Spoiler Warning

Is it still worth reading a whodunnit if you know… who done it?

Thanks to my guests Jim Noy of The Invisible Event and Kate Jackson of Cross Examining Crime. Jim is on Twitter @invisible_event and Kate is @ArmchairSleuth.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Shedunnit Pledge Drive, we did it! You can still join the Shedunnit Book Club if you’d like of course — and I’ll keep the discounted gift offer valid through until the end of the year — but the threshold is already met and there will be more regular episodes coming in 2021.

NB: Despite the title, there are no major spoilers in this episode. However, there is some structural discussion of the books listed below.

Books and sources:
Antidote to Venom by Freeman Wills Crofts
The Julius Caesar Murder Case by Wallace Irwin
Post Mortem by Guy Cullingford
Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

Please note that some of the links here are affiliate links — if you buy from an independent bookshop via bookshop.org the sale price remains the same but the podcast receives a small commission.

Thanks to today’s sponsor, Dear Holmes, a mail-based Victorian mystery game in which you can pit your wits against Sherlock Holmes. Get $5 off your first order by visiting dearholmes.com and use code Shedunnit at checkout.

To be the first to know about future developments with the podcast, sign up for the newsletter at shedunnitshow.com/newsletter.

The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram as @ShedunnitShow, and you can find it in all major podcast apps. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the next episode. Click here to do that now in your app of choice.

Find a full transcript of this episode at shedunnitshow.com/spoilerwarningtranscript.

Music by Audioblocks and Blue Dot Sessions. See shedunnitshow.com/musiccredits for more details.

Download the mp3 of this episode here

Death Sets Sail On The Nile

To get to the bottom of why the Nile is a murder mystery location that has bewitched readers for decades, I decided to talk to an author who has just published an Egypt based whodunnit: Robin Stevens. We talk about how she finalised the plot of Death Sets Sail  while on a Nile cruise, what it was about 1930s Egypt that held such a fascination for white British writers,  and why the boat in Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile is a character in its own right.

NB: There is some discussion of the plot of both Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie and Death Sets Sail by Robin Stevens in this episode, but no major plot points are revealed.

You can follow Robin on Twitter and Instagram @redbreastedbird. Her latest novel is Death Sets Sail and there are eight others in the Murder Most Unladylike series, plus a book of short stories coming in 2021. To keep up to date with her forthcoming work, see her website robin-stevens.co.uk.

The Shedunnit Pledge Drive is still underway, and we’re now over ninety per cent of the way to hitting the target already. If I can add a total of 100 new members to the Shedunnit Book Club by the end of 2020, I can start releasing episodes (like this one!) more regularly and expanding what the podcast covers. If you’d like to be part of that and feel able to offer some support, please visit shedunnitbookclub/pledgedrive.

To be the first to know about future developments with the podcast, sign up for the newsletter at shedunnitshow.com/newsletter. You can contact me with ideas for future episodes on caroline @ shedunnitshow.com

The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram as @ShedunnitShow, and you can find it in all major podcast apps. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the next episode. Click here to do that now in your app of choice.

Find a full transcript of this episode at shedunnitshow.com/niletranscript.

Music by Audioblocks. See shedunnitshow.com/musiccredits for more details.

Download the mp3 of this episode here

Peace At Last



The day the First World War ended, 11 November 1918, marked the beginning of a new era in which detective fiction would flourish. How did Britain go from “peace at last” to “whodunnit”?

Thanks to my guest (and husband) Guy Cuthbertson. His book about Armistice Day is Peace At Last and he’s on Twitter as @guywjc.

The Shedunnit Pledge Drive is still underway, and we’re over two thirds of the way to hitting the target already. If I can add 100 new members to the Shedunnit Book Club by the end of 2020, I can start releasing episodes more regularly and expanding what the podcast covers. If you’d like to be part of that and feel able to offer some support, please visit shedunnitshow.com/pledgedrive.

Books and sources:
Peace At Last by Guy Cuthbertson
Forever England: Femininity, Literature and Conservatism Between the Wars by Alison Light
An Autobiography by Agatha Christie
The Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha Christie
“The Affair at the Victory Ball” by Agatha Christie, collected in Poirot’s Early Cases
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers

Thanks to today’s sponsor, Dear Holmes, a mail-based Victorian mystery game in which you can pit your wits against Sherlock Holmes. Get $5 off your first order by visiting dearholmes.com and use code Shedunnit at checkout.

To be the first to know about future developments with the podcast, sign up for the newsletter at shedunnitshow.com/newsletter.

