Anthony Berkeley was the pseudonym of Anthony Berkeley Cox (A.B. Cox), who also wrote as
Francis Iles and A. Monmouth Platts. Born in Watford, England, on 5 July 1893, Cox was educated
initially at Sherbourne School before attending University College London.
His first novel, The Layton Court Mystery, was published, ironically for someone
with three pseudonyms, anonymously in 1925 by Herbert Jenkins. The book saw the debut of his main
series character, Roger Sheringham, an amateur sleuth. His second character, Ambrose Chitterwick,
featured in only three novels.
Arguably, Berkeley's greatest novel was written as Francis Iles and was the first of three novels under that name. Malice Aforethought, published in 1931, is a masterpiece of golden age crime fiction. Despite knowing the identity of the killer from the outset the reader is held from start to finish, and it rightly secured Berkeley's place as a leading light in the genre.
Only one book was written as A Monmouth Platts, Cicely Disappears, which was published in 1927 and benefits from a particularly attractive dust wrapper. In the same year, Mr. Priestly's Problem was also published, this time under the name AB Cox. Berkeley also collaborated with fellow members of the Detection Club on The Floating Admiral and Ask a Policeman.
Berkeley was undeniably a key figure in the development of crime fiction, and as such, remains of great interest and importance today.
© R.D. Collins 2004
Anthony Berkeley Bibliography
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