Nicholas Blake

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Nicholas Blake was the pseudonym of Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis, who was born in County Laois, Ireland, in 1904 and raised in London after his mother’s death in 1906. He was educated at Sherborne School and Wadham College, Oxford, from which he graduated in 1927. Blake initially worked as a teacher to supplement his income from his poetry writing and he published his first Nigel Strangeways novel, A Question of Proof, in 1935. Blake went on to write a further nineteen crime novels, all but four of which featured Nigel Strangeways, as well as numerous poetry collections and translations.

During the Second World War he worked as a publications editor in the Ministry of Information, which he used as the basis for the Ministry of Morale in Minute for Murder, and after the war he joined the publishers Chatto & Windus as an editor and director. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1968 and died in 1972 at the home of his friend, the writer Kingsley Amis.



A Question of Proof (1935)

Thou Shell of Death (1936)

There’s Trouble Brewing (1937)

The Beast Must Die (1938)

The Smiler with the Knife (1939)

Malice in Wonderland (1940)

The Corpse in the Snowman (1941)

Minute for Murder (1947)

Head of a Traveller (1949)

The Dreadful Hollow (1953)

The Whisper in the Gloom (1954)

A Tangled Web (1956)

End of Chapter (1957)

A Penknife in My Heart (1958)

The Widow’s Cruise (1959)

The Worm of Death (1961)

The Deadly Joker (1963)

The Sad Variety (1964)

The Morning after Death (1966)

The Private Wound (1968)


Titles from Nicholas Blake