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?

11 kommentarer:

Anonym sagde ...

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.

Elizabeth Spann Craig sagde ...

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

Dorte H sagde ...

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.

R/T sagde ...

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."

Dorte H sagde ...

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.

Martin Edwards sagde ...

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....

Dorte H sagde ...

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.

Kerrie sagde ...

Dorte - you need to drop into my blog to see what we have in common.

Kerrie sagde ...

What an excellent story Dorte. Thanks for contributing to the Crime Fiction Alphabet again

gautami tripathy sagde ...

I liked learning about Quentin Patrick!

Here is my Crime Fiction Alphabet: Q post!

Dorte H sagde ...

Kerrie: thank you very much!

Gautama: I am glad you like him.