Books Read: 1940

In about a week and a half, Reading Club #1940, hosted by Kaggsy and Simon, will start. I am looking forward to participating and have already started accumulating books for it. Also thought it would be fun to look back and find out books of 1940, reviewed on the blog. I found quite a variety. So here are the books already read of that particular year [clicking on the title would take you to the review]:

The 24th Horse by Hugh Pentecost: A good beginning for Inspector Bradley.

Across the Black Waters by Mulk Raj Anand: A unit of the British Indian army finds itself in Flanders, France during the first WW. A war classic.

Aunt Beardie by Joseph Shearing: Memorable book of the French revolution by the author more popularly known as Marjorie Bowen.

Behind the Green Door by Mildred Wirt: Another enterprising heroine by the author who penned a number of Nancy Drew mysteries.

Black Corridors by Conyth Little: Murder in a hospital.

Black Plumes by Margery Allingham: A stand-alone by the creator of Campion.

The Case of the Baited Hook and The Case of the Silent Partner by Erle Stanley Gardner: Early Mason

The Crime of Laura Sarelle by Joseph Shearing: Gothic classic.

Death by Night by John Creasey: A novel of espionage but missing the nuances of a good spy story.

The Death Coins by Walter S. Masterman: An explosive beginning loses itself.

Fear by L. Ron Hubbard: A professor suffering from amnesia is the protagonist of this book by the founder of Scientology.

The Grassleyes Mystery by E.P. Oppenheim: Disappearing corpses.

Holocaust House by Norbert Davis: The first in the highly entertaining Doan and Carstairs series.

I Don’t like Cats by Lindsay Anson: One of those rare to find Crime Club books.

Journey into fear by Eric Ambler: International espionage in Ambler’s usual thrilling manner.

Les Chiens Et Les Loups (The Dogs and the Wolves) by Irene Nemirovsky: Too much woe…

The Man who could not Shudder by John Dickson Carr: Interesting though not Carr’s best.

Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker: A thought that becomes a woman.

Mr. Westerby Missing by Miles Burton: Brilliant amateur, stupid professional…. yawn

Night in Bombay by Louis Broomfield: A young American reaches India in 1939 and runs across an old friend and ex-wife.

A Scream in Soho by John G. Brandon: Early British Library Crime ‘Classic’

Sweet Poison by Rupert Penny: Murder in a boarding school.

They Don’t Dance Much by James Ross: Classic Country-Noir.

Unexpected Night and Deadly Nightshade by Elizabeth Daly: The first two cases of Henry Gamadge

You’d be Surprised by Peter Cheyney: Usual Lemmy Caution stuff.


Liked any of these? Which books of 1940 would you recommend?


15 thoughts on “Books Read: 1940

  1. You’ve got some nice choices there! I do like the Hugh Pentecost work I’ve read, and you’ve got a Creasey and others, too, that are appealing, Neeru. I hope you’ll enjoy your foray into 1940. It was a good year for books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Margot. I have made a list of 1940 titles that I plan to read and am quite excited about some of them. I really want to read more of Pentecost. It is crazy the number of books Creasey wrote and under various names!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! You’ve already got quite a list of 1940 books you’ve blogged about. I’ve read Silent Partner and Journey Into Fear, but both pre-blogging. I do have a couple on the blog from 1940 myself. I need to get organized!

    The Peter Cheyney cover is pretty great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I took part in a Reading Challenge, a few years ago where I read books published in 1940, so that’s why there are quite a number of bks:) That Cheyney cover is great indeed! I love yesteryear covers. Th computer generated covers of today are so bland.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kaggsy. Glad you liked the list. Aunt Beardie is a good book but the author’s other 1940 book: The Crime of Laura Sarelle is absolutely unputdownable. Both the books are available @ Project Gutenberg Australia, if you don’t mind reading books.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a very good list of books for 1940. Some I haven’t heard of before, of course.

    I enjoy reading books by Hugh Pentecost, but I don’t have The 24th Horse. I would love to read Black Corridors by the Little sisters. I have only read one (maybe two) so far and have none on my shelves.

    I do have a copy of Black Plumes and not sure that I have read it before or not. Deadly Nightshade is one of the few books by Elizabeth Daly that I have not read, but I decided against that one for now (print too small in my copy).

    I am definitely going to do a post on Murder in a Nunnery by Eric Shepherd for the 1940 Club and I am now reading The So Blue Marble by Dorothy B. Hughes, so I hope I get to that one also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tracy. I also like Pentecost but have read only a couple of his books. Black Corridors is the weakest of the Littles that I have read so far. And am not too fond of Black Plumes and Deadly Nightshade either. Looking forward to your review of Murder in Nunnery, a book on my wishlist since the time John Norris praised it. I will be reading Hughes for the club but am also trying to read a few forgotten books. Would wait for your posts eagerly.


  4. You’ve read such a lot from 1940 too! The only one that I have read from your list is Black Plumes, and that was back in the year dot, long before the internet. Some of your books have great covers too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome to the blog and thanks for taking a look. 1940 seems to be a year full of riches. I am looking forward to seeing all the books that will be read for the club. I love covers of yore not like present day covers which generally show a woman’s back.


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