Friday, January 31, 2020

FFB: Patricia Moyes

 Patricia Moyes' series (from the archives)
I don't have adequate time to do Patricia Moyes justice, but when I think back to the various detective series I read in my twenties, one that stands out for me is Patricia Moyes' series of mysteries about Inspector Henry Tibbett, who solved many of his cases with the help of his wife, Emmy. I found their marriage as well as their cases fun.

Anthony Boucher wrote this in the NYT at the time of the first of the series, DEAD MEN DON'T SKI.

“If you’re as hungry as I am for a really good whodunit. you will welcome the debut of Patricia Moyes."

We may not be as hungry for whodunits as we were then, but they can still be very satisfying when done well. If I can count on my memory, these were.

The setting for that first book DEAD MEN DON'T SKI was the Italian Alps, where Henry Tibbett, on vacation from Scotland Yard. Henry and his wife. Emmy, have settled in for some skiing, when Henry uncovers a smuggling ring, which includes hotel guests.
Then a guest who was alive when the ski lift began its descent is found dead when the lift touches bottom.
Henry Tibbett, Chief Superintendent of Scotland Yard, gave me many hours of pleasure and I remember sadly the day when I learned of Moyes' death.

Here are the books in the series:

Dead Men Don't Ski (1958)
The Sunken Sailor (1961)
aka Down Among the Dead Men
Death On the Agenda (1962)
Murder a La Mode (1963)
Falling Star (1964)
Johnny Underground (1965)
Murder By Threes (1965)
Murder Fantastical (1967)
Death and the Dutch Uncle (1968)
Who Saw Her Die? (1970)
aka Many Deadly Returns
Season of Snows and Sins (1971)
The Curious Affair of the Third Dog (1973)
Black Widower (1975)
To Kill a Coconut (1977)
aka The Coconut Killings
Who Is Simon Warwick? (1978)
Angel Death (1980)
A Six Letter Word for Death (1983)
Night Ferry to Death (1985)
Black Girl, White Girl (1989)
Twice in a Blue Moon (1993)
Who Killed Father Christmas?: And Other Unseasonable Demises (1996)


Jeff Meyerson said...

I could not tell you why, but for whatever reason I have never read one of Moyes's series, other than (of course) the late collection of her short stories, which I enjoyed. I think it is too late to start, as I just don't read that kind of mystery these days. I remember seeing her several times at mystery conventions - probably Malice Domestic.

Margot Kinberg said...

Very glad to see that you spotlighted Moyes' work, Patti.I do like her Tibbtt series, and she was good at setting the scene. I think her work deserves more notice than it gets.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Truly forgotten. I think. But I don't often read this type either. Not sure why.

George said...

I've read a couple of Patricia Moyes's mysteries and enjoyed them. I have a few more of Moyes' books on my shelf so maybe they'll show up in future FFBs.

Jerry House said...

Like Jeff, I have not read any of her novels although I have a number of tehm lying around. Mea maxima culpa. I have to remedy that.

Rick Robinson said...

A real favorite! Two of the commenters above use the word "type" about her mysteries. If that means good, solid plots and storytelling, without grim, bloody occurrences on the page, that make you think or guess who the culprit is, in interesting settings, then why not read them? I absolutely love her books.

TracyK said...

I have read all of Moyes mysteries, and reread a couple since I started blogging. The most recent one that I reread was Johnny Underground, and it was very good. I need to fit more of her books into my reading this year.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I wonder if they're still at the library.