Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Introduction to the Charlotte Armstrong - Mystery and Suspense Writer Blog

 Welcome to the Charlotte Armstrong Blog, an adjunct to the website. The purpose of the blog is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas about the life and work of this well-known and successful mystery/suspense writer of the era of the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Chief bloggers of this effort are Armstrong’s sons, Jerry and Peter Lewi, with support of their sister, Jacquelin Bynagte. These children lived through and were witnesses of the development, as well as the ups and downs of their mother’s incredible career.

Why do we want to do this? First of all, reprints and e-books of many of her books are being republished and there appears to be a significant number of readers out there interested in good old-fashioned stories that are in contrast to the more current books that depend so much on gratuitous sex  and violence.

Secondly, as we re-read the stories that we often do, we are struck even to a greater extent than when our mother was living with the fine craftsmanship, the attention to detail, the development of character of her stories. And perhaps even more significant, we  keep finding more stories that seem to have captured morals and themes way ahead of their time. We already knew that Lemon in the Basket featured a middle-eastern potentate being treated for a serious illness while American scholars were being held hostage to be sure of his safe treatment and return to his home country – a story written in 1968. And we knew of the tragic school child fatal shooting with a handgun in Ride with the Executioner, penned in 1955.

Now we realize that Girl with a Secret  makes reference to Mexican narcotic trafficking long before any of us knew about Mexican drug cartels. Story written in 1959.

So, our idea is to from time-to-time publish reviews of her full-length books and short stories with comments about how the story might have had its origins from our knowledge of her life.

We cannot close this post without acknowledging The Virtue of Suspense, by Rick Cypert that is the most definitive published biography of Armstrong’s work. All of Charlotte Armstrong’s books and books about her can be accessed elsewhere on this website.

Thus, we hope we will reach of all this writer’s fans as well those who may have known her work in some professional capacity. We promise to respond to all comments as promptly as possible.


  1. Great blog, can there be pictures on this too?

  2. First, hate to be that guy, but a little proof reading. Third paragraph from the bottom: "So, our idea is to from time publish . . . " needs "from time-to-time".

    Second, love the point that Charl was ahead of her time and suggest, if possible to amplify on that a little more. People love to "discover" this kind of "hidden treasure" story and then they get to post about it too, all to the good, making Charl's work timely and current.

    Third, how about some links to the Hitchcock presents episodes (I saw just yesterday that all of them are now on Roku TV.) And links to the Wiki pages for the movies? People love links and it is all about the clicks and keeping the collective 5 second attention span with your topic.

    1. comment 1 - fixed
      comment 2 - that will be the point of future blogs
      comment 3- all of that is on the website the link to which is now more prominent in the header.
      Thanks for the comments.

    2. I don't hate to be that guy. The original posting was essentially correct. "Time to time" would only be hyphenated if the words were used as a compound word (these words never are) or being used together adjectivally, e.g. "my time-to-time habit of harassing blog posters when I should be there for the content." As this is a straight case of using these words in a prepositional phrase functioning as an adverbial clause, hyphenation is incorrect.

      Were one going to nitpick, the best formulation would have been, "So, our idea is, from time to time, to publish reviews..." Contemporary conversational usage certainly acknowledges splitting the infinitive, but keeping it together here avoids potential confusion. Still, given the context, the way it was written was fine.

  3. I like the new layout though I still wonder if the profile in upper right is needed since the website is called out early in the blog itself (but it would disappear in future posts). I tired incororporating a pic in the text of the post but it widn't work well. This comment is as much to test sending a commment as the comment itself

  4. I love this. Looking forward to more.

  5. The blog is here! What a wonderful way to introduce new fans to Charlotte Armstrong and to remind others of her prescience in developing plots. Thanks, too, for the shout out about the biography. I don't know if Crippen & Landru still has copies of NIGHT CALL, the Lost Classics edition of some of her short stories, but there's another resource for readers looking to get acquainted or re-acquainted. I look forward to popping in to see where the conversation goes. Rick

  6. I became a huge fan of Armstrong's work about 20 years ago and I eagerly collected everything I could find. I would love if some modern filmmakers would adapt her novels for contemporary audiences. She was definitely ahead of her time and without a doubt a master of suspense. I look forward to buying Night Call, which I did not know even existed until today. Thank you for creating this blog showcasing your mother's work.