Tuesday, January 12, 2016

David T. Lindsay

David T. Lindsay (b. St. Monans, Scotland, 5 March 1897; d. Edinburgh, Scotland, 3 March 1953)

David Tod Lindsay was the ninth of ten children of Thomas Lindsay (1856-1936) and his wife, Beatrice Craig Phillips (1858-1939). He had six older brothers, two older sisters, and one younger brother.

Little is known of his life and education. He served with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's) line infantry regiment during World War I. He married Lizzie Reid Scott (1901-1988) in St. Monans in 1935, and they had one daughter. 

Between March 1936 and January 1940 he published eighteen novels, all with the firm John Hamilton of London.  Most were mysteries, with at least two recurring characters. The Honourable Richard ("Dick") Monroe of the Secret Service appears in two novels, while Chief Inspector John Jay ("Jailbird") Jackson of Scotland Yard is featured in five. A few of Lindsay's books are more unusual, like the western, Vengeance Rides North (1939). Some of his mysteries have slight fantastic elements, like the rationalized "ghosts" in Inspector Jackson Investigates (1936). Three of his novels are science fictional, the two most interesting being his first book, The Ninth Plague (1936), in which a maniac seeks to exterminate the human race and bring about a great darkness by neutralizing the chemical rays of the sun; and The Green Ray (1937), in which a green ray is used to cause the engines of airplanes to stall while in flight.  The third title reputed to have science fiction elements is Air Bandits (1937).

His first few books appeared as by "David Lindsay", but his middle initial was soon added, probably to distinguish his work from that of the fantasist, David Lindsay (1876-1945), whose novels had sold very poorly.  David T. Lindsay gave up writing after paper rationing started during World War II, and worked in the Rosyth Dockyard.

*I am grateful to an anonymous person who sent me details that allowed me to learn more about this author.  My original blog posting on David T. Lindsay, with much information on his books, remains available here.  

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