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Elizabeth E.X. Ferrars Books In Order

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Publication Order of Andrew Basnett Books

Something Wicked (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Root of All Evil (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Crime and the Crystal (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Other Devil's Name (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Murder Too Many (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Smoke Without Fire (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Hobby of Murder (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Choice of Evils (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Police Chief Raposo Books

Skeleton Staff (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Witness Before the Fact (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Superintendent Ditteridge Books

A Stranger and Afraid (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Breath of Suspicion (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Foot in the Grave (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Alive and Dead (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blood Flies Upwards (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Toby Dyke Books

Give a Corpse a Bad Name (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Remove The Bodies / Reheasals for Murder (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in Botanist's Bay / Murder of a Suicide (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Don't Monkey with Murder / The Shape of a Stain (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
Neck in a Noose / Your Neck in a Noose (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Virginia Freer Books

Last Will and Testament (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Frog in the Throat (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thinner Than Water (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death of a Minor Character (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Met Murder (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Woman Slaughter (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sleep of the Unjust (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Beware of the Dog (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

I, Said the Fly (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Among Friends / Cheat the Hangman (1946)Description / Buy at Amazon
With Murder in Mind (1948)Description / Buy at Amazon
The March Hare Murders (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hunt the Tortoise (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
Milk of Human Kindness (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Clock That Wouldn't Stop (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Alibi for a Witch (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in Time (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lying Voices (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Enough to Kill a Horse (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Always Say Die / We Haven't Seen Her Lately (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Moves In / Kill or Cure (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Furnished for Murder (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Unreasonable Doubt / Count the Cost (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Tale of Two Murders / Depart This Life (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fear the Light (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sleeping Dogs (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Busy Body / Seeing Double (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wandering Widows (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Doubly Dead (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Legal Fiction / The Decayed Gentlewoman (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ninth Life (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
No Peace for the Wicked (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Zero at the Bone (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Swaying Pillars (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Seven Sleepers (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Small World of Murder (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hanged Man's House (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Drowned Rat (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cup And The Lip (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pretty Pink Shroud (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murders Anonymous (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
In at the Kill (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Experiment with Death (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Skeleton in Search of a Cupboard / Skeleton in Search of a Closet (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Come To Be Killed (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trial By Fury (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Danger from the Dead (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Answer Came There None (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Seven Sleepers (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thy Brother Death (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Seeing is Believing (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Thief in the Night (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Designs on Life (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sequence of Events and Other Stories (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Casebook of Jonas P. Jonas and Other Mysteries (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Winter's Crimes 9(1977)Description / Buy at Amazon

Elizabeth E.X. Ferrars is the pen name used by a popular British writer named Morna Doris McTaggert Brown. She was well known for writing mystery, thriller, crime fiction, and suspense novels, and short stories. Some of the widely known book series penned by Ferrars include the Toby Dyke series, Superintendent Ditteridge series, Police Chief Raposo series, Andrew Basnett series, Virginia Freer series, etc. Additionally, she has written a number of single novels, several omnibus collections, and some short story collections.

Besides using this pseudonym and her original name to write her books, Ferrars used other pseudonyms of E.X. Ferrars and Elizabeth Ferrars to write some of her books. During the course of her career, Ferrars had collaborated with a few fellow writers, including Aaron Marc Stein, Marc Lovell, Robert L. Duncan, George Baby, etc.

Author Ferrars was born on September 06, 1907, in Rangoon, Myanmar, which was under British rule at that time. Her father was of Scottish descent, while her mother was an Irish-German. At the age of six, Ferrars moved to England with her parents and was brought up there. She studied at Bedales school followed by London University, where she obtained her journalism diploma. Ferrars entered the world of writing and publishing in the 1930s with the release of her first two books, Turn Single and Broken Music. They were released under her real name Morna McTaggart. At around the same time, Ferrars met and married her first life partner. But, the married did not last long and she separated from him to go and live with Dr. Robert Brown in Belsize Park, London. Dr. Brown was a botany lecturer at Bedford College.