The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram as @ShedunnitShow, and you can find it in all major podcast apps. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the next episode. Click here to do that now in your app of choice.

Find a full transcript of this episode at shedunnitshow.com/peaceatlasttranscript.

Music by Audioblocks and Blue Dot Sessions. See shedunnitshow.com/musiccredits for more details.

Download the mp3 of this episode here

50. The Butler Did It

Snobbery and murder, all served up perfectly for you on a silver tray.

This episode marks the start of the Shedunnit Pledge Drive! If I can add 100 new members to the Shedunnit Book Club by the end of 2020, I can start releasing episodes more regularly and expanding what the podcast covers. If you’d like to be part of that and feel able to offer some support, please visit shedunnitshow.com/pledgedrive.

NB: There are spoilers in this episode! Please check the list of books mentioned below and come back later if there are any titles there for which you don’t want to hear any major plot details. Consider yourself warned!

Books and sources:
The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rineheart
The Door by Mary Roberts Rineheart
20 Rules for Writing Detective Stories by S.S. Van Dine
“The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual” by Arthur Conan Doyle
“The Strange Case of Mr Challoner” by Herbert Jenkins
Something Fishy or The Butler Did It by P.G. Wodehouse
“Why do we think the butler did it?” by Nate Pederson in the Guardian
“Should we be concerned by the limitless popularity of period dramas?” by Caroline Crampton in the New Humanist
“Historians, Social Scientists, Servants, and Domestic Workers: Fifty Years of Research on Domestic and Care Work”, International Review of Social History, Volume 59, Issue 2, August 2014 , pp. 279-314
Snobbery with Violence by Colin Watson
Death and the Dancing Footman by Ngaio Marsh
The Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha Christie
Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie
Black Coffee by Agatha Christie
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
Why Shoot a Butler? by Georgette Heyer
Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers
A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie

Thanks to today’s sponsor, The Listener, the daily podcast newsletter that I write, which will help you discover better podcasts. Get 20% off your first year when you sign up for an annual subscription. Visit thelistener.co/shedunnit and use code Shedunnit20 at checkout.

To be the first to know about future developments with the podcast, sign up for the newsletter at shedunnitshow.com/newsletter.

The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram as @ShedunnitShow, and you can find it in all major podcast apps. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the next episode. Click here to do that now in your app of choice.

Find a full transcript of this episode at shedunnitshow.com/thebutlerdidittranscript.

Music by Audioblocks and Blue Dot Sessions. See shedunnitshow.com/musiccredits for more details.

Download the mp3 of this episode here

49. The Psychology of Anthony Berkeley

He was one of the most influential crime novelists of the 1920s and 1930s, but has languished somewhat in obscurity since. A troubled, dark, incredibly innovative writer: to really get to know Anthony Berkeley, you need to dive deeply into his fiction.

Thanks to my guest Martin Edwards. His latest novel is Mortmain Hall and he’s on Twitter as @medwardsbooks.

Become a member of the Shedunnit Book Club and get bonus audio, listen to ad free episodes and join a book-loving community at shedunnitshow.com/bookclub.

Books and sources:
Elusion Aforethought: The Life and Writing of Anthony Berkeley Cox by Malcolm Turnbull
As For The Woman by Francis Iles
The Layton Court Mystery
by Anthony Berkeley
The Secret of Chimneys
by Agatha Christie
Whose Body?
by Dorothy L. Sayers
Clouds of Witness
by Dorothy L. Sayers
The Wychford Poisoning Case
by Anthony Berkeley
The Florence Maybrick episodes of this podcast
The Golden Age of Murder
by Martin Edwards
The Edith Thompson episode of this podcast
Roger Sheringham and the Vane Mystery
by Anthony Berkeley
Messalina of the Suburbs 
by E.M. Delafield
The Diary of a Provincial Lady
by E. M. Delafield
The Silk Stocking Murders
by Anthony Berkeley
The Poisoned Chocolates Case
by Anthony Berkeley
Murder in the Basement
by Anthony Berkeley
The Hunting Party
by Lucy Foley
The Detection Club episode of this podcast, featuring Martin Edwards
Malice Aforethought
by Francis Iles
Before the Fact
by Francis Iles

Thanks to today’s sponsor, Best Fiends. You can download Best Fiends free on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

To be the first to know about future developments with the podcast, sign up for the newsletter at shedunnitshow.com/newsletter.

The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram as @ShedunnitShow, and you can find it in all major podcast apps. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the next episode. Click here to do that now in your app of choice.

