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Anthony Berkeley Cox (5 July 1893 – 9 March 1971) was an English crime writer. He wrote under several pen-names, including Francis Iles, Anthony Berkeley and A. Monmouth Platts.


Anthony Berkeley Cox was born in 1893 in Watford, and educated at Sherborne School and University College, Oxford. After serving in the British Army in World War I, he worked as a journalist for many years, contributing to such magazines as Punch[1] and The Humorist.

His first novel, The Layton Court Mystery, was published anonymously in 1925. It introduced Roger Sheringham, the amateur detective who features in many of the author's novels including the classic Poisoned Chocolates Case. In 1930, Berkeley founded the legendary Detection Club in London along with Agatha Christie, Freeman Wills Crofts and other established mystery writers.

His 1932 novel (as "Francis Iles"), Before the Fact was adapted into the 1941 classic film Suspicion, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine. Trial and Error was turned into the unusual 1941 film Flight From Destiny starring Thomas Mitchell.

In 1938, he took up book reviewing for John O'London's Weekly and the Daily Telegraph, writing under his pen name Francis Iles. He also wrote for the Sunday Times in the 1940s and for the Manchester Guardian, later The Guardian, from the mid-1950s until 1970. A key figure in the development of crime fiction, he died in 1971 in St John's Wood, London.

Novels and stories

  • The Layton Court Mystery (Herbert Jenkins, 1925) (Published as "?")
  • The Wychford Poisoning Case (Collins, 1926) (published as the author of "The Layton Court mystery")
  • Roger Sheringham and the Vane Mystery [US title: The Mystery at Lovers' Cave] (1927)
  • The Silk Stocking Murders (1928)
  • The Poisoned Chocolates Case (1929)
  • The Second Shot (1930)
  • Top Storey Murder (1931)
  • Murder in the Basement (1932)
  • Jumping Jenny [US title: Dead Mrs. Stratton] (1933)
  • Panic Party [US title: Mr Pidgeon's Island] (1934)
  • The Roger Sheringham Stories (1994); limited edition of 95 copies:

The Avenging Chance, White Butterfly, Perfect Alibi, The Wrong Jar, Mr Bearstowe Says..., The Body's Upstairs(a brief parody), Double Bluff, Razor-Edge and Red Anemones (These are earlier versions of "Mr. Bearstowe Says...". "Red Anemones" is a radio script.), Temporary Insanity (a stage play adapted from The Layton Court Mystery, Direct Evidence (an earlier version of "Double Bluff")[2]

  • The Avenging Chance and Other Mysteries from Roger Sheringham's Casebook (2004); 2nd edition with an additional story, Crippen & Landru, 2015

The Avenging Chance, White Butterfly, Perfect Alibi, The Wrong Jar, Mr Bearstowe Says..., The Body's Upstairs(a brief parody), Double Bluff, The Mystery of Horne's Copse, Unsound Mind, The Bargee's Holiday (First published Diss Express, 5 February 1943)

  • Professor On Paws (1926)
  • Mr Priestley's Problem [US title: The Amateur Crime] (1927)
  • The Piccadilly Murder (1929)
  • The Floating Admiral (1931) (written in collaboration with eleven members of the Detection Club)
  • Not to Be Taken [US title: A Puzzle in Poison] (1937)
  • Trial and Error (1937)
  • Death in the House (1939)
  • The Scoop and Behind the Screen (1983) (Originally published in The Listener (1931) and (1930), both written by members of the Detection Club)
  • "Mr Simpson Goes to the Dogs" (1934)
  • "The Policeman Only Taps Once" (1936)
  • "Publicity Heroine" (1936)
  • "Hot Steel" (Sheringham)
  • "Outside the Law" (1934)
  • "Dark Journey" (1935)
  • "It Takes Two to Make a Hero'" (1943)
  • Cicely Disappears (1927)
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