On Mystery*File tonight there's a review of a novel by Amber Dean. Who? Yes, Amber Dean. I've written before about my sentimental attachment to Doubleday's old Crime Club line which lasted from the Thirties into the Nineties.
Ellen Nehr compiled a history of Club novels, all of them from 1928-1991. Most of the names and novels perished with their times. I came to them in the early Fifties when I was twelve and tired of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. I wasn't old enough to understand everything I read in them but within the confines of rather predictable conventional mysteries many of them were pleasant reads.
And three or four times a year there'd be stand-outs. I liked many of the Brits, especially. Seance On A Wet Afternoon was a Crime Club as were both of Dolores Hitchens' exemplary private eye novels. Of course there were always books that baffled--why in God's name was this published? And the same with covers. As the line lost library subscribers Club covers began to resemble the 70s and 80s Doubleday Science Fiction line. You prayed for blindness.
But I'm glad Mystery*File keeps reviewing some of those old ones. They played a vital if usually unremarkable role in mystery history.