Guide Murder in Moscow (Bello)

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Andrew Garve in his Paul Winterton days wrote a great deal about Russia, and I am trying to get permission to reprint some of this material. Meanwhile here is the preface I have written for the collection, which you might find interesting. The journalist Paul Winterton became much better known after when, using the pen name Andrew Garve, he published a number of successful thrillers and detective stories.

Many of these books had nothing to do with his earlier career as a newspaper correspondent in Moscow and elsewhere, but the ones that do cast an interesting light on his politics and our general view of the communist experiment. This collection of his early writings on Soviet Russia is intended to supply some background to those books and to the views he or his characters expressed in them. He was the son of a left-wing journalist, Ernest Winterton, who was the Labour Member of Parliament for Loughborough from to , and who also stood unsuccessfully for the same constituency in the elections of , , and There was a family link to Philip Spratt, a left-wing intellectual who was a founding member of the Communist Party of India in , but who subsequently became an anti-communist activist.

I imagine the table talk in the family would have had a strong socialist flavour. Paul Winterton gained his B. On his return he wrote A Student in Russia, which appeared as an page booklet in , published by the Cooperative Union which had sponsored his visit. He joined the staff of The Economist in , and four years later was taken on by the News Chronicle.

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In he stood for Parliament himself, fighting Canterbury for Labour, rather a lost cause as Canterbury has hardly ever returned a non-Conservative. He had several overseas assignments, including two more visits to Russia, as well as a spell in Palestine which gave him the background to his first novel, Death Beneath Jerusalem, published in by Nelson under the pen name Roger Bax.

This was the first of several books featuring what must have been one of his hobbies, pot-holing or cave exploration. It is also a book with a good deal of political comment on the rise of Arab nationalism and the accompanying terrorist activities. He was, however, beginning to discard any rose-tinted spectacles when it came to Soviet Russia. In he published a very different book, his second novel Red Escapade, using an obscure publishing house called Skeffington and Sons, and once again using the pen name Roger Bax.

I expect he took trouble to avoid being publicly associated with that book; it would have made it harder for him to get a Russian visa. A few weeks later the diplomat is caught up in the Stalinist purges, and is summarily tried and shot. The girl, having given up her passport, faces imprisonment or exile to Siberia. A journalist friend manages to extricate her, and they flee by train and sledge across Ukraine to the Polish border. Many features of this frantic winter escape are re-used in a much later book, The Ashes of Loda Both books are unrelenting in what they say about the cruelty and injustice of the Soviet regime.

Neglected Novels: Murder in Moscow by Andrew Garve

Two fragments of this included here are Stalingrad, transcribed from a broadcast made for Canadian Radio, and Eye-Witness on the Soviet War Front, a speech he gave while on leave in London in May On his eventual return from Moscow, which must have been very soon after V. Day since he was back in London by June , he published Report on Russia. In this he says he is righting the imbalance due to censorship. He apologises for this, saying that it is only because censorship prevented him from saying any of these things before, so they have to come out all in one lump.

Back in Britain, he set about establishing himself as a popular novelist and thriller writer. His first post-war book was Disposing of Henry , in which an ambitious and unscrupulous girl snares a rich husband and later conspires with her lover to murder him. This was followed in by Blueprint for Murder, introducing Inspector James, who would feature in one other book. This book displayed two features that would become very characteristic of his later work, the establishment of a complex and apparently unbreakable alibi, and the use of his expertise in small boat sailing. Both books were far better written than his two previous novels and attracted good reviews, no doubt reassuring Winterton that he could safely take up his new career and abandon journalism.

Both novels had appeared under the pen name Roger Bax, but he published one more book in using his own name, Inquest on an Ally. This was an exhaustive analysis of post-war Soviet policy and ambitions, with meticulous documentation of the way in which the USSR had exploited every concession offered by the West and had offered nothing but intransigence in return. The message was clear: At one hundred thousand words the book is a challenging read and a testament to the strength of his feelings, as well as to his indifference to offending the Soviets.

I doubt whether he would ever have been allowed to enter the USSR again. This picked up a thread from the earlier Red Escapade, the plight of any foreigner who marries a Russian.


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In this case the foreigners are English, a journalist and an engineer working in Moscow for the latter part of the war. They are sent home and are unable to obtain exit visas for their wives. In desperation they buy a small sailing boat and sail to the Baltic, where they are able to get ashore and, with suitable nail-biting tension, manage to bring their wives out secretly. For all the tension, the author does not let us forget that what they are doing is natural and decent while the regime that opposes them is arbitrary and ugly.

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The first Andrew Garve book No Tears for Hilda, was not unlike his previous crime stories, so he was not moving into a different genre. However he was switching to a new publisher, from Hutchinson to Collins, so it may be that A Grave Case of Murder was fulfilling a publishing contract with Hutchinson. His very first novel, Death Beneath Jerusalem, had featured a hero called Philip Garve, so it seems as if the name Garve had some significance for him. The narrator, a Moscow-based journalist of course, has great fun in the first chapter describing them all: We continue to be presented with their pompous and ill-informed opinions until, half way through the book, the leader is murdered and the book turns into something closer to a detective story.

