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Here in one volume are ten of the best of Roy Vickers celebrated Department of Dead Ends detective stories. These are detective stories with a difference; the 'inverted' type of detective story. Knowing from the start who the murderer is, the reader is presented with the motive, the workings of the criminal's mind, the crime itself, and all the clues.
The 'surprise' in Mr Vickers's stories is, of course, supplied by the way in which his murderers are detected; and this is where the Department of Dead Ends comes in - that repository of files which were never completed, of investigations without a clue and clues which led nowhere. From time to time, quite illogically, Inspector Rason finds a connection between happenings in the outside world and the objects in his Scotland Yard museum, a rubber trumpet, maybe, or a bunch of red carnations. Then events move inexorably to their appointed end.
'One of the half-dozen successful books of detective short stories published since the days of Sherlock Holmes.' Manchester Evening News
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Roy Vickers was the author of over 60 crime novels and 80 short stories, many written under the pseudonyms Sefton Kyle and David Durham. He was born in 1889 and educated at Charterhouse School, Brasenose College, Oxford, and enrolled as a student of the Middle Temple.He left the University before graduating in order to join the staff of a popular weekly. After two years of journalistic choring, which included a period of crime reporting, he became editor of the Novel Magazine, but eventually resigned this post so that he could develop his ideas as a freelance. His experience in the criminal courts gave him a view of the anatomy of crime which was the mainspring of his novels and short stories.Not primarily interested in the professional crook, he wrote of the normal citizen taken unawares by the latent forces of his own temperament. His attitude to the criminal is sympathetic but unsentimental.
Vickers is best known for his 'Department of Dead Ends' stories which were originally published in Pearson's Magazine from 1934. Partial collections were made in 1947, 1949, and 1978, earning him a reputation in both the UK and the US as an accomplished writer of 'inverted mysteries'. He also edited several anthologies for the Crime Writers' Association.
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