State Library Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 83 May 2009


Derham Groves
Crime and Architecture:
designing a Centre for Australian Crime Fiction

Dust jacket illustration by Bill Morden for Arthur Upfield's Bony and the Mouse (1959).
Collection of Derham Groves.



As Both an architect and a crime fiction fan, I am always seeking links between these two areas. On the face of it, architecture and crime fiction appear to be totally unrelated, however, they have a number of things in common, including an interest in ‘place’. Indeed, I believe that architects can learn a lot about place making and place recording from crime writers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a particular favourite of mine, who built some incredible houses, such as 221B Baker Street,1 ‘The Haven’2 and ‘Stoke Moran’3 – albeit using words instead of bricks and mortar. Therefore, from time to time, I have given my first-and second-year architecture students at the University of Melbourne design projects based on Conan Doyle's classic Sherlock Holmes stories. One involved the students designing a house for a villain in a Holmes story. This project was called ‘Better Holmes and Gardens’. Another required the students to design a boutique hotel for the eccentric members of the Baker Street Irregulars, the world's oldest Holmes appreciation society. It was called ‘Holmes Away From Home’.4
I have also explored place in contemporary homegrown crime fiction. In 2002 I curated Crime Scenes, a three-part exhibition at Monash Gallery of Art in Wheelers Hill. For part one, seven local crime writers – Marshall Browne, Peter Corris, Michael Jorgensen (who is also an architect), Barry Maitland (who is also an urban designer), Shane Maloney, Mary-Rose MacColl (whose ‘detective’ Harriet Darling is an architect), and Peter Temple – each described a crime scene in 500 words or less. For part two, a like-number of Melbourne artists and architects – Mark Galea, Sharon Goodwin, David Harris, Christopher Langton, Lyons, Nat and Ali, and Sally Smart – each depicted one of the seven crime scenes in the gallery. And for part three, a team of detectives from Victoria Police was asked to report on the artists’ crime scenes, but without the benefit of first reading the crime fiction writers’ descriptions.5
Recently, I have been reading novels by a number of ‘late-golden age’ (i.e., mid-twentieth century) Australian crime writers, including Berridge Allerton, Otto Beeby, Carter Brown (Alan Yates), Sydney Bunce, Jon Cleary, Sidney Hobson Courtier, Pat Flower, Geoff de Fraga, Ian Hamilton, Helen Mace, A. E. Martin, Margot Neville (sisters Anne and Margaret Goyder), Eric North (Bernard Cronin), Bant Singer (Charles Shaw), Arthur Upfield, and June Wright. Australian crime fiction is definitely worth celebrating, which gave me an idea for another design project in 2008. The eighty third-year architecture students in my group designed a Centre for Australian Crime Fiction – consisting of a library, some galleries for exhibitions, a lecture theatre, a bookshop, a café, an outdoor
courtyard, and two apartments for writers-in-residence – on the grounds of the University of Melbourne. While this was merely an exercise, a real Centre for Australian Crime Fiction could be a focus for research and teaching; a headquarters for the Crime Writers Association of Australia, the professional body for Australian crime writers; a meeting place for crime fiction societies, such as Sisters in Crime; a repository for crime fiction writing; and a venue for exhibitions, lectures and crime writers’ festivals. All that is needed are the funds to get it off the ground!
