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E R Punshon

(Ernest Robertson Punshon)
UK flag (1872 - 1956)

aka Robertson Halket

ER Punshon is one of the most shamefully neglected writers of detective fiction. His ability to construct labyrinthine plots that keep the reader fascinated but not confused is rivalled only by John Dickson Carr, with whom he shares a powerful imagination, a gift of conveying atmosphere and setting, and a most ingeniously fertile mind, adept at devising clues and situations. Yet his work is not only exemplary detective fiction, but studies of character, of the catalyst that drives an ordinary human being to commit the ultimate crime. In their emphasis on bizarre psychology, fantastic (but logical and convincing) plots, and the ability of the past to influence the present (whether it be in the form of past crimes or literary or artistic treasures), his work resembles a combination of H C Bailey, Gladys Mitchell, G K Chesterton and Michael Innes.

Inspector Carter and Sergeant Bell are the detectives in five early books, but his principal detective is Bobby Owen, who rises from the rank of police constable (in Information Received, 1933) to Commander of Scotland Yard by the later books.

Genres: Mystery
Anthologies containing stories by E R Punshon
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Short stories
Study of the Obvious