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Max Afford Locked Room


max ThelmaMalcolm “Max” Afford (Born in Adelaide 1906, died in Sydney 1954) was an Australian playwright and novelist. After winning the centenary competition in Adelaide, he moved to Sydney in 1936, on contract to the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) as a playwright and producer in the Federal Productions Department. Max married Thelma Thomas in 1938 in Sydney. Thelma, a costume designer, was originally from Broken Hill, and had moved to Sydney to design the costumes for the New South Wales sesqui-centenary pageant. Max and Thelma did not have children. Afford died of cancer in November 1954 at Mosman, Sydney, and was cremated. Thelma Afford survived him until 1996.

Edited from Wikipedia

Note: Only ‘The Owl of Darkness’ has been reviewed in this newly re-released series. Will add Best Reviews and Locked Room Reviews as possible, but these are all good solid four star reads from an almost forgotten locked room master!


Max Afford Locked Room Novels


blood hands MABlood On His Hands! (1936)
Detectives: Jeffrey Blackburn & Inspector Read

 

No Reviews

Available only in paperback edition.

Book  Amazon.ca

Note: Introducing Read & Blackburn!

Chief Inspector William Read, now working for the police department in Victoria, Australia, once again enlists the help of his old friend, freelance sleuth Jeffery Blackburn, to help him solve the grisly murder of High Court Judge Sir Merton Tenison Sheldon, in Melbourne. Sheldon’s murder involves a classic locked room puzzle. As if this weren’t enough challenge for Read and Blackburn, the murderer is a crafty and shifty figure who taunts the two detectives by committing even more grisly crimes.


Dead BlindThe Dead Are Blind (1937) 
Detectives: Jeffrey Blackburn & Inspector Read

 

No Reviews

Available only in paperback edition.

Book  Amazon.ca

Note: Murder on radio!

In the 40s radio was the medium for news and entertainment and it’s no surprise that many mystery authors used the radio studio as the ideal place for murder and mayhem, such as Norman Berrow’s 1946 thriller, Words Have Wings. But nine years earlier, an Australian author who really knew radio wrote this locked room masterpiece, featuring his favorite amateur sleuth, Jeffery Blackburn and the laconic Inspector Read. The two go “backstage” at the radio studio to see how a radio play is presented and while Darkness in Danger is being broadcast, murder makes its on-air debut. The Dead Are Blind is a treat for all who remember the golden days of radio and who enjoy a rollicking good mystery.


Deaths MannikinsDeath’s Mannikins (1937)
Detectives: Jeffrey Blackburn & Inspector Read

 

No Reviews

Available only in paperback edition.

Book  Amazon.ca

Note: Deadly dolls?

Freelance sleuth Jeffery Blackburn is called by his friend Rollo Morgan when there is a strange death at Rochester House, mansion of occult scholar Cornelius Rochester. Blackburn learns of a set of mannikins made up to resemble all of the members of the family and when the little dolls start showing up in the wrong places, the big people start dying! When Chief Inspector Read is called and gets together with Blackburn everyone gets paranoid and rightfully so. It’s an impossible mystery that only Australian Max Afford could unravel.


owl darknessFly By Night
AKA: The Owl of Darkness 
Detectives: Jeffrey Blackburn & Inspector Read

Best Review
****

Available only in paperback edition.

Book  Amazon.ca

Note: The Nefarious Owl!

A series of daring jewel thefts, each preceded by a written warning. . . The discovery of a new formula for a chemical able to replace petrol at a fraction of the cost. Then another warning threatening the theft of that formula by a mysterious criminal who wear a billowing costume and a sinister bird-like mask. . . Then the bodies start piling up! The public are suddenly aware of the nefarious nocturnal crimes of the Owl, who seems to be able to appear and vanish at will in the mansions of the wealthy. Chief Inspector William Read of New Scotland Yard conscripts freelance sleuth Jeffery Blackburn to assist him in tackling this eerie mystery. There are suspects aplenty in the home of wealthy baronet Atherton-Wayne. Can Read and Blackburn clip the wings of the Owl before it’s too late?


Max Afford Locked Room Short Stories


2 LR MAPoison Can Be Puzzling
Detective: Jeffrey Blackburn & Chief Inspector Read

Collection: Two Locked Room Mysteries and a Ripping Yarn

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Note: No movie night?

Jeffrey and Elizabeth Blackburn are pulled away from a evening out at the cinema when Chief Inspector Read reveals a plot to murder a crooked financier. This collection also includes the non-series’ The Happy Couple’ and a sci-fi entry ‘The Gland Men of The Island’.


2 LR MAThe Vanishing Trick
Detective: Jeffrey Blackburn & Chief Inspector Read

Collection:  Two Locked Room Mysteries and a Ripping Yarn

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Note: Another Blackburn adventure!

Based on an earlier Afford radio play, another of the adventures of Elizabeth and Jeffrey Blackburn. This collection also includes the non-series’ The Happy Couple’ and a sci-fi entry ‘The Gland Men of The Island’.


Max Afford bibliography


Locked Room 101: The Masters


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