I also persuaded my university colleague, Dr. Andrew Saniga, to give his class of forty Master of Landscape Architecture students a design project with a crime fiction theme as well. They read Australian crime fiction as a way of potentially gaining new insights into designing Australian landscapes. (I will describe the landscape architecture students’ project in more detail later.) Andrew and I commenced these design projects by introducing the students to the crime fiction of four interesting writers: the British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a pioneer of the genre; Arthur Upfield, arguably Australia's best known crime fiction writer; and Sidney Hobson Courtier and June Wright, two sadly neglected but nonetheless accomplished and entertaining Australian authors.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Crime writers may be better at conveying a sense of place than writers of other types of fiction, if for no other reason than solving a mystery usually depends on the detective (closely followed by the reader) knowing exactly where everyone and everything were when the crime happened. But Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's abilities in this regard may not have been solely due to his crime writing skills. The fact that his father, Charles Altamont Doyle, was an architect might have also contributed to his architectural imagination.
Not much is known about Charles’ architectural career. He joined the Scottish Office of Works as an assistant surveyor in 1849 and is credited with designing the fountain at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, the British Royal Family's official Scottish residence, and also one of the large stained-glass windows in Glasgow Cathedral. Tragically, he was an alcoholic who spent his last years in asylums. A book of sketches that he did while staying at one of these places came to light in 1977 and was published the following year as The Doyle Diary: the last great Conan Doyle mystery (1978).6 It indicates that Charles was a skillful draughtsman with a vivid imagination.
Despite Charles’ battle with alcoholism, he had a positive influence on Conan Doyle's life and work. He illustrated the second edition of Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet (1887);7 ‘many remarkable pictures’ by Charles were hanging in Doyle's study reported an article in the Strand Magazine,8 written while Conan Doyle was still pursuing careers in medicine and writing; and in Conan Doyle's short story ‘His Last Bow’ (1917), Holmes poses as an Irish-American spy named Altamont – Charles’ middle name.9
Not surprisingly, Conan Doyle greatly empathized with architects his entire life. Most significantly perhaps, he pictured himself as an architect when summing up his life's work in the second edition of his autobiography Memories and Adventures:
When an author is in failing health and has passed his seventieth year he feels, as he surveys the line of his works, like some architect or builder who, having laboured long to complete his edifice, finally stands back to survey it in its entirety. I can only hope to add some little attic or cupola here or there. It is a modest enough structure, no doubt, and yet as I survey it I feel that I could do no better and that any powers which Providence has given me have found their full expression.10
While my architecture students were thinking about their building designs, I gave them two warm-up exercises to do. The first was called ‘Barbie and Ken Meet Sherlock Holmes’. Each student had to read one of the sixty Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and then portray the victim in that story by altering the appearance of a Barbie or Ken doll. The students produced a horrifying collection of dolls that had been bludgeoned, garroted, hanged, mauled, poisoned, scared, shot, stabbed, and strangled. I wanted the students to take a similar approach to designing their buildings, since architects confuse good design with good taste far too often in my view. To illustrate how they might achieve this type of edginess in their designs, I introduced them to the work of the American artist Gordon Matta-Clark. In Object To Be Destroyed: the works of Gordon Matta-Clark (2000), Pamela M. Lee wrote of his work: ‘Cutting, shattering, fragmenting, dissecting, mutilating, even decapitating: to consider the reception of Matta-Clark's art is to survey a language riven by violence – of gestures at once trenchant and brutalizing’.11