Eventually, the divorce with her first husband was finalized after a few years and she immediately married Dr. Brown. The first crime fiction novel developed by Ferrars, Give a Corpse a Bad Name, was published in 1940. It was also the first book that featured her adopted pen name Elizabeth Ferrars. Sometimes, she liked to add an X in the pseudonym between Elizabeth and Ferrars, particularly when her books were released in the U.S. Ferrars was the maiden name of her mother. This novel introduced the popular character of Toby Dyke, a young detective who went on to feature in a few more crime novels of Ferrars. When Dr. Brown was offered a job at the United States’ Cornell University, Ferrars moved there with him. However, she could remain there for only one year before moving back to England. She continued to travel with Dr. Brown on all his work assignments.

When Dr. Brown visited Adelaide as a visiting professor at South Australia University, Ferrars also joined him there. The couple then relocated to Edinburgh, where Dr. Brown was given the post of Regius Professor of Botany. Ferrars lived with him in Edinburgh until 1977. After the retirement of Dr. Brown, she shifted to Blewsburry, Oxfordshire with him, where they resided until she died in 1995. During all her travels, Ferrars continued to publish a crime novel every year. In 1953, she was involved in founding the Crime Writers’ Association, and later in 1977, she became its chairperson.

Along with creating Toby Dyke as a young detective, Ferrars is also credited to have created the interesting characters of Andrew Basnett, Virginia Freer, and Felix Freer. She described Andrew Basnett as a retired botanist, a character she based on her husband; and Felix and Virginia Freer as a semi-estranged married couple. Ferrars’ last novel, A Thief in the Night, was released posthumously. Wendell Hertig Taylor and Jacques Barzun have described Ferrars as a writer who had a sound grasp of human relations and motives and regard for technique and probability. Ferrars claimed that she would have been unable to write crime fiction novels if her nanny had not taught her German when she was small. She believed the complex grammar rules and rigorous sentence structure of the language prepared her well for the crime thriller architecture.

Ferrars didn’t follow any religion. Her body was given a non-religious burial in Blewbury. It is believed that Ferrars followed a diligent method and considerable self-discipline that allowed her to give extraordinary output every time. Her books often gave the message of staying away from extreme unpleasantness and violence. Even her characters were depicted as educated and working in artistic or academic fields. Ferrars’ female characters are shown as politely feminist and independent.

A popular novel series written by author Elizabeth E.X. Ferrars is known as the Toby Dyke series. It consists of five books released between 1940 and 1942. Each novel of this series features the primary character in the role of a reporter named Toby Dyke. All the plots take place in Devon, England, where Toby Dyke hails from. Other essential characters created by Ferrars for the series include Anna Milne, Lou Capell, George, Edgar Prees, Rosa Miall, John Lestarke-Toye, and others. The debut book of this mystery series is entitled ‘Give a Corpse a Bad Name’. It was released in 2000 by the Isis publication after its first release in 1940. This novel opens by introducing Toby Dyke as a former reporter, who doesn’t have a fixed occupation. Aside from working with the local police, he takes up investigations of his own and keeps himself busy all the time.

A recent case that he is helping the police with is that of a drunk stranger who was run over at night while he was lying drunk on the side of the road. Toby Dyke looks into the car’s registration and finds out that it was being driven by Anna Milne on that fateful night. Anna is a beautiful widow and a South African national. What surprises Toby is that the victim also hailed from South Africa and had Anna Milne’s address in his wallet. He knows that it was no accident and Anna killed the man out of rage. After studying all the angles of the case and ensuring that Anna is the culprit, Toby forces her to make a confession. But, what she confesses takes the case in the opposite direction. Toby and the police are back to square one and begin looking again for a murder culprit.

The second volume of this series is known as ‘Remove The Bodies’. It was published in 1989 by the Ulverscroft publication, after its original release in 1940. Initially, it is shown that Toby Dyke gets a call from an unknown caller who asks him to investigate Lou Capell’s death. Lou had stayed at his apartment the previous night. Toby gets intrigued by the turn of events and sets out to investigate Lou’s death with his companion named George. With questions piling up, Toby feels that he has to race against time to catch the culprit before he gets away forever. As he moves closer to solving the crime, something unexpected happens and puts his own life in danger.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Elizabeth E.X. Ferrars

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