Julian Symons is primarily remembered as a master of the art of crime writing. However, in his eighty-two years he produced an enormously varied body of work. Social and military history, biography and criticism were all subjects he touched upon with remarkable success, and he held a distinguished reputation in each field. His novels were consistently highly individual and expertly crafted, raising him above other crime writers of his day. It is for this that he was awarded various prizes, and, in 1982, named as Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America an honour accorded to only three other English writers before him: Graham Greene, Eric Ambler and Daphne Du Maurier. He succeeded Agatha Christie as the president of Britain’s Detection Club, a position he held from 1976 to 1985, and in 1990 he was awarded the Cartier Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writers for his lifetime’s achievement in crime fiction. Symons died in 1994.
Bland Beginningby Julian Symons
A purchase at a second-hand bookshop seems an innocent enough event. Tony Shelton hadn’t expected it to be anything but that and he certainly hadn’t expected it to throw him head first into the world of violence, blackmail and robbery. For it becomes clear that the book has a rather higher price than he paid for it a price that was to lead to murder.
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