John Douglas, a character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel The Valley of Fear (1915), made by architecture student Harrison Wraight. Photograph by Lee McRae.


June Wright

June Wright (née Healy) is not as well known as the other three-featured authors, although she did write six very successful crime novels, all set in Victoria, between 1948 and 1966. She was born in 1919 in Malvern, and educated at Kildara College, Loreto College and Manderville Hall. After leaving school and briefly studying commercial art, she got a job as a telephonist at the central telephone exchange in Melbourne. In 1941 she married Stewart Wright, an accountant. They had six children. Wright's ability to juggle crime fiction writing and motherhood was the subject of many articles about her, such as ‘Wrote Thriller with Her Baby on Her Knee’12 and ‘Books Between Babies’.13
When Wright's first child Patrick was one year old, she began writing Murder in the Telephone Exchange, a Dorothy L. Sayers-style whodunit set in Wright's former workplace.14 Sarah Compton, a supervisor at the exchange, is bashed to death with a ‘buttinski’, a gadget used by telephone operators to interrupt telephone conversations. The story is narrated by a spirited young telephonist named Maggie Byrnes, whom Wright denies was modelled on herself (although I don't believe her).

June Wright at work at the central telephone exchange in Melbourne, c.1940. Courtesy of June Wright.

While wrapping vegetable scraps in a newspaper, Wright happened to see an advertisement for an international literary competition run by the London publisher Hutchinson. She entered Murder in the Telephone Exchange, and while it did not win, it was accepted for publication. Most critics praised Wright's debut crime novel. For example, one local newspaper reviewer wrote: ‘Perhaps it was the Melbourne setting that gave a new freshness to the form. (One almost expected to meet the characters walking down the streets, to hear their voices over the phone.) But I think there were other factors, too. The atmosphere, the plot, the characterization, all are good’.15 With the royalties that Wright
earned from Murder in the Telephone Exchange she bought herself a fur coat and remodelled her kitchen.
In Wright's second novel So Bad a Death (1949), Maggie Byrnes and her husband John Matheson, a police inspector who investigated Sarah Compton's murder, are frustrated by the post-Second World War housing shortage, until they finally rent ‘Dower House’ in the outer Melbourne suburb of ‘Middleburn’.16 Despite its genteel appearance, Middleburn turns out to be a hotbed of criminals. Interestingly, the crime fiction reviewer for the Daily Telegraph Dr. Watson Junior (Richard Hughes) considered So Bad a Death noteworthy ‘as perhaps the First Australian Will Murder’.17
Wright's next crime novel The Devil's Caress (1952) explores the unseemly side of a group of doctors holidaying at the coastal town of ‘Matthews’ in Victoria, who appear to revel in their godlike powers over life and death.18 The story revolves around Marsh Mowbray, an up and coming young female doctor who is pitted against some of Melbourne's leading medicos. One critic suggested that The Devil's Caress made Wright's first two books ‘read like bedtime stories’.19
For her fourth crime novel Reservation for Murder (1958), Wright created the unassuming but strong willed Catholic nun-detective Mother Mary St. Paul of the Cross, or Mother Paul for short.20 She is the female equivalent of G. K. Chesterton's Catholic priest-detective Father Brown. In Wright's book, Mother Paul runs a business girls’ hostel just outside of Melbourne.
Mother Paul also appears in Wright's last two crime novels Faculty of Murder and Make-up for Murder.21 Mother Paul is in charge of a women's university college in the first book and a girls’ boarding school in the second. She was based on Mother Mary Dorothea Devine (1900–1990), a Sister of Charity who headed the maternity ward at St. Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne when Wright gave birth to twins there during the 1940s.
Interesting local settings, feisty female protagonists, and credible social situations characterize Wright's six crime novels.

Book cover designed by architecture student Audrey Zerafa. Courtesy of Audrey Zerafa.


The Centre for Australian Crime Fiction designed by architecture student Priscilla Finn was heavily influenced by Arthur Upfield's crime fiction. Photograph by Lee McRae.

Unfortunately, she stopped writing crime fiction altogether when her husband suddenly became ill and could not work and she had to earn a regular salary. Wright is still alive and lives in Glen Waverley with her son Anthony.
‘You Can Judge a Book by its Cover’ was the name of the second warm-up exercise I gave the architecture students. It involved each student designing a dust jacket for a new edition of Wright's novel Faculty of Murder. The setting for this story is Melbourne University's ‘Brigit Moore Hall’, a Catholic women's college, and its male counterpart next-door ‘Manning College’. While the original dust jacket by William Randell shows the famous gothic clock tower of Ormond College, a Presbyterian college, it seems more likely that Wright modelled Brigit Moore Hall on St. Mary's College and Manning College on Newman College, two Catholic colleges. Therefore, the students had to include some architectural elements from either St Mary's or Newman in their dust jacket designs, and somehow express a sense of horror, mystery or terror. Furthermore, one of the galleries in the Centre for Australian Crime Fiction was named after June Wright, which prompted the students to represent the often-sinister places in Wright's novels in their designs.

