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Phoebe Atwood Taylor Books In Order

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Publication Order of Asey Mayo Cape Cod Mystery Books

The Cape Cod Mystery (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Lights a Candle (1932)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mystery of the Cape Cod Players (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mystery of the Cape Cod Tavern (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sandbar Sinister (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tinkling Symbol (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deathblow Hill (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Crimson Patch (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Out of Order (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Figure Away (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
Octagon House (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Annulet of Gilt (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Banbury Bog (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Spring Harrowing (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Criminal C.O.D (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Deadly Sunshade (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Perennial Boarder (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Six Iron Spiders (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
Three Plots for Asey Mayo (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
Going, Going, Gone (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
Proof of the Pudding (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Asey Mayo Trio (1946)Description / Buy at Amazon
Punch with Care (1946)Description / Buy at Amazon
Diplomatic Corpse (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Leonidas Witherall Mystery Books

as Alice Tilton
Beginning with a Bash (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cut Direct (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cold Steal (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Left Leg (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hollow Chest (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
File for Record (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead Ernest (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Iron Clew (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Murder at the New York World's Fair (As: Freeman Dana) (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Phoebe Atwood Taylor

Phoebe Atwood Taylor was indeed a renowned American writer celebrated for gripping narratives, with a particular penchant for mystery thrillers. The crowning jewels of her career are the widely applauded Asey Mayo narratives, with their intriguing settings based in Cape Cod. In addition to this, she didn’t just write under her own name. The names ‘Alice Tilton’ and ‘Freeman Dana’ might be familiar to some, as these are the pseudonyms she adopted when publishing some of her other work, whether it was initially serialized, or published as a novel.

This highly esteemed author had a knack for building vivid characters and protagonists that keep readers on the edge of their seats. Her storytelling is woven with a unique flair that leaves the audience longing for more. The manner in which Taylor crafted her characters is often hailed as one of the great strengths of her writing. Each protagonist is brought to life in a way that makes the reader feel like an insider in the story.

Moreover, Phoebe Atwood Taylor’s gift for formidable narrative construction ensures that her pieces remain entertaining from start to finish. When readers dive into her books, it’s not just about trying to solve the mystery at hand but also about being fully engaged by the compelling stories within. The way she told a story stirs the imagination and keeps readers turning pages, eager to uncover every twist and turn.

Early and Personal Life

Phoebe Atwood Taylor, famed American mystery novelist, was born on the 18th of May, 1909, and passed away in Boston, the city of her birth, on the 9th of January, 1976. Being a student of Barnard College, from which she graduated in 1930, her younger years were marked by a keen interest in reading and writing. This love for literature would go on to shape her career, leading her to marrying surgeon Grantley Walder Taylor in December 1951.

Taylor’s extensive body of work includes mystery novels written under her own name, as well as under the pseudonyms of Freeman Dana and Alice Tilton. Her debut novel, ‘The Cape Cod Mystery,’ introduced readers to the beloved character of ‘Codfish Sherlock,’ aka Asey Mayo, who would go on to star in 24 novels. With her writing being light-hearted—although far from frivolously so—her readers relished her works for being both fun and effortless to read.

Drawing heavily from her own life and experiences, especially her Boston roots and familiarity with Cape Cod, Phoebe Atwood Taylor filled her stories with a rich and local color that made them all the more engaging. This, along with her financial needs due to living through the Great Depression, pushed her to adopt pseudonyms like Freeman Dana and Alice Tilton, to author more commercial popular novels.

With all of these factored in, it is no wonder why her writings are considered to be an extremely entertaining and humorous look at life back in the 1930s and ’40s.

Writing Career

Phoebe Atwood Taylor has had a remarkable journey as a writer, making her mark especially in the mystery genre. The Asey Mayo Mystery series is one of her most noted works, with the first novel titled ‘The Cape Cod Mystery’ being released in 1931. Establishing an engaging series, she continued to build mystery after mystery, penning more than 20 books with titles ranging from ‘Death Lights a Candle’ in 1932 to ‘Diplomatic Corpse’ in 1951.

In addition to the Asey Mayo series, she also astounded readers under the pseudonym of Alice Tilton. This pseudonym brought another hit series called the Leonidas Witherall mysteries, starting with ‘Beginning with a Bash’ in 1937 to ‘The Iron Clew’ also known as ‘The Iron Hand’ in 1947. Moreover, she extended her writing prowess to standalone novels like ‘Murder At the New York World’s Fair’ in 1938 under another pen name, Freeman Dana.

Notably, her ‘Alice Tilton’ books and most of the Asey Mayo stories have been published in the prestigious Collins Crime Club series in the United Kingdom.

Death Lights a Candle

The mystery thriller ‘Death Lights a Candle’ was penned by Phoebe Atwood Taylor. It was published in 1932 through Bobbs-Merrill. This self-contained mystery is the second work in the ‘Asey Mayo Cape Cod Mystery’ series.

Cape Cod faced a turbulent March with a great deal of trouble. A group of people at a house party found themselves isolated due to heavy snowfall. The event took a tragic turn when the host suffered a fatal poisoning, suspected to be arsenic-based.

With arsenic found amongst nearly everybody’s belongings, this mystery is now on Asey Mayo’s roster to resolve.

Murder at the New York World’s Fair

The mystery novel ‘Murder at the New York World’s Fair’ is a work by Phoebe Atwood Taylor. The book made its debut in 1938, courtesy of publisher Random House. Initially, the book was released under the alias ‘Freeman Dana.’

Mrs. Daisy Tower, the spouse of an ex-governor, stumbles upon a murder scene on Conrad Cassell’s private train. Cassell is a prosperous art collector who is traveling to the World’s Fair.

Octagon House

The mystery thriller ‘Octagon House’ was again written by Phoebe Atwood Taylor. It saw its first publication in 1937 via the Associated Press. This piece stands as the eleventh book in the ‘Asey Mayo Cape Cod Mystery’ series, initially serialized, delivering a self-contained mystery.

Asey Mayo is summoned to Quanomet in the wake of a murder. The chaos unfolds after an uncomplimentary portrait of the locals is revealed at the new post office.

Dead Ernest

Phoebe Atwood Taylor authored the mystery thriller ‘Dead Ernest’ under her ‘Alice Tilton’ pen-name. Its initial release was in 1944, realized through Nortons publishing. This individual mystery serves as the seventh book in the ‘Leonidas Witherall Mystery’ series, which was published in the UK a year later, in 1945, via the Collins imprint.

The quirky detective, Leonidas Witherall, finds himself entangled with neighbors, strangers, and blondes, along with an unexpected dead body. Witherall, being one of Dalton’s most vibrant residents, operates a reputable boys’ school in this fictitious suburb of Boston.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Phoebe Atwood Taylor

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