Pictured: Margery Allingham (1904 – 1966)

Christopher Fowler (born 26 March 1953) is an English thriller writer. While working in the British film industry he became the award-winning author of fifty novels and short-story collections, including the Bryant & May mysteries, which record the adventures of two Golden Age detectives in modern-day London.

He was born in Greenwich, London. He lives in Barcelona and King’s Cross, London.

His memoir of a lonely 1960s childhood, Paperboy, won the inaugural Green Carnation prize, which celebrates fiction and memoirs written by gay men. A sequel, Film Freak, charted his travels through the British film industry.

Fowler wrote a periodic column for The Independent titled “Invisible Ink”. In this series, he looked at a wide range of writers whose works, once popular, have now fallen out of the public eye. His book version, The Book of Forgotten Authors, is published by Quercus.

Wikipedia’s list of (famous) people from the London Borough of Ealing starts with Michael Balcon (1896–1977), film producer at Ealing Studios. As the list is alphabetical you need spend no longer searching for Margery Allingham, who was born there in 1904 (soon after her birth, she moved with her family to Layer Breton, near Colchester).

By the same alphabetical token, she appears first in Fowler’s Book of Forgotten Authors.In The Guardian of 19.8.06., Jane Stevenson commented of Allingham’s writing:

“Another thing which makes her books worth revisiting is that she has such an acute sense of place. Many of them are love-songs to London itself, where she lived on and off throughout her life. She could do Mayfair when she wanted to, yet she was sharply observant of run-down working-class areas, which to her were not mean streets, but bursting with complex life. As she became more prosperous, however, she moved out to an old house in a small Essex village, Tolleshunt d’Arcy, though she maintained a pied-à-terre in Great Russell Street. Her two homes thus gave her two areas of focus: East Anglia/Essex and London. All the books are set in one or the other.”.

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