Ernest Elmore

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Ernest Elmore
Born4 November 1901
Maidstone, Kent, England
Died8 November 1957 (aged 56)
Hastings, Sussex
Occupationnovelist, actor
GenreCrime fiction
SpouseMuriel Betty Sharp (1933–57; his death)

Ernest Carpenter Elmore (4 November, 1901 – 8 November, 1957) was an English theatre producer and director,[1] and writer of crime and fantasy novels. He wrote his crime novels under the pseudonym John Bude.[2]


Elmore was born in Maidstone, Kent in 1901. He attended Mill Hill School until 1919 as a boarder, and then studied at a secretarial college in Cheltenham, before becoming a games master at St Christopher School, Letchworth. While there he also assisted with the school's dramatic activities. His interest in dramatics led him to join the Lena Ashwell Players as stage manager, touring the country with the company. Much of Elmore's early writing took place in dressing rooms during his spare time.

In 1931 he is known to have been living in the village of Loose, Kent,[3] before returning to Maidstone, where he produced plays for the local dramatic society. There he also met his future wife Betty. They married in Maidstone in 1933 and moved to Beckley, Sussex, where he became a full-time writer. Together Elmore and his wife had a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Richard.

In December 2015, Elmore's photo appeared in The Times of London, along with a lengthy article detailing the success of reprints of his books.


Writing as John Bude, Elmore published thirty crime novels,[1] with Inspector William Meredith appearing in most of them. The first two, both of which were published in 1935, were The Lake District Murder and The Cornish Coast Murder, followed the next year by The Sussex Downs Murder. These three have since been reprinted by the British Library.[4] Elmore was a founder member of the Norfolk-based Crime Writers' Association in 1953.[1]

Straddling the crime novels were several works of humorous fantasy written under his own name, the most well-known being: The Steel Grubs (1928), This Siren Song (1930) (which features some MacGuffins), and The Lumpton Gobbelings (1954) (about an invasion of naked little people who scandalize the local villagers).[5] Including a children's book, Snuffly Snorty Dog (1946), Elmore wrote a total of seven books in his own name.[6]

Fellow British crime author Martin Edwards commented: "Bude writes both readably and entertainingly. His work may not have been stunning enough to belong with the greats, but there is a smoothness and accomplishment about even his first mystery, The Cornish Coast Murder, which you don't find in many début mysteries."[7]

Elmore died in Hastings, Sussex on 8 November 1957.[8]

List of publications[edit]

Writing as John Bude[9]
  • The Cornish Coast Murder (1935)
  • The Lake District Murder (1935)
  • The Sussex Downs Murder (1936)
  • The Cheltenham Square Murder (1937)
  • Loss of a Head (1938)
  • Hand on Alibi (1939)
  • Death on Paper (1940)
  • Death of a Cad (1940)
  • Slow Vengeance (1941)
  • Death Knows No Calendar (1942)
  • Death Deals a Double (1943)
  • Death in White Pyjamas (1944)
  • Death in Ambush (1945)
  • Trouble A-Brewing (1946)
  • Death Makes a Prophet (1947)
  • Dangerous Sunlight (1948)
  • Murder in Montparnasse (1949) – non-series thriller
  • A Glut of Red Herrings (1949)
  • Death Steals the Show (1950)
  • The Constable and the Lady (1951)
  • When the Case was Opened (1952)
  • Death on the Riviera (1952)
  • Twice Dead (1953)
  • So Much in the Dark (1954)
  • Two Ends to the Town (1955)
  • A Shift of Guilt (1956)
  • A Telegram from Le Touquet (1956)
  • Another Man's Shadow (1957)
  • A Twist of the Rope (1958)
  • The Night the Fog Came Down (1958)

Writing as Ernest Elmore[6]

  • The Steel Grubs (1928)
  • This Siren Song (1930)
  • The Baboon and The Fiddle (1932)
  • Green in Judgement (1939)
  • Snuffly Snorty Dog (1946)
  • Christmas at Gillybrook (1949)
  • The Lumpton Gobbelings (1954)


Audio book versions of The Lake District Murder, The South Downs Murder (originally The Sussex Downs Murder, 1936), and The Cornish Coast Murder were produced by Soundings Audio Books and narrated by Gordon Griffin.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "John Bude". University of Chicago Press. Archived from the original on 8 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-09.
  2. ^ SFE Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Retrieved 8 March 2014; ISFDB site Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  3. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries. New Series: 1931, Part 1 (Washington, DC: Library of Congress), p. 2054.
  4. ^ British Library Books Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  5. ^ SFE Retrieved 8 March 2014; ISFDB. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  6. ^ a b World Catalog
  7. ^ Martin Edwards's blog. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  8. ^ SFE....
  9. ^ Classic Crime Fiction
  10. ^ Gordon Griffin recordings list Retrieved 7 December 2015.

External links[edit]