Monday, March 25, 2019

Mystery Monday: Who was Moray Dalton?

Mystery Monday: Who was Moray Dalton?

In my ongoing search to find long forgotten authors from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, I recently discovered Moray Dalton. The pseudonym for Katherine Mary Dalton Renoir, she wrote nearly thirty novels.

An only child of a Canadian Father and English mother, Katherine grew up in Stratford, St. Mary, Suffolk. Her father Joseph Dalton, an adventuresome sort as a young man, tried his hand at gold mining in British Columbia during the Cariboo Gold Rush. He “struck it rich” as the saying goes, and a few years later left for England. It is unknown how Joseph met Katherine Mary’s mother, but it occurred somewhere in London. After a quick courtship, the couple married, and three years later, Katherine Mary was born. She lived with her parents, and then with her mother after Joseph passed away, finally marrying at the age of forty, to Louis Jean Renoir.

Worthing, England where Dalton lived
A year later she had a son, and shortly thereafter, Renoir disappeared from her life. They remained married in name, and Katherine Mary made her own way, finding success as an author. Having already published poems and short stories since 1910, she turned to mystery novels. The Kingsclere Mystery came out in 1924, and she continued to release at least one book per year until 1951.

In 1929, she create Hugh Collier, a Scotland Yard Inspector and Hermann Gilde, Private Investigator. The pair was popular with readers, and Dalton wrote fifteen novels in this series. Her books are filled with evocative description, strong characters, and plenty of surprising plot twists. Reminiscent of Dickens who used his work as a platform for social commentary, Dalton explores themes of gender and class during the 1930s and 1940s.

She passed away in 1963, and her books slipped into obscurity. Fortunately for mystery lovers, several of her titles have been reprinted. See if you can’t get your hands on one or two.


A prostitute, a spy, and the liberation of Paris.

Sold by her parents to settle a debt, Rolande Bisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp?

Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?

Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods.

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