Like many of you, I love old books. My house is bursting at the seams with ’em. (Although while I was ill, I did amuse myself by reaaranging the bookshelves according to genre, and in the process, weeded out about 60 books. Worryingly, you can’t see the gaps that this created. Possibly this has something to do with the Amazon order I placed round about the same time. Ahem.)

I’m always on the lookout for books from the 1930s-50s, light fiction, preferably with a touch of wit and charm. I have an especial fondness for classic whodunnits, but its not easy to find ones that I haven’t already got. So I was very happy to stumble upon Greyladies, a publisher who is reprinting books from the period, specialising in children’s books, adult novels written by childrens authors, and vintage crime. So far, I’ve read Death On Tiptoe, and Murder At The Flood, both of which were excellent (although the cover graphics of Murder At The Flood was a bit lurid and OTT, in my opinion). Next on the list is Murder While You Work, which is described as a creepy thriller from Noel Streatfeild.

You can read more about Greyladies here. I must say, so far, I do like the cut of their jib.

7 thoughts on “Greyladies

  1. Thanks for this link – looks like just my cup of tea. I’ve just ordered two books, including The Encircled Heart for a friend who runs a GP practice and loves war-era stories, so it should be perfect for her.

  2. Have you tried Persephone books? They reprint books from all of the twentieth century including authors such as Noel Streatfield,Dorothy Whipple,Marghanita Lanski.etc.

  3. I love whodunnits from the thirties and forties. My Grandmother had a summer house(now my parents’) and any book taken there was not allowed to leave, so it is full of books dating back to when it was built in 1927. The whole family tries for some time there together every year, and my sisters and I read them aloud to each other (The Sultan’s Slave is a must), and giggle as if we were still teenagers! Thanks for this link so we can add to our collection.

  4. Oooh, nice tip, thank you!
    Have you read any Thorne Swift? “Light fiction with a touch of wit and charm”… although perhaps a bit more purely bonkers rather than just witty. But lovely. There’s one about a bunch of statues of Roman gods coming to life, Venus is *extremely* saucy, and keeps dropping her robes. Naturally. She has no arms.

  5. I got PD James’ Talking About Detective Fiction for Christmas, devoured it, and started seeking out some of her recommendations.

    I now have the two books written by Prof Glyn Daniel, The Cambridge Murders and Welcome Death. I’ve read and enjoyed the first one. Set in 1939, it was written in 1945, and there are lots of references to the food people are eating; I think the Prof was thinking nostalgically about the pre-rationing lifestyle!

    Anyway, inside the book it says it was printed more or less on demand by an outfit called Back In Print Books ( and they want to hear from people if they know of other books which are out of print but for which there could be a demand.