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Ebook Before the Fact by Francis Iles read! Book Title: Before the Fact
The size of the: 17.46 MB
Edition: Pocket Book
Date of issue: April 1947
ISBN: No data
The author of the book: Francis Iles
Language: English
Format files: PDF
ISBN 13: No data

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This crime classic is the basis of the Hitchcock masterpiece "Suspicion" and in this case the movie was definitely better than the book.

Lina McLaidlaw a plain spinster approaching 30 recklessly marries the charming Johnny Asygarth even though she suspects he is just marrying her for her money. Johnny's aristocratic family has fallen on bad times due to the spendthrift nature of his father and all the boys in his family seem to have taken after the old man. Johnny is dashing, charming and popular but is he also a murderer? Johnny has bad habits that require a steady flow of income and when reckless betting on the horses get him in big trouble will his new wife bail him out or will he have to resort to more extreme measures? The answer to that question makes for a very disturbing outcome to this classic novel.

This was a very enjoyable book to read and I kept turning the pages to find out what happens next. The book poses the question are some people born to be murderers and are some people born murderees?
The author delves into the psychology of both Lina and Johnny which I found very fascinating. I would definitely recommend this book but the sanitized movie version might be more appealing to some.

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Ebook Before the Fact read Online! Francis Iles is a pseudonym of Anthony Berkeley Cox who also wrote under the pseudonyms Anthony Berkeley and A Monmouth Platts.

Cox was born in Watford and was educated at Sherborne School and University College London.

He served in the Army in World War I and thereafter worked as a journalist, contributing s series of humourous sketches to the magazine 'Punch'. These were later published collectively (1925) under the Anthony Berkeley pseudonym as 'Jugged Journalism' and the book was followed by a series of minor comic novels such as 'Brenda Entertains' (1925), 'The Family Witch' (1925) and 'The Professor on Paws' (1926).

It was also in 1925 when he published, anonymously to begin with, his first detective novel, 'The Layton Court Mystery', which was apparently written for the amusement of himself and his father, who was a big fan of the mystery genre. Later editions of the book had the author as Anthony Berkeley.

He discovered that the financial rewards were far better for detective fiction so he concentrated his efforts on that genre for the following 14 years, using mainly the Anthony Berkeley pseudonym but also writing four novels and three collections of short stories as Francis Isles and one novel as A Monmouth Platts.

In 1928 he founded the famous Detection Club in London and became its first honorary secretary.

In the mid-1930s he began reviewing novels, both mystery and non-mystery, for 'The Daily Telegraph' under the Francis Isles pseudonym, which he had first used for 'Malice Aforethought' in 1931.

In 1939 he gave up writing detective fiction for no apparent reason although it has been suggested that he came into a large inheritance at the time or that his alleged remark, 'When I find something that pays better than detective stories I shall write that' had some relevance. However, he produced nothing significant after he finished writing with 'Death in the House' (Berkeley) and 'As for the Woman' (Isles) in 1939.

He did, however, continue to review books for such as 'John O'London's Weekly', 'The Sunday Times', 'The Daily Telegraph' and, from the mid-1950s to 1970, 'The Guardian'. In addition he produced 'O England!', a study of social conditions and politics in 1934.

He and his wife lived in an old house in St John's Wood, London, and he had an office in The Strand where he was listed as one of the two directors of A B Cox Ltd, a company whose business was unspecified!

Alfred Hitchcock adapted the Francis Isles' title 'Before the Fact' for his film 'Suspicion' in 1941 and in the same year Cox supplied a script for another film 'Flight from Destiny', which was produced by Warner Brothers.

His most enduring character is Roger Sheringham who featured in 10 Anthony Berkeley novels and two posthumous collections of short stories.

He died on 9 March 1971.

Gerry Wolstenholme
January 2012


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