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The Detection Club

By Julie, enjoying lovely fall weather in Somerville

Have you heard of The Detection Club? I first learned about them when I was researching my thesis, “Agatha Christie’s Four Models of Narrative Voice”, which was published in 2009. In order to get a thesis about Agatha Christie approved through the Harvard Extension School , I had to do lot of research to support my ideas. Some of it was dry, kindly put. Other parts were fascinating, including learning about The Detection Club.

The club was founded in 1930, starting as a supper club of sorts where writers got together to talk. Though Arthur Conan Doyle was invited to be the first president, ill health precluded him from taking on the role, so it went to G.K. Chesterton. He served until his death in 1936. E.C. Bentley was president until 1949, and then Dorothy L. Sayers took over until her death in 1957. Agatha Christie was the next president, until her death in 1976. The next presidents were Lord Gorell (1957–1963), Julian Symons (1976–1985), H. R. F. Keating (1985–2000), Simon Brett (2000–2015). Martin Edwards is the current president. He wrote The Golden Age of Murder, a fabulous book that discusses how the members of the Detection Club transformed the mystery genre.

Here are a few things that fascinate me about the club.

Usually the Wickeds get together a couple of times a year to talk, write, inspire, support, eat and laugh. We also go to conferences like Malice Domestic and the New England Crime Bake, and hang out with other writing friends. In thinking about the Detection Club, and remembering our Wicked dinners, I understand the roots of the group. It’s so much fun being with other people who share the same passion for writing, and interest in macabre subjects. Let’s face it, there aren’t many dinner parties that can center on the best poison to use at a wedding.

Readers, have you heard of The Detection Club, or read any of their books?

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