Find a full transcript of this episode at shedunnitshow.com/anthonyberkeleytranscript.

Music by Audioblocks and Blue Dot Sessions. See shedunnitshow.com/musiccredits for more details.

Download the mp3 of this episode here

48. The Telephone Call

Why has the murder of Julia Wallace on the night of 20 January 1931 haunted detective novelists for decades? Well, it all comes back to the telephone call.

Become a member of the Shedunnit Book Club and get bonus audio, listen to ad free episodes and join a book-loving community at shedunnitshow.com/bookclub.

Books and sources:
The Nurse Daniels episode of this podcast
The Documents in the Case by Dorothy L. Sayers and Robert Eustace
The Edith Thompson episode of this podcast
The Scoop by Members of the Detection Club
The Anatomy of Murder by Members of the Detection Club
“The Compassionate Machine” by Margery Allingham, collected in Truly Criminal: A Crime Writers’ Association Anthology of True Crime edited by Martin Edwards
Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers
Skin for Skin by Winnifred Duke
Vegetable Duck by John Rhode
The Telephone Call by John Rhode
“Absolutely Elsewhere” by Dorothy L. Sayers, collected in In the Teeth of the Evidence
Personal Call by Agatha Christie
P.D. James on the Wallace case in 2013
The Skull Beneath The Skin by P.D. James
The Murder Room by P.D. James
The Trial of William Herbert Wallace by W.F. Wyndham Brown
Wallace: The Final Verdict by Roger Wilkes
The Killing of Julia Wallace by Jonathan Goodman

Thanks to my sponsor for this episode, BetterHelp. Visit betterhelp.com/shedunnit for 10% off your first month of professional online counselling.

To be the first to know about future developments with the podcast, sign up for the newsletter at shedunnitshow.com/newsletter.

The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram as @ShedunnitShow, and you can find it in all major podcast apps. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the next episode. Click here to do that now in your app of choice.

Find a full transcript of this episode at shedunnitshow.com/thetelephonecalltranscript.

Music by Audioblocks and Blue Dot Sessions. See shedunnitshow.com/musiccredits for more details.

Download the mp3 of this episode here

47. Locked Room

A body is found in a sealed chamber, definitely murdered, but there is no way the culprit can have got in or out. How was it done?

Special thanks to my guest Jim Noy. He writes about detective fiction at theinvisibleevent.com, makes a podcast called In GAD We Trust, and once compiled a useful list of his 15 favourite impossible crime novels.

Become a member of the Shedunnit Book Club and get bonus audio, listen to ad free episodes and join a book-loving community at shedunnitshow.com/bookclub.

Books and sources:
The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe (actually published in 1841, not 1843 as I wrongly say in the episode)
A Master of Mysteries by L.T. Meade and Robert Eustace
The Documents in the Case by Dorothy L. Sayers and Robert Eustace
“The Adventure of the Speckled Band” in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill
The Great Thinking Machine: “The Problem of Cell 13” and Other Stories by Jacques Futrelle
The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace
“The Invisible Man” by G.K. Chesterton
“The Round Room Horror” by A. Demain Grange, available in Ye Olde Book of Locked Room Conundrums edited by Jim Noy
Hag’s Nook by John Dickson Carr
The Plague Court Murders by Carter Dickson
The Problem of the Green Capsule by John Dickson Carr
The Problem of the Wire Cage by John Dickson Carr
Green for Danger by Christianna Brand
Tour de Force by Christianna Brand
Death of Jezebel by Christianna Brand
The French Powder Mystery by Ellery Queen
The Crooked Wreath / Suddenly at His Residence by Christianna Brand
Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
The House That Kills by Noel Vindry
La Treizieme balle by Marcel Lanteaume
Six crimes sans assassin by Pierre Boileau
The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux
The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo
Invisible Green by John Sladek
Black Aura by John Sladek
The Case of the Little Green Men by Mack Reynolds
Puzzles Of The Black Widowers by Isaac Asimov
Asimov’s Mysteries by Isaac Asimov
The Real Town Murders by Adam Roberts
Goodnight Irene by James Scott Byrnside
The Opening Night Murders by James Scott Byrnside

Thanks to my sponsor for this episode, BetterHelp. Visit betterhelp.com/shedunnit for 10% off your first month of professional online counselling.

To be the first to know about future developments with the podcast, sign up for the newsletter at shedunnitshow.com/newsletter.

The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram as @ShedunnitShow, and you can find it in all major podcast apps. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the next episode. Click here to do that now in your app of choice.