Arthur Upfield

Arthur Upfield was born in 1890 at Gosport in Hampshire, England. After he failed to qualify as a real estate agent (yet another crime writer with an architectural background) his father, a well-to-do draper, sent him to Australia in 1910. Upfield roamed Australia doing various odd jobs, such as boundary rider, cook and cowhand. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at the start of the First World War, fighting in Turkey at Gallipoli, France and Egypt. In 1915 he married Anne Douglas, an Australian nurse. Following the war the Upfields lived in England where their only child James was born in 1920. They moved to Australia in 1921, and once again Upfield wandered the countryside in search of work. He finally settled down in Melbourne in 1931 and wrote feature articles for the Herald. After Upfield and Anne separated in 1946, he lived with Jessica Hawke, who later wrote his biography Follow My Dust!22
While employed as a cook on an isolated property in New South Wales, Upfield began writing crime fiction in his spare time. His second crime novel The Barrakee Mystery (1929) featured Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, or Bony for short, the son of a white man and an Aboriginal woman, who combines the best attributes of both cultures to solve the most puzzling of crimes.23 As the story goes, Bony was only two weeks old when he was found under a tree beside his dead mother in a remote part of Queensland and brought to an orphanage. When the matron saw him trying to eat a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, she named him after the great French emperor. Bony proved highly intelligent, eventually graduating from the University of Queensland with a Master of Arts and joining the Queensland Police Force. Upfield loosely modelled Bony on Leon Wood, a mixed-blood Aboriginal police tracker who he met on his travels.
Upfield's novels were critically acclaimed overseas. Cake in the Hat Box (1955), the nineteenth Bony novel, was a runner-up for the British Crime Writers’ Association's Gold Dagger Award in 1956.24 Bony Buys a Woman (1957) (titled The Bushman Who Came Back in the USA), the twenty-second Bony novel, was named the Book of the Year by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in 1957 and also nominated for the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel in 1958.25 In addition, Upfield was the first foreigner to achieve full membership of the Mystery Writers of America. However, what he really desired was recognition from the Australian literati. When it did not come, Upfield vented his spleen in the eleventh Bony novel An Author Bites the Dust – one of the few set in the suburbs and not the bush – in which a snobbish literary critic from Melbourne is mysteriously murdered.26
Upfield wrote twenty-nine Bony novels that are still very popular both here and abroad, due in large part to his vivid descriptions of the ‘exotic’ Australian bush, which help to create an atmosphere of mystery, a fear of the unknown, a feeling of isolation, and a sense of place. The novels’ equally ‘exotic’ Aboriginal detective is a major factor too. While some people have criticized Upfield for thoughtlessly appropriating Aboriginal culture, others
have praised him for presenting a positive image of Aborigines at a time when none existed in Australian popular culture.27 Upfield died in 1964 at Bowral in New South Wales.
The Arthur Upfield collection at the University of Melbourne contains some impressive items, such as the author's albums of press cuttings, his correspondence, his manuscripts, and even his typewriter. Certainly, it proved to be an invaluable resource for many students, Andrew Saniga and myself. Also, the Centre for Australian Crime Fiction's outdoor courtyard was named in Upfield's honour, so that many students designed it to reflect the Australian outback settings of his Bony novels.

Sidney Hobson Courtier

Sidney Hobson (or S. H.) Courtier should be much better known than he is today. He wrote twenty-four crime novels, and even though they unfold just as dramatically in just as atmospheric Australian bush settings as Arthur Upfield's – if not more so – by comparison they have been largely forgotten. Courtier created two detectives: the debonair and handsome Superintendent Ambrose Mahon, who features in six crime novels, and Inspector C. J. ‘Digger’ Haig, a chainsmoking ‘rough diamond’, who appears in seven.

Sidney Hobson Courtier. Estate of Sidney Hobson Courtier.

