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Castorboy

J I M Stewart

University life and detective stories go together.
The latest popular example would be Colin Dexter and his Inspector Morse series set around the Oxford area (although I still follow the heroines of the Veronica Stallwood and Victoria Blake novels).
Dexter is following in the path blazed by J I M Stewart, who under the pseudonym of Michael Innes, had been writing classic detective stories since 1936.
Perhaps a brief biography of John Innes Macintosh Stewart would be helpful.
He was born in Edinburgh in 1906 and went to Edinburgh Academy and Oriel College Oxford.
Then he became a lecturer in English at the University of Leeds from 1930 to 1935.
For the following ten years he was Jury Professor of English at Adelaide University.
From there he went to Belfast for two years and finished his academic life at Christ Church Oxford as Professor of English Literature.
With such a background, most of his books have a great deal of literary allusions which add an extra interest to both the straight-out novels and the Innes stories.
If you are not sure if his style would appeal to you, why not try one of the Stewart volumes of short stories?
I can recommend Cucumber Sandwiches as a starter (excuse the pun) which comprises three short stories and a novella.
The title story begins in an Oxford college after dinner…….
TheRejectAmidHair

Thanks for that - I think I might give those short stories a try over Christmas. I just realised, by the way, thatthe Penguin edition I have of Vanity Fair is edited by J.I.M. Stewart. I have heard of Michael Innes, but hadn't realised that was J.I.M. Stewart's pen-name.
Castorboy

but hadn't realised that was J.I.M. Stewart's pen-name. Snap! And I hadn't realised that Stewart reviewed books as I left the UK in 1966.
I assume his collected reviews have been published?

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