mandag den 8. februar 2010
Q for Quentin
This week´s letter for Kerrie´s Alphabet Meme is Q.
If you look at the picture above, you may well ask yourself, ´is the author called Quentin Patrick, or Patrick Quentin?´
And the answer is, ´neither´.
Behind the two pen names hide two writers, namely Richard Wilson Webb and Hugh Callingham Wheeler.
For an explanation and a full biography visit Wikipedia
The couple wrote around thirty crime novels under the two Quentin pseudonyms between 1931 and 1965, and a dozen novels under other pen names. Their stories are of varying quality, and my own favourite (or more precicely; the only one I really remember) is The Grindle Nightmare (1935). The picture below is of my Danish copy, "Skjult i sne".
The plot is an exciting story of evil causing havoc in a valley in Massachusetts. A little girl disappears, but this is only the beginning. Murders, arson and cruelty to animals follow until the villagers are on the verge of lynching suspects, and I particularly remember the spectacular plot because I met the concept folie à deux for the first time.
Have you come across any of their works? What did you think about them?
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Dorte - I'd forgotten all about Quentin Patrick/Patrick Quentin!! Well, I am glad that you featured these authors : ). I have to admit, I've only read a couple of Quentin things, so I'm hardly an expert on the titles. Your post is making me want to go back and refresh my memory.
Interesting! I have a hard enough time with one pen name...two would really confuse me.
Haven't read his books, but they look great!
Mystery Writing is Murder
Margot: I am certainly not an expert either. Some of them are good classics, others are more pulpish in my opinion.
Elizabeth: and what about two authors sharing five pen names? Some of the books are good, but it is not stuff I would pay a lot for.
Dorte, thank you for highlighting a writer with whom I am unfamiliar. I will scour the used bookstores and the libraries for copies of the books. I remain baffled about duos who collaborate on novels; I have never understood how one goes about managing the division of labor in a work of "art."
R.T: good idea to try to find them second-hand.
I don´t know how they went about it, but I wonder whether there is some ´message´ in the fact that some of them are by Quentin Patrick and others by Patrick Quentin?
In fact I am part of such a duo right now. A writing course friend wanted to write a crime novel together with me. I came up with a plot involving two sisters so now we are writing one voice each. So far the only problem has been lack of time, but the ending may pose certain problems.
I am a fan of Patrick Quentin, including the excellent short story collection The Ordeal of Mrs Snow. The various PQ collaborators (of whom Wheeler was the most important) also wrote as Q Patrick and Jonathan Stagge. Wheeler also became famous through writing musicals....
Martin: I am glad I am not the only one who has read them. And the story behind their pen names is almost as interesting as their novels.
Dorte - you need to drop into my blog to see what we have in common.
What an excellent story Dorte. Thanks for contributing to the Crime Fiction Alphabet again
I liked learning about Quentin Patrick!
Here is my Crime Fiction Alphabet: Q post!
Kerrie: thank you very much!
Gautama: I am glad you like him.
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