Home - Smithland - Broken Backlist - Short Stories Mail Hal C F Astell - Site Map

London Mystery

Introduction

The London Mystery Magazine was the longest-running mystery magazine in the UK, publishing 132 issues from 1949 to 1982. Despite the name, these stories often veered into the fantasy or horror genres.

It was founded by Michael Hall, a newspaperman and army veteran who had the idea while walking past 221B Baker St. Though based elsewhere in London, the Royal Mail allowed him to receive mail at that famous address, which was then part of the Abbey Road Building Society.

It was taken over after fifteen issues by Norman Kark Publishing, who published the magazine from that point on as a quarterly.

Towards the end of its run, it published eighteen stories by Guy, one of which received cover artwork. These were relatively consistent: three in 1972, then two per year from 1974 to 1979 inclusive, finally dropping to one a year in 1980, 1981 and 1982

For other work, return to Short Stories or Broken Backlist.

List

# Year Month Issue Title
1 1972 March 92 The Searchers
2 1972 June 93 The Mummy
3 1972 December 95 Borrowed Time
4 1974 March 100 Riders from Hell
5 1974 September 102 Man Astray
6 1975 March 104 Aunt Mary and the Cats
7 1975 December 107 The Moocher
8 1976 March 108 Morphius Inferno
9 1976 June 109 Return to Gangland
10 1977 March 112 The Splodge
11 1977 June 113 The Fish Thing
12 1978 June 117 It
13 1978 December 119 Roast Turkey
14 1979 June 121 Devil Woman
15 1980 September 122 Island of the Zombies
16 1979 March 124 The Curse
17 1981 December 131 The Hangman
18 1982 March 132 Murder House

Covers

London Mystery had featured unique covers for years, up until issue 97. The middle image is of issue 93 and the cover art by T. M. Sweeney is for Guy's story, The Mummy.

From issue 98 to 102, it got stunningly boring: just text over a different colour background each issue. It also got slightly narrower as of issue 101.

Clearly it had to improve and it chose to go with a new standard image of a policeman in a sort of Victorian style letterhead, again on different coloured backgrounds each issue. This lasted from issue 103 to issue 108.

It switched up to a silhouette of Sherlock Holmes for issue 109 and that lasted until issue 115, with the image still printed on a different coloured background each issue.

Issue 116 went back to the policeman but inside a dynamic jagged cutout rather than the Victorian letterhead. Backgrounds still varied by colour but this went on until issue 118.

As if the policeman was too in your face, he shrank down to a tiny image in the middle of the cover, though the quartered design focused our eyes on him anyway. This ran from issue 119 to 126 with three quarters of the cover identical even in colour but the bottom quarter and spine changing each issue.

For some reason, the style returned to the Victorian letterhead for issue 127, though with the American price replacing the issue number, and that remained in place until the final issue, 132.

Reprint History

All these stories saw their first publication in London Mystery but some have been reprinted since.


Home - Smithland - Broken Backlist - Short Stories Mail Hal C F Astell - Site Map