It was a brilliant idea of the British Library to publish crime novels by long-forgotten writers who in their day were popular but (until now) more or less forgotten. I’ve had the pleasure of recording a number in this successful serious. I recently recorded DEATH ON THE RIVIERA by John Bude. If the plot is a bit whacky then the larger-than-life characters are beautifully drawn and it’s all great fun. Just over a decade after this book was published, Gil North brought out the first of his Sergeant Cluff books. It’s called SGT CLUFF STANDS FIRM. This books couldn’t be more different from the delightful hokum of Bude’s novels. “Cluff” is set in the Yorkshire Dales and its gritty characters are as brooding as the landscape. Gil North’s style is spare, the mood dark and the character of the loner Cluff is beautifully drawn. The novels in this Classic Crime series have perceptive introductions by Martin Edwards, himself a master of the classic crimes genre.