Courtier was born in 1904 at Kangaroo Flat in the central goldfields of Victoria. He attended school in nearby Bendigo, where his father was a mine manager. This district clearly captured Courtier's imagination, because several of his crime fiction crooks hide out in abandoned mineshafts or underground lairs, such as in Come Back to Murder (1957),28 Murder's Burning (1967)29 and See Who's Dying (1967).30
Courtier was a full-time schoolteacher who taught in many small towns in Victoria,
including Belgrave South, Bolwarra, Carlsruhe, Lake Boga, Mernda, St. James, Tarra Valley, Turoar, and Yallourn, and drew heavily upon these places as settings for his novels. For example, A Shroud for Unlac (1958) takes place on a sheep station,31 Gently Dust the Corpse (1960) in a country pub,32 Let the Man Die (1961) in a bush nursing hospital,33 and The Ringnecker (1965) in an alpine motel.34 His selection of unusual but convincing Australian locations undoubtedly helped to make his crime novels popular in America, England, France and Germany.
In 1933 Courtier married Audrey George. A newspaper report of their wedding also noted that ‘Mr. Courtier is well known as a writer of fiction and is the author of “Underground,” a story at present appearing in the Argus, and also of other stories appearing in Australian periodicals.’35 Indeed, writing as ‘Sidney Belgrave’, ‘Rui Chestor’, ‘Sidney Hobson’, ‘Colin Kingman’, ‘Raorut’, and ‘Turoar’, he wrote over 200 articles and short stories for magazines and newspapers, including Argosy and Short Stories in the USA, and the Australian Journal and the Bulletin in Australia.
Between 1942 and 1944 Courtier served in the army in the Northern Territory, where he became interested in Aboriginal culture. This is reflected in his first two crime novels The Glass Spear (1950)36 and One Cried Murder (1954).37 Later he took long service leave from teaching to visit Queensland to do research for Now Seek My Bones (1957)38 and Death in Dream Time (1959),39 two more crime novels with references to native culture. However, unlike Arthur Upfield's Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, Courtier's Aboriginal characters generally play minor roles in his novels.
Courtier was a member of International PEN, the world association of writers. In a letter to his brother-in-law Alan George, he recalled a funny incident at one of its meetings in Melbourne:
One night at PEN, just before I became President of that august body, I had Nell and Ian Langlands as my guests and they were both interested in the various “famous” writers. Ian asked me who was the talkative lady with the stocking fallen down around her ankle. I looked and, heavens, it was Nettie Palmer. Vance, her husband, was nearby but apparently he didn't notice, and it would seem nobody else noticed – except Ian. The stocking was still draped around her ankle when the meeting ended, which amazed Ian. The stocking really took his mind off the pearls of wisdom uttered during the evening. We concluded that that was one stocking we didn't want to hang up. That's really a Christmas story.40
In 1967 Courtier suffered a devastating stroke that robbed him of speech and some movement, however he doggedly taught himself to speak again using a series of speech exercises that he devised himself. (Later he tried unsuccessfully to have these published.) Significantly, he wrote about sensory loss in four of his subsequent crime novels – the loss of movement in No Obelisk for Emily (1970),41 the loss of memory in Dead If I Remember (1972),42 the loss of hearing in Into the Silence (1973),43 and the loss of sanity in The Smiling Trip (1975).44 The last two books straddle crime fiction and science fiction. Courtier died in 1974 at Safety Beach in Victoria.

Poster for a film version of S.H. Courtier's novel See Who's Dying, designed by landscape architecture student Robin Tregenza. Courtesy of Robin Tregenza.

Twenty landscape architecture students read See Who's Dying by Sidney Hobson Courtier – a Cold War spy thriller that begins in Melbourne, moves to Canberra and ends in ‘Tulladoon’, a deserted mining town on the edge of the desert in outback Queensland – before visiting the old rocket range and satellite tracking station in the desert near Woomera in South Australia. While the other twenty students read another of Courtier's books Murder's Burning – a whodunit set in the abandoned East Gippsland hamlet of ‘Paladin Valley’, which was totally destroyed in a suspicious fire – before visiting the abandoned school and quarry sites at Stony Creek near Talbot in Victoria. It was impossible to get exact matches, but the idea was that Courtier's two novels would inform the two places chosen by Andrew Saniga for the students to investigate. ‘Courtier's fiction … helped explain and define many of the physical things that we saw, and even served to implicate the people whom we met’, commented Andrew.45
Each landscape architecture student designed a new dust jacket for whichever of the two books by Courtier he or she read, a poster advertising a film adaptation of the book, a stage prop or set for use in the film, and an outdoor performance space based on the stage prop or set. In addition, one of the galleries in the Centre for Australian Crime Fiction was named after Courtier, which prompted the students to explore a variety of his most popular themes in their designs, including bush fires, camouflage, caves, death, decay, desert landscapes, espionage, ruin, and travel.


