John Bude (1901-1957)
by Carol Westron
before his early death in 1957, aged fifty-six. Bude was a popular writer, although he never gained election to the Detection Club, he was invited by John Creasey to become one of the founder members of the Crime Writers Association in 1953.
Sadly, that is the first and last time the reader meets the Reverend Dodd. Bude had made his choice regarding protagonists and chose to focus on the police detective, although not Inspector Bigswell. Bude preferred to write about the routine of the police procedural, which reached its zenith in the meticulously crafted novels of Freeman Wills Croft, rather than overcome the inherent implausibility of an amateur detective continually becoming embroiled in murder investigations. At the end of The Cornish Coast Murder, Dodd is so distressed by the success of his real-life investigation that he abandons reading crime fiction and devotes himself to matters spiritual.
When reading Death on the Riviera, I did feel some confusion about Meredith’s rank. From being a Superintendent, he had become a Scotland Yard Detective Inspector. Was this because regional officers had to go into Scotland Yard at a lower rank? Had Meredith done something between 1937 and 1952 that merited demotion, in a book that I have not yet been able to read? Or was it author and editor error?