The Detective Fiction of Henry Wade

“This is a detective story for connoisseurs, for those who value clear thinking and good writing above mere ingenuity and easy thrills.”

Times Literary Supplement, 29th September 1932

“Mr. Wade can always be trusted to produce a workmanlike tale, and here he preserves that admirable balance between the genuine interest aroused by his characters and the lure of his jigsaw puzzle which he showed in (never had author less reason so to warn his publisher!) Constable, Guard Thyself.”

– Torquemada, Observer, 4th October 1936

It is a great pity that Henry Wade should be lumped with the humdrum journeyman Freeman Wills Crofts, for there is very little of the humdrum about him.  True, his two series detectives, John Poole and PC Bragg, are professional policemen who go about their work in a methodical manner, but there is genuine intellectual excitement in following a Wade plot, for he has a fine gift for handling evidence and alibis and manages to throw in a twist or two even into the seemingly most simple of tales (e.g. Heir Presumptive).  His strengths are more than good detection, however, for his characterisation is superb, allowing him to step inside his characters’ heads and to depict grief, jealousy, loveless marriages and intense guilt with the touch of a novelist.


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These pages copyright Nicholas Lester Fuller, 2001--2002. Created 6th December 2004.