The Current Issue

June 2019, Issue 476 Paul Broks on schizophrenia * Lucy Lethbridge on Maud West, lady detective * Tom Holland on Pliny * Frances Wilson on the Olivier sisters * Tom Stern on Kierkegaard * Selina Hastings on Chanel on the Côte d'Azur * Howard Davies on a history of capitalism * Alwyn Turner on Nineteen Eighty-Four * Nicholas Vincent on Simon de Montfort * Charlie Pye-Smith on who owns England * Richard Cockett on Burma * David Collard on Gerald Murnane * Lesley Downer on Yasunari Kawabata * Phil Baker on mescaline  and much, much more…

Lucy Lethbridge

The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective: Secrets and Lies in the Golden Age of Crime

By Susannah Stapleton

Unconventional lives can tell us much about the conventions and social currents of their times. Susannah Stapleton’s compulsively absorbing book about Maud West centres on a woman who was a splendid one-off and yet somehow entirely of her age. It is not quite a biography and not quite a personal quest, but a bit of both. Tracking her quarry through the last decades of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th, Stapleton found that West eluded her at every turn. The bewildering array of red herrings, dead ends, fibs, disguises, half-truths and plain deceptions she encountered becomes the story not only of West herself but also of the world in which she lived. The 1920s and 1930s were the golden age of British detective fiction and many of its most famous authors were women... read more

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