The first in a new series of classic detective stories from the vaults of HarperCollins involves a blind man who stumbles across a murder. As he has not seen anything, the assassins let him go, but he finds it is impossible to walk away from murder.
"The Detective Story Club", launched by Collins in 1929, was a clearing house for the best and most ingenious crime stories of the age, chosen by a select committee of experts. Now, almost 90 years later, these books are the classics of the Golden Age, republished at last with the same popular cover designs that appealed to their original readers.
"By the purest of accidents the man who is blind accidentally comes on the scene of a murder. He cannot see what is happening but he can hear. He is seen by the assassins who, on discovering him to be blind, allow him to go without harming him. Soon afterwards he recovers his sight and later falls in love with a mysterious woman who is in some way involved in the crime.... The mystery deepens and only after a series of memorable thrills is the tangled skein unravelled."
Called Back by Hugh Conway, a pseudonym for Frederick John Fargus, was first published in 1883. It was a huge success, selling 350,000 copies in its first year, leading to a highly acclaimed stage play the following year. This new edition is introduced by novelist and crime writing expert, Martin Edwards, author of The Golden Age of Murder.
Hugh Conway aka Frederick John Fargus (1847-1885) was a Bristol auctioneer who found fame as a writer when his 1883 book Called Back sold an astonishing 350,000 copies and was the publishing sensation of the year, effectively reinventing the crime novel. Compared favourably to Wilkie Collins, he wrote the equally successful Called Back the following year, but died from typhoid in 1885 aged only 37, cutting short a promising writing career.