Before the Fact: Inspired Hitchhock's Masterpiece Suspicion

Francis Iles


Arcturus Crime Classics showcase unjustly neglected works by great writers from the 1930s—the so-called golden age of crime writing—through to the 1970s. From conventional whodunnits to slick thrillers, the series encompasses every facet of this ever-popular genre.

Described on its first publication in 1932 as "one of the finest studies of murder ever written", Before the Fact tells the tale of wealthy but plain Lina Mclaidlaw, who marries the charming and feckless Johnny Aysgarth against the advice of her father. Lina is certain she can change him for the better, until she is forced to acknowledge that he is a compulsive liar, a crook and a murderer. But still she loves him, while fearing she will inevitably become one of his victims.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Francis Iles was a pseudonym of Anthony Berkeley Cox, who was born in 1893 in Watford. After serving in the army during the First World War, Berkeley worked as a journalist for many years before his first foray into the crime genre with The Layton Court Mystery (1925).

His two primary nom-de-plumes were Francis Iles and Anthony Berkeley. As the former, he was a master of the psychological suspense genre, always with a wry humorous tenor to his writing; as the latter he acted as a trailblazer in the classic ‘Golden Age’ of crime and detective novels.

An intensely private man who always shunned public attention, Berkeley died in 1971.

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