Friday, November 26, 2010

Brit noir

Title : Gunning in England
Author : William J. Elliott
Cover art : uncredited
  [London: Gerald Swan, 1946. First printing. Miniature-size hardcover. “Ed. Gunning takes the stage again in Gunning in England, a thriller by William J. Elliott”—T.p.]

style **
substance ***
collectibility **

It's tough to find biographical information about British mystery writer William Elliott, whether the sources be print or online. We glimpse him in places like Classic Crime Fiction and ABE Books. He apparently wrote quite a few mysteries for Swan in the 1940s, and his sprightly style might be described as a Britishised Chandlerese. The cover art for the present book reflects the slightly different British take on the tough formula – leaden figures which don’t quite capture the buoyancy of the vintage American style. Pluses include the vintage Forties car and the girl’s red hair & green dress. 

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