William F. Deeck

MARJORIE ALAN – Dark Prophecy. M.S. Mill, hardcover, 1945. Hardcover reprint: Detective Book Club, 3-in-1 edition, December 1945. Originally published in the UK as Masked Murder (Hale, hc, 1945).

   Chapter 1:   “Of course, Valerie thought, as she laid it [the letter] down, she wouldn’t go.”

   Chapter 2:   “Directly she got into the train at Paddington she knew that she ought not to go to Wayfarers. Knew in a clear, definite premonitory flash, as unmistakably as though someone had spoken the words…”

   Had I but known, I wouldn’t have begun the book. But unlike our heroine, I at least was wise enough not to undertake this perilous journey.

— From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 11, No. 4, Fall 1989.

       Bibliography:     [Adapted from the Revised Crime Fiction IV, by Allen J. Hubin.]

MARJORIE ALAN.   Pseudonym of Doris Marjorie Bumpus, 1905- .

    Masked Murder. Hale 1945. US edition: Dark Prophecy, Mill 1945.
    Murder in November. Hale 1946. US edition: Rue the Day, Mill 1946.
    Murder Next Door. Hale 1950.
    The Ivory Locket. Hale 1951.


    Murder at Puck’s Cottage. Hale 1951.
    Dark Legacy. Hale 1953.
    Murder Looks Back. Hale 1955.
    Murder in a Maze. Hale 1956.

Editorial Comments:   This is essentially all I have learned about the author. One online source adds a birthplace (in England), but no one seems to have even a year of death for her.

    Confession time. I have not been posting all of Bill Deeck’s fanzine reviews I come across, generally choosing not to use any that are as short and dismissive as this one is. I’ve made an exception this time. Even though it’s short and dismissive, it’s also one (in my opinion) that gives a honest description and evaluation of the book.

    If you can’t get an idea of what the novel’s about in these 150 words or so, and whether you’d like it or not, I don’t think another thousand would help. You be the judge!