Anthony Gilbert (author)

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Anthony Gilbert, the pen name of Lucy Beatrice Malleson (15 February 1899 – 9 December 1973), was an English crime writer who was a cousin of actor-screenwriter Miles Malleson.[1][2] She also wrote nongenre fiction as Anne Meredith and published one crime novel and an autobiography (Three-a-Penny, 1940) under the Meredith name.

She published 69 crime novels, 51 of which featured her best-known character, Arthur Crook. Crook is a vulgar London lawyer totally (and deliberately) unlike the aristocratic detectives, such as Lord Peter Wimsey, who dominated the mystery field when Gilbert introduced him. Instead of dispassionately analyzing a case, he usually enters it after seemingly damning evidence has built up against his client, then conducts a no-holds-barred investigation of doubtful ethics to clear him or her. As fellow mystery author Michael Gilbert noted, "...he behaved in a way which befitted his name and would not have been approved by the Law Society."[3] The first Crook novel was published in 1936 and was immediately popular. The last Crook novel was published in 1974.

Her novel The Vanishing Corpse (1941) was adapted as the film They Met in the Dark (1943), and her novel The Woman in Red (not featuring Crook, 1941) was adapted as the film My Name Is Julia Ross. "You'll Be the Death of Me," an October 1963 episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, was adapted from Gilbert's short story "The Goldfish Button" in the February 1958 Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Her short stories "Door to a Different World" and "Fifty Years After" were Edgar Award nominees.


  1. ^ Malleson, Andrew (2012). Discovering the Family of Miles Malleson 1888 to 1969. Author. ISBN 9780969582625. 
  2. ^ Becker, Mary Helen (1989). "Anthony Gilbert". Dictionary of Literary Biography. 77: 122–27. 
  3. ^ Gilbert, Michael (12 December 1973). "Anthony Gilbert". Times of London.