R.A.J Walling

“R. A. J. Walling may well be called the dean of British mystery authors.”—Will Cuppy

The Late Unlamented “Gets going full speed with customary Tolefree aplomb, shrewdness, and bafflement.”—The Saturday Review
  Philip Tolefree returns from the war to the most baffling case of his career.
  The trouble began over money. Frederick Trivett, squire of Porthgover, wanted it; his beautiful wife Emily had it; their charming daughter, Margaret, was going to get it. The trouble came to a head with the influx of newcomers to the village. There were the Vanes, recluse widow and morose, tongue-tied son—both of obscure origin; the couple named Standish who seemed much better suited to big-city life than to a remote farm in the country; Dr. Colin Duncan, ostensibly there on the district's hush-hush project, but privately a man with an old score to settle; and Captain Andrew Collins, an uninvited guest with a habit of appearing and disappearing in a highly disconcerting fashion. Alive, Frederick Trivett was thoroughly disliked; dead, he was unlamented; murdered—but thereby hangs the tale.


The Corpse with the Eerie Eye Published in the United Kingdom as Castle-Dinas

“Beautiful structure of mystery and bafflement.”—The New York Times

  There was mystery rampant in Castle-Dinas, although Tolefree at first didn't recognize it. He thought he was there to straighten out a lovers’ quarrel—until the telephone rang at dinner that night and turned a gay and charming atmosphere into one resembling a wake. Mrs. Lowell returned to the table with her face strained beyond her well-carried years. Mr. Lowell retired dejectedly into a shell. And Katherine, their daughter, became tense and distraught.
  Later at Dr. Mapperley’s, a succession of peculiar sounds kept Tolefree on his feet most of the night—to the obvious dismay of Peter, the nautical butler. And then they found the corpse—the corpse with a vacant stare and pupils the size of a pin-point.

  Mr. Walling is noted not only for his excellent plots, but his subtle characterizations and portrayal of English country life. The picture of Castle-Dinas, situated on the rolling moors of Devonshire, and its leisurely way of life are pleasing highlights in this mystery from the pen of a master craftsman.”

“Intricately plotted and logically solved.”—The Saturday Review “English, equable and equitable.”—Kirkus


A Corpse by Any Other Name
November 2013
The name of Blenkinsop was new to Farrar. Summoned by a somewhat curious letter, he was going to Westport to meet a man he had neither seen nor heard of before.
  Tolefree had heard of Blenkinsop all right, but what he knew made the assignment even more mysterious. For it was surprising to know that the man was breathing the air of Westport, when by all accounts he had no business to be breathing any air at all. His letter said he was a survivor of S.S. Bridgend, torpedoed in the Atlantic, but so far as the Authorities in charge of that vessel were aware, she had been lost with all hands. Only two passengers escaped— and their names were Black and Perry.

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