the Rope (1972)
   Wait (1973)
     aka Wait, just you wait
   The Victorian Album (1973)
   Indecent Exposure (1975)
     aka The Nightmare Chase
   The Crown Estate (1976)
     aka Blessed Plot
   Be All and End All (1976)
     aka Journey's End
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