George Bellairs (1902-1982)
by Carol Westron
If we are being rigid about dates, George Bellairs just misses being classified as a Golden Age author. His first mystery, Littlejohn on Leave, was written in 1941, to help alleviate the tedium of nights spent at his
air-raid warden’s post. However Bellairs’ books are whodunnits with the ambience and charm of the classic Golden Age police procedural and, in my opinion, they should be considered as part of that body of work.
folklore of the Isle of Man, but this is even more obvious in the loving descriptions of the island and its inhabitants in the Littlejohn books set there.
loving correspondence with him when he was away from home. Cromwell looked at Fothergill’s dirty tobacco-stained fingers with their cruel nails, and felt like socking the postman on the jaw for daring to handle
Castle, with its one-handed Elizabethan clock, grassy, filled in moat, sundial and palm trees. The surrounding town houses of past gentility filled two sides of the square, in different colours and styles, still elegant in their shabby way, with a monstrous modern shop-front defacing the facade of one of them, which, until the outrage, must have been a little gem of its kind. The whole setting, the streets, the square , the river, the port and the people standing around reminded you of the first act of a Verdi opera.’ (Half-Mast For The Deemster, 1953.)
The Fragility of Poppies