Mysteries with fly fishing as part of the story

ConversesBritish & Irish Crime Fiction

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Mysteries with fly fishing as part of the story

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oct. 4, 2016, 5:17 pm

I collect first edition fiction that in some way uses the sport of fly fishing in the story. Example is Ngaio Marshe's "Scales of Justice". Does anyone have suggestions?

oct. 4, 2016, 6:22 pm

I believe there's a bit of fly fishing in Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mystery Death of a Dude, though it's been a while since I re-read it...

Editat: oct. 4, 2016, 6:35 pm

Dorothy L. Sayers' Five Red Herrings involves fishing, though I can't recall if it's fly fishing. She also wrote a short story, "The Piscatorial Farce of the Stolen Stomach", which peripherally involves fishing.

Editat: oct. 5, 2016, 7:13 am

I think there were more painters than anglers in Five red herrings...
John Buchan has a lot of fly-fishing in his stories, but I don't know if they would fall in the definition of mysteries. The Edward Leithen (esp. John MacNab) and Dickson McCunn stories are probably the fishiest.

I tried the tagmash:,+mystery - that seems to come up with a few promising titles (you can probably skip Plato's Republic, though...).
From the list, Keith McCafferty, David Leitz and William G. Tapply look like the most obvious authors to investigate.

oct. 5, 2016, 8:34 am

>4 thorold:

Oh, definitely lots of painters, but fishing played an important part in the story.

oct. 5, 2016, 9:53 am

>5 lilithcat: It's a while since I read it I expect you're right. What I remember most about that book are the ludicrously detailed complications about train tickets...

Just for fun, I tried,+fly+fishing and,+fly+fishing
- they both come up with almost the same subset of the first list.

Death is no sportsman (Cyril Hare, 1938) is obviously a classic of the genre, it comes up in all the lists.

Editat: oct. 5, 2016, 5:46 pm

Graham Thomas's Erskine Powell series has the inspector off on a fishing trip as a background to most of the books.
Malice in the Highlands is the first.

ETA: oh dear, I should have checked your catalogue first...never mind!

oct. 5, 2016, 7:39 pm

thanks folks:

I actually have all the books everyone mentioned so far but I appreciate the input. You never know when something new will be found.

Editat: oct. 18, 2016, 3:43 pm

There's this one: Hook, Line and Murder by Thom Elkjer. I've read it, and it's quite entertaining. Full disclosure: Thom is a good friend of mine. But this is not a self-published book or any such. It's a fully legit mystery. It's not British or Irish, though.

març 15, 2017, 2:10 pm

The Singing Sands: Josephine Tey's Inspector Grant sets off to Scotland for a restful fishing holiday on the estate of his cousin Laura and her family. His first day out results in a meagre haul of five unimpressive-looking brown trout and brings him into unwelcome contact with "Wee Archie" Brown, an ineffectual weed of a ScotsNat, who wields a shepherd's crook two feet taller than himself that 'no shepherd would be found dead with', and wears a kilt that 'no Highlander would dream of being found alive in'. (Tey mercilessly lampoons the poor man:
'So you've met Archie Brown, have you?' asks Laura's husband when Grant returns home.
'Is that his name?'
'It used to be. Since he elected himself the champion of Gaeldom he calls himself Gilleasbuig Mac-a'-Bruithainn. He's frightfully unpopular at hotels.'
'How would you like to page someone called Gilleasbuig Mac-a'-Bruithainn?'

But he's not just there to be made fun of; he has a purpose; Tey is a canny writer.)
As to whether Grant gets any decent'll have to read the book!
I haven't read them for some time, but I'm sure fishing also crops up in some of Ronald Knox's entertaining Miles Bredon novels. And wasn't fishing Inspector Maigret's relaxation of choice?

març 17, 2017, 7:56 am

>10 featherwate: wasn't fishing Inspector Maigret's relaxation of choice?

I don't remember if Maigret ever got to do any actual fishing - usually his holidays are talked about ahead of time but have to be cancelled/shortened/curtailed when a murder gets in the way. But there are so many Maigret books that you can never rule anything out.

If he goes fishing, I would imagine him sitting solitary on the bank of a canal watching his float for hours on end (looking out for crimes in progress on the passing barges, of course). Not standing in a Scottish river doing complicated things with flies...

març 18, 2017, 12:54 pm

>11 thorold:
"If he goes fishing, I would imagine him sitting solitary on the bank of a canal watching his float for hours on end (looking out for crimes in progress on the passing barges, of course)."
I like it! And of course the pipe, tobacco pouch, matches, bottle-opener and beer bottle would rather get in the way of doing complicated things with flies...

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