Find a full transcript of this episode at shedunnitshow.com/lockedroomtranscript.

Music by Audioblocks and Blue Dot Sessions. See shedunnitshow.com/musiccredits for more details.

Download the mp3 of this episode here.

46. The Lifelong Fan

Renée read her first detective novel in the 1930s. She hasn’t stopped since.

Special thanks to my guest Renée. Her first crime novel is The Wild Card.

Become a member of the Shedunnit Book Club and get bonus audio, listen to ad free episodes and join a book-loving community at shedunnitshow.com/bookclub.

Books and sources:
These Two Hands by Renée
Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
Wednesday to come by Renée
Setting the table by Renée
An interview with Renée from 2017 on RNZ

Thanks to today’s sponsor, Sun Basket. Visit sunbasket.com/shedunnit and enter promo code shedunnit at checkout for $35 off your order.

To be the first to know about future developments with the podcast, sign up for the newsletter at shedunnitshow.com/newsletter.

The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram as @ShedunnitShow, and you can find it in all major podcast apps. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the next episode. Click here to do that now in your app of choice.

Find a full transcript of this episode at shedunnitshow.com/lifelongfantranscript.

Music by Audioblocks and Blue Dot Sessions. See shedunnitshow.com/musiccredits for more details.

Download the mp3 of this episode here.

45. The Detection Club

It started with dinner and ended with a group of crime writers swearing an oath on a skull.

Special thanks to my guest Martin Edwards. His latest novel is Mortmain Hall and he’s on Twitter as @medwardsbooks.

Become a member of the Shedunnit Book Club and get bonus audio, listen to ad free episodes and join a book-loving community at shedunnitshow.com/bookclub.

Books and sources:
The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards
The Complete Father Brown Mysteries by G.K. Chesterton
Conan Doyle and the Crimes Club by Stephen Wade
The Scoop and Behind the Screen by Members of the Detection Club
The Floating Admiral by Members of the Detection Club
Ask a Policeman by Members of the Detection Club
Martin Edwards’s website
Mortmain Hall by Martin Edwards
Gallows Court by Martin Edwards
The Sinking Admiral by Members of the Detection Club
The Anatomy of Murder by Members of the Detection Club
Howdunit by Members of the Detection Club

Thanks to my sponsors for this episode, BetterHelp and Care/Of.
—Visit betterhelp.com/shedunnit for 10% off your first month of professional online counselling
—For 50% off your first personalised Care/of vitamins order, go to TakeCareOf.com and enter code shedunnit50

To be the first to know about future developments with the podcast, sign up for the newsletter at shedunnitshow.com/newsletter.

The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram as @ShedunnitShow, and you can find it in all major podcast apps. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the next episode. Click here to do that now in your app of choice.

Find a full transcript of this episode at shedunnitshow.com/detectionclubtranscript.

Music by Audioblocks and Blue Dot Sessions. See shedunnitshow.com/musiccredits for more details.

Download the mp3 of this episode here.

44. A Room of One’s Own

If a woman needs a room of her own and £500 a year to write fiction, what does she need in order to write crime fiction?

Special thanks to my guest Francesca Wade. Her book is Square Haunting: Five Women, Freedom and London Between the Wars. She’s on Twitter @francescawade.

Become a member of the Shedunnit Book Club and get bonus audio, listen to ad free episodes and join a book-loving community at shedunnitshow.com/bookclub.

Books and sources:
Square Haunting: Five Women, Freedom and London Between the Wars by Francesca Wade
A Room of One’s Own
by Virginia Woolf
Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
Between the Acts by Virginia Woolf
Mutual Admiration Society by Mo Moulton
Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul 
by Barbara Reynolds
Gaudy Night 
by Dorothy L. Sayers
Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?
by Katrine Marcal
Are Women Human?: Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society
by Dorothy L. Sayers
In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens
by Alice Walker
Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
by Phyllis Wheatley

Thanks to today’s sponsor, Sun Basket. Visit sunbasket.com/shedunnit and enter promo code shedunnit at checkout for $35 off your order.

To be the first to know about future developments with the podcast, sign up for the newsletter at shedunnitshow.com/newsletter.

The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram as @ShedunnitShow, and you can find it in all major podcast apps. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the next episode. Click here to do that now in your app of choice.

Find a full transcript of this episode at shedunnitshow.com/aroomtranscript.

Music by Audioblocks and Blue Dot Sessions. See shedunnitshow.com/musiccredits for more details.

Download the mp3 of this episode here.