A very odd book followed in This was A Hole in the Ground, which begins in a rather familiar way as a story about pot-holing. The central figure, Laurence Quilter, a Labour Member of Parliament, enlists the help of a local speleologist to explore a cave on his own land. These labels mean nothing. If some anti-Soviet Russian succeeded in blowing up a big atom plant in Russia, would your side call him a traitor? In the end humanity will thank me. The writing is vivid; if this was drawn from experience, it is an experience that is still painfully clear in his memory.

The main plot concerns the exposure of a Russian spy in London, and the hero encounters plenty of deviousness in his dealings with Soviet authorities. In Garve published The Ascent of D. Both sides send climbing expeditions to destroy or retrieve a top-secret camera that was on board. Much of the book is a tense and detailed account of the climb. In the end when they reach the plane, there is only one survivor in each party, an English man and a Russian woman.

To survive they must descend together. Whenever they stop to rest they argue about politics. Happily she can use her climbing skills to escape from the building and run to the arms of the Englishman. Preview — Murder in Moscow by Andrew Garve. Murder in Moscow by Andrew Garve. Foreign correspondent George Gerney, traveling to Moscow to report for his newspaper on post-war changes there, finds himself in the company of a pro-Soviet delegation.

Neglected Novels: Murder in Moscow by Andrew Garve | Kaggsy's Bookish Ramblings

His aloof attitude towards his fellow passengers receives a jolt when one of them is murdered in Moscow. Hardcover , pages. Published November 1st by Chivers North America first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Murder in Moscow , please sign up.


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Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Andrew Garve displays all his powers of really atmospheric scene setting and powerfully driven plotting with an almost filmic quality in this novel. Read this to observe a master crime writer at work! Having said that this novel is of its time.

The reading experience is equivalent to watching an old Hollywood movie of the 40s on a Su Murder in Moscow was the fourth novel of Andrew Garve, a nom de plume of the author Paul Winterton, one of the founders of the Crime Writer's Association in the UK. The reading experience is equivalent to watching an old Hollywood movie of the 40s on a Sunday afternoon, incredibly satisfying, thrilling and comfortable.

His professional career was therefore presided over by two legendary grandes dames of crime fiction, Elizabeth Walter in London and Joan Kahn in New York. This book has recently been reissued in digital format in the UK as part of the Bello imprint at Pan Macmillan, the aim of which is to bring lost, out-of-print popular classics to the attention of 21st century readers. Check out some of their forthcoming authors here: They stood in orderly files behind a screen of security police [ A British "peace delegation" gets on board of a train to Moscow to demonstrate support for the peace-loving, people-friendly Soviet rule in the U.

The narrator, a British journalist, George Verney, is already on the train which he boarded in Berlin.

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Having spent several years in the Soviet Union during the war, fluent in Russian, Mr. Verney is on a new journalistic assignment, and he welcomes his fellow travelers with quite an unease as he has seen enough of the Communist regime in his past. By the way, the author revels in his brilliant literary pun of having a group of "fellow travelers" become fellow travelers of Mr.

The non-criminal aspect of the story is really interesting and the author manages to convincingly present a bunch of characters deluded by Soviet propaganda: But this is a crime mystery, so we have a murder: Our narrator who happens to be the first on the scene discovers some clues. And, obviously, it is he who eventually discovers the truth. The entire criminal thread and the private investigation in particular are rather ridiculous, and a reader may infer that the functionaries of MVD are almost like regular police in other countries, only slightly corrupt and inhuman.

Murder in Moscow

The mechanisms of widespread, systematic torture and killings of millions of people in the Soviet Union are not mentioned, except for one gentle allusion, even though Stalin is still wielding his monstrous power. Other than the crime plot, I liked the story as I could easily recognize several aspects of the Soviet life. I too departed for Moscow - more than once - from the same train station in Warsaw. I too had to stay in several Soviet hotels and experienced the "protection" of floor manageresses, the search for recording bugs in the furniture, and the ubiquitous radio loudspeakers tuned to the official propaganda station.

My visits to the U. Bottom line, a readable book, if we do not pay too much attention to the crime plot. Two and a half stars. Jul 16, ricoeurian rated it it was amazing. As the story begins, Verney, and the rest of the Foreign Press Corps, follow the delegation from school to factory to party, trying to squeeze a story out of the flim-flam being put on show. The press and the delegates are all housed together in the Astoria hotel and tensions are running high. Then there is a murder. An innocent man is accused and Verney is incensed by the injustice of it, and sets about investigating the crime with the aim of uncovering the real culprit.

The tension is high, there is a bit of action, and the mystery is intriguing in its progression and satisfying in its resolution. This book has recently been reissued in digital format in the UK by the Bello imprint at Pan Macmillan, the aim of which is to bring lost, out-of-print popular classics to the attention of 21st century readers. Check out some of the authors here: May 01, Kate rated it really liked it Shelves: For my full review click on the link below: Jun 15, Andrea Susan rated it really liked it. Classic 's atmospheric crime novel. A whodunnit set in Moscow.

Jan 01, Kathy rated it really liked it.

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Martin Green rated it liked it Jul 07, May 01, Lynn rated it liked it.