Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The question was:

A Chinese American, and a Belgian as well as ten others are linked by a Central American Republic, an International Police Organization and a philatelic celebration.
Explain and identify the dozen?

There were five correct answers, well done, to this conundrum which was that:

In 1972 Nicaragua to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Interpol  issued a series of twelve stamps with images of great fictional detectives.

Charlie Chan- the Chinese American
Hercule Poirot- the most famous Belgian
Lord Peter Wimsey
Philip Marlowe
Sam Spade
Perry Mason
Nero Wolfe
Auguste Dupin
Ellery Queen
Father Brown
Sherlock Holmes
Inspector Maigret

These are all were male detectives and I am sure that some readers might be able to suggest six female detectives to even up the numbers in this more enlightened age. 
I wonder why they did not include Miss Marple? Or Mrs Bradley?


Blogger Kerrie said...

Who is Mrs Bradley Norman?

The list of stamps was almost the same as those in the cartonn that you can see at the bottom of my post at

4:07 AM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

And why is the Philip Marlowe stamp illustrated with a drawing based on a still of Fred McMurray in Double Indemnity?

4:37 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Kerrie: Mrs Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley; doctor of medicine and psychologist, consultant to the Home Office as well as private investigator. Her creator was Gladys Mitchell 1901-1983 who wrote 67 books featuring Mrs Bradley who at one time was regarded as one of the big three with Christie and Sayers and was an early member of the Detection Club.
An excellent British TV series [despite the casting] the Mrs Bradley Mysteries has obviously not reached Australia. In this Mrs Bradley described in the books as physically almost repulsive with shriveled skin is played by the gorgeous Diana Rigg.

Philip I suppose Fred McMurray must have played Marlowe in some other film??

5:35 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Not a very good image of Marlowe or Spade.

5:44 AM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

No, he didn't, Norman, but Chandler did get an Oscar nomination for his work on the screenplay of Double Indemnity -- he had a couple of co-writers, but the voice-over and much of the dialogue is pure Chandler. Perhaps someone vaguely aware of all this wound up making a dodgy assumption.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks for the explanation and the reminder, Philip.

I have just looked it up in my Chandler bible.
He received $750 a week to work on the screenplay of Double Indemnity [James M .Cain's book] with Billy Wilder and the other stars with MacMurray were Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson.

Chandler wrote:
I went to Hollywood in 1943 to work with Billy Wilder on Double Indemnity. This was an agonizing experience and has probably shortened my life; but I learned about as much about screen writing as I am capable which is not very much.

Typical Chandler.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

Typical indeed, Norman. For all that his contempt for Hollywood was understandable, he might have tried a little harder, in which case he might have been asked to collaborate on the screenplays of his own novels. Al Clark's Raymond Chandler in Hollywood is good on all this, as you may well know.

By the by, a little trivia, as I see Gladys Mitchell mentioned this day. The Great Gladys hailed from our mutual neck of the woods, Norman: she went to the Green School for Girls in Isleworth. I once had the idea she also taught there, but some reference I saw made me doubt that, though she certainly taught at schools in West Middlesex. She tended to get carried away at times, particularly in the supernatural realm, but at her best she was very entertaining. Casting Diana Rigg as Mrs Bradley was a trifle odd, but any opportunity to roll an eyeball over Dame D is welcome. In the crime realm, what I'd really like to see her in, once again, is a miniseries called Mother Love from 1989, an adaptation of a novel by Laura Black, with a screenplay better than the novel. Extraordinarily chilling, and funny with it.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I think I remember Mother Love, although I can't get the image of Diana Rigg in leather in The Avengers out of my head.
I haven't read Al Clark I have two books on Chandler one Raymond Chandler, a Literary Reference, which I have to admit I bought because it has an aerial photo of Dulwich College. I am still puzzling out how I managed to run round the outside of the school grounds during rugby training. I suppose it was almost 50 years and 20 kilograms ago. :o(

12:20 PM  
Blogger Kerrie said...

Yikes! I don't recall ever reading a Mrs Bradley - another 67 books to read :-(
How have they stood the test of time?

12:53 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Mrs Bradley did air in Australia. (I think it was on the ABC) In any case, I remember watching it with my parents, who enlightened me as to the finer points of Diana Riggs' previous career. I'm not sure my comments on the inaccuracy of her portrayal relative to the books was particularly welcome!

As for why not Miss Marple, I doubt they would have chosen two Christie characters, and Poirot seems more logical in that company. (Although I'm reluctant to label anyone fictional a country's most famous representative. I'm tempted to name Adolphe Sax, but am open to persuasion.)

1:24 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Kerrie i haven't actually read any Gladys Mitchell books, but did devour the TV series whose period setting with wonderful vintage cars was fun.

Lauren I stand corrected a fictional character can't be the most famous citizen of a country and Adolphe Sax would be a good choice or Tintin. On the other hand how about Don Quixote and Spain. ;o)

4:24 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home