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On the Frontiers of Literature

August 28, 2010 |  1:26 am

 April 13, 1939, Van Dine

Aug. 28, 1910: If you’re a fan of mystery books, you may have heard of S.S. Van Dine, who wrote "The Greene Murder Case," "The Canary Murder Case" and other Philo Vance stories. Van Dine was the pen name of Willard Huntington Wright (d. 1939), who in 1910 was book editor at The Times. [Disclaimer: Despite many attempts, I have never been able to get through even one of his books. My loss, I’m sure.]

Some opinions: "The Way of All Flesh" by Samuel Butler: “Although it is not thirty years since the author completed this book it is already, in a sense, an antiquity.”

"The Motor Maid" by C.N. and A.M. Williamson: "The most inane and worthless piece of fiction I have ever read."

"The Window at the White Cat," by Mary Roberts Rinehart: "It is the best kind of detective story extant and has many merits which are almost unknown to this type of epileptic literature."

Aug. 28, 1910, Book Page

April 13, 1939, Van Dine

Aug. 28, 1910, Van Dine