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Nicholas Blake Books In Order

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Publication Order of Nigel Strangeways Books

A Question of Proof (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thou Shell of Death / Shell of Death (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
There's Trouble Brewing (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Beast Must Die (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Smiler with the Knife (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder with Malice / Malice in Wonderland / The Summer Camp Mystery (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Corpse in the Snowman / The Case of the Abominable Snowman (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Minute for Murder (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Head of a Traveler (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dreadful Hollow (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Whisper in the Gloom / Catch and Kill (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
End of Chapter (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Widow's Cruise (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Worm of Death (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sad Variety (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thou Shell of Death (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Morning After Death (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Whisper in the Gloom (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Tangled Web / Death and Daisy Bland (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Penknife in My Heart (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Deadly Joker (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Private Wound (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Great Stories of Mystery and Suspense(1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
English Country House Murders(1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great Irish Detective Stories(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fifty Best Mysteries(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Century of British Mystery and Suspense(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
You and Who(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bodies from the Library(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Unholy Night(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Nicholas Blake was born under the name Cecily Day-Lewis on twenty seventh April 1904. Cecily Day-Lewis was a poet from Ireland and also the Pet of United Kingdom from 1968-1972. He used the pseudonym Nicholas Blake to write mystery stories.CECILY DAY-LEWIS.As said, he was born in Ireland,Ballintubbert. His parents went by the names Frank Day-Lewis and Kathleen Blake. The name Day-Lewis came as a result of his father taking up the name of his biological father, Day, and the adoptive father’s name, Lewis, thus Day-Lewis. In 1906, his mother died. He was then brought up by his father in London, assisted by an aunt.Cecil studied at a school known as Sherborne and at a college known as Wadham College, Oxford. In Oxford, he encountered W. H.Auden’s circle and assisted in the editing of Oxford Poetry in 1927. Consequently, as a poet he had his first collection, Beechen Vigil poems appear in 1925 which marked the beginning of his successful poetry career.His marriage to Constance Mary King in 1928 followed closely as he was employed in a number of schools, namely; Larchfield School, Lomond School and Helensburgh just to mention a few as a schoolmaster. In 1951, his marriage ended after a love affair in 1940’s with Rosamond Lehmann who was a novelist. He later on got married to Jill Balcon who was an actress.

As the second War was taking place, Cecil worked in one of the government ministries that deals with Information where he worked as an editor of publications. At this time his work was not influenced by Auden. In addition to that, he was developing the style of lyricism in his work. He joined Chatto and Windus publishers at the end of the war as a senior editor and director where he took part actively.In 1947 he was able to publish some of his work in Poetic Image as he worked as at the Cambridge University as a lecturer from 1946. From 1951-1956 he taught at Oxford as a poetry Professor. Moreover, during 1962-1963 he was at Harvard University as the Norton Professor. In 1968 he got appointed as the Poet Laureate at the university.To add onto his outstanding credentials he took part in the Literature Council of Arts Panel which led to him becoming an honorable person in the Academy of arts America Letters. He was also a professor at the well-known Gresham College and an active member in one of the Irish Academies

Cecily Day-Lewis ailed from pancreatic cancer. He died from it on 22nd May 1972, at the age of sixty eight, at Lemmons. It was the home of Jane Howard Elizabeth and Amis Kiingsley.The author had made burial arrangements to be buried close to Thomas Hardy, whom he admired greatly all through his life, at St. Michael’s Church, Dorset.As a result of the two marriages he left four children. They included; Sean Day-Lewis the author of his biography, English Literary Life (1960) by C.Day Lewis, Tamasin Day-Lewis a journalist as well as a food writer and Daniel Day-Lewis who is an Academy Award-winning actor who is well known all over the world. NICHOLAS BLAKEIn 1935, Cecily Day-Lewis opted to supplement his finances by writing novels. However, he did so under the name Nicholas Blake. He wrote detective novels that he had to create the character, Nigel Strageways. The character is a novice investigator and the nephew to the Assistant Commissioner at the Scotland Yard; he has access to formal bodies of criminal investigations as well as the other fictional characters such as Ellery Queen, Philo Vance and Lord Peter Wimsey.In Nicholas Blake’s series, the earliest were “A Question of Proof” and “Thou Shell of Death.”

In “A Question of Proof” is set around a sports day event in a well known public school, Sudeley Hall ending in a mysterious disaster. The schoolmaster’s notorious nephew is found dead as a result of being strangled. The young boy was loathed by the students as well as the staff. The key suspect is the teacher of English, Michael Evans. Earlier on that day, he had been seen as he shared a passionate kiss with the headmaster’s young wife. Fortunately, Nigel Strangeways is on the case to investigate what had really happened. In this first book, Nigel Strangeways is modeled on Auden however in later novels he becomes a more important figure.In the second book in his crime series, “Thou Shell of Death,” is set on an expected death on Boxing Day. Fergus O’Brien, a legendary pilot receives a thread of threatening letters stating he will be murdered on Boxing Day. Unshaken, he arranges for a Christmas Party inviting everyone including who could be suspected of sending the threats. Among the invited guests, he also invited Nigel Strangeways.

Despite his presence, the pilot is murdered just as predicted in the letters. The private investigator is left to assist the local police with the murder investigations. He suspects Georgina Cavendish, an explorer. As he assists, he tries to ignore the immense attraction towards one of the guests.The two classics are still available as eBook as Amazon.The novel, This Man Must Die (1969) was made into a film produced in French. It starred Michel Duchaussoy, Caroline Cellier and Jean Yanne.He was able to supplement his lifestyle through his written works from the mid 1930’s. Only four of his novels- The Private wound, , A Tangled Web and Deadly Joker do not have the character Nigel Strangeways.POLITICAL VIEWSApart from his writing work, Cecily adopted the communist views.

From 1935-1938 he became an active member of Great Britain’s communist party . This was evidenced in his early poetry which was marked with social themes. For instance in the year 1937 he was able to edit “The Mind in Chains: Socialism and the Cultural Revolution.” He explained that he referred to Prometheus tied by his own his chains and the contributors to Promethean Fire of enlightment use it for private gains instead of the benefiting the general mankind.However, after the 1930’s, he distanced from communism. In his work he renounces his views such as in his personal autobiography (1960) ‘Buried Day’.In addition to that, in his detective novel, The Sad Variety, it contains the uprising of the Hungarian 1956 and the tactics used by the Soviet intelligence.CONCLUSION.He left an exemplary career both as an author and ad academician.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Nicholas Blake

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