Francis Henry Durbridge was born in Hull, Yorkshire, in 1912 and was educated at Bradford Grammar School. He was encouraged at an early age to write by his English teacher and went on to read English at Birmingham University. Whilst an undergraduate he started to develop the radio play format for which he first became known. At the age of twenty-one he sold a play to the BBC and continued to write following his graduation whilst working as a stockbroker’s clerk. In 1938, by this time writing full time, he created the character Paul Temple, a crime novelist and detective. With Steve Trent, a Fleet Street journalist and later his wife, Temple solved numerous crimes. Durbridge’s style was very much in the mode of the earlier ‘Golden Age’ middle class amateur detectives . The first book, 'Send for Paul Temple', was written along with John Thewes as the novelisation of a radio serial. Many others followed and they were hugely successful until the last of the series was completed in 1968. In 1969, the Paul Temple series was adapted for television and four of the adventures, prior to this, had been adapted for cinema, albeit with less success than radio and TV. Durbridge also invented another new character, Tim Frazer, an undercover agent who appeared in both novels and as a TV series. Francis Durbridge also wrote for the stage and continued doing so up until 1991, when 'Sweet Revenge' was completed. Additionally, he wrote over twenty other well received novels, most of which were on the general subject of crime. The last, 'Fatal Encounter', was published after his death in 1998.
Paul Temple and the Conrad Caseby Francis Durbridge
Radio’s smoothest sleuth and his glamorous wife solve a case of international mystery. From 1938 to 1969 crime novelist and detective Paul Temple and his Fleet Street journalist wife Steve solved case after case in one of BBC radio’s most popular serials. They inhabit a sophisticated, well-dressed world of chilled cocktails and fast cars, where the women are chic and the men still wear cravats. And where Sir Graham Forbes of Scotland Yard always needs Paul’s help with a tricky case. The case this time involves Dr Conrad’s daughter Betty, who has disappeared from her finishing school in Bavaria. Paul is invited by the police to go over there to help trace the missing girl. Initially, though, even he is baffled, since the only clue to the mystery is an unusual cocktail stick found in her bedroom. Can Paul work it out?
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