Lynn Brock – ‘Q. E. D.’ (1930)

Dustwrapper of 1st UK edition (later 3/6 pricing)

Collecting the books of Lynn Brock, one of the lesser-known authors of the golden age of detective fiction, can prove to be a difficult business for the reader aspiring to discover for themselves whether the cases of Colonel Wyckham Gore rate as highly as those of Dr Lancelot Priestley or Sir Clinton Driffield, who first appearances occurred at about the same time. Not only were they all, after the first two, published under different titles in the US, but they were also republished in the following years under different titles in the UK, leading to much confusion for the reader wishing to complete their collection. Even authoritative sources like the British Library Online Catalogue can seem bewildering to anyone unfamiliar with these facts but fortunately the number of online sites which can now be used as an aid to guide one through these confusions has increased dramatically over recent times.

Title page of 1st UK edition

For some readers, the problems do not end there. One reviewer has remarked rather unflatteringly on Brock’s writing, calling his efforts, in a review of his 1939 book Fourfingers, overly complex, devoid of characterisation and humourless. His writing style is certainly dense, closer to H.C. Bailey and similar authors than the likes of Rhode, but never so clunky that is becomes difficult to follow. It is also true that his books tend to be complex affairs and this one is no exception, though in this case that does not make the plot impenetrable and there is never a time when the narrative breaks down under the weight of the information being related. Of a slightly more worrying note is Brock’s tendency to give away vital information about the solutions to previous cases in his books. This is perhaps most noticeable in this case, where practically the whole of the plot of his previous book The Mendip Mystery aka Murder at the Inn is explained in a long chapter near the beginning of the story. That it is there to explain the strained relationship between Gore and the official police and becomes an important part of the denouement to this book will of course not appease the reader who was unaware of this and therefore has their enjoyment of the previous novel spoilt.

Blurb from 1st UK edition

These problems aside, there is still enough in the book to interest the reader of golden age crime. The story starts strongly, with the murder of Dr Sidney Melhuish – who is mistakenly called Dr Melhurst in the blurb on my Collins 1st edition – on a bridge over a West Country gorge. Colonel Gore, who knew the victim well (he had also appeared in previous Gore books) wades in to help despite the unenthusiastic welcome he receives from the official forces. His previous history with the dead man’s widow adds a further complication to the plot, which involves money-lending, blackmail, another murder, suicide and a back story involving gang related shenanigans in America, rather in the mode of J. J. Connington’s The Boat House Riddle, published the following year. One of Brock’s strong points is that Gore is never portrayed as an amateur superman of detection like so many others of the time, such as Lord Peter Wimsey, were. He regularly makes mistakes, he is beaten up and his private life intrudes to the detriment of his attempt to solve the case. He also has to battle the local police, survive a near deadly attack and battle a foe from his past before the end, which when it comes is satisfying without raising the book to classic status. The book also suffers, for this reader at least, from lacking a map of the scene of crime, an unusual omission given Brock’s tendency to include maps with his other novels. This might not be the best of them but it still has much to recommend it, though as noted above it is strongly recommended that the reader precede this book with the previous story in the series.

Dedication page of 1st UK edition


This mystery was included in the First Crime Club Omnibus, published by Collins in September 1931. All the books included were originally published in 1930. The other books were: Philip MacDonald The Noose, G D H and M Cole Burglar’s In Bucks and Freeman Wills Crofts Sir John Magill’s Last Journey.

Title page of The First Crime Club Omnibus



Colonel Wyckham Gore #6

Preceded by The Mendip Mystery

Succeeded by The Stoat

note: The Mendip Mystery was published as Murder At The Inn in the US, The Stoat was not published in the US


Collectors Notes

No record of any modern reprint or audiobook has been traced by the reviewer. An ebook is available under the US title Murder On The Bridge.


First Edition Details


Originally published by Collins Crime Club 1930

Orange Cloth Boards pp 252 + 4pp adverts, 8vo

Title and Author stamped in black on spine. ‘The Crime Club’ stamped in black at bottom.

Title and Author stamped in black on front inside single lined black box.

Dustwrapper priced at 7/6 net on spine.


Originally published as Murder On The Bridge by Harper & Brothers, New York, 1930

Red Cloth Boards pp 268, 8vo

1st US edition


R E Faust


Please leave any comment, corrections or suggestions below. With thanks to Chris Wallace for information regarding the ebook version.




  1. I have found several of Col. Gore’s Cases on the Kindle, the first three and Murder on the Bridge which I believe is the book you reviewed. Black Heath Crime was the publisher.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s