The architecture and landscape architecture students tackled their designs in a number of different ways. Many began with a ‘pure’ form, such as a square or a circle, to represent everyday life, and then ‘violated’ it to symbolize crime. For example, some gouged chunks out of it; some ripped it apart; some shattered it to pieces; some stabbed it through the middle, and some tore strips off it. One student even used fresh and rotten fruit to symbolize good and evil.

Lavanya Arulanandam's Centre for Australian Crime Fiction design was based on rotting fruit. Photograph by Lee McRae.

Many students turned their design into a crime scene. Several thought of it as a murder victim, spreadeagling the ‘body’ over the site or burying it underground. A number of students covered the site with evidence of crime, including bloodstains, bullet-holes, fingerprints, footprints, guns, knives, and shattered glass. In a few cases these ‘clues’ were manifested in the building form, but more often they appeared as interesting details. A couple of students also recognized that a house is commonly the scene of the crime and designed a Centre for Australian Crime Fiction with a domestic theme.

Centre for Australian Crime Fiction by architecture student Melissa Spencer. Courtesy of Melissa Spencer.

A number of students drew inspiration for their designs from Sidney Hobson Courtier's subterranean locations, Arthur Upfield's outback scenes and June Wright's urban settings. Several responded to the eye-catching cover graphics of 1950s pulp crime novels. A number of students’ designs represented the usual suspects of crime fiction – the criminal, the detective, the detective's sidekick, the eyewitness, the ‘suspiciously innocent’

Outdoor performance space designed by landscape architecture student Supornthip Sorsukpaiboon.
Courtesy of Supornthip Sorsukpaiboon.

person, and the victim. And a few even wrote their own detective stories.46
The idea that buildings and landscapes can tell stories underpinned these design projects. In the design field, narrative is often used to assemble elements and determine form. If implemented skilfully, the outcomes can elicit powerful memories and create strong bonds between people and place. But in less capable hands the results can be clichéd, puerile and shallow. Overall, the students’ work was extremely engaging. It was driven by ideas. It told a good story. And it focused on place. However, books have the power to impart new information, whereas buildings and landscapes can evoke only what is already known – albeit in a new and perhaps more profound way. That is why reading ‘place’ requires a lot more speculative imagination than reading a book.


221B Baker Street was the home of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson.


‘The Haven’ is home of Josiah Amberley. (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (L. Klinger, ed.), The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, vol. II, New York: W.W. Norton, 2005, pp. 1730–51.)


‘Stoke Moran’ is home of Dr. Grimesby Roylott. (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (L. Klinger, ed.), The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, vol. I, New York: W.W. Norton, 2005, pp. 227–59.)


Derham Groves, There's No Place Like Holmes: exploring sense of place through crime fiction, North Carlton: Black Jack Press, 2008.


Derham Groves, Crime Scenes, Wheelers Hill, Vic.: Monash Gallery of Art, 2002


Charles Altamont Doyle (Michael Baker ed.), The Doyle Diary: the last great Conan Doyle mystery, New York: Paddington Press 1978.


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (L. Klinger, ed.), The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, vol. III, New York: W.W. Norton, 2006, pp. 7–207.


Harry How,‘A Day With Dr. Conan Doyle’, Strand Magazine, vol. 4, no. 20 (August 1892), pp. 182–188.


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (L. Klinger, ed.), The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, vol. II, New York: W.W. Norton, 2006, pp. 1424–43.


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Memories and Adventures, London: John Murray, (1924) 1930, p. 447.


Pamela M. Lee, Object To Be Destroyed: the work of Gordon Matta-Clark, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2000, p. 113.


The Australian Women's Weekly, 17 April 1948, p. 20.


Woman's Day, 25 October 1948, p. 17.


Murder in the Telephone Exchange, London: Hutchinson, [1948].


Unidentified and undated book review in Wright's personal scrapbook.


So Bad a Death, London: Hutchinson, 1949.


Typescript of undated Daily Telegraph book review by Dr. Watson Junior (Richard Hughes) in Wright's personal scrapbook.


The Devil's Caress, London: Hutchinson, 1952.


Unidentified and undated book review in Wright's personal scrapbook.


Reservation for Murder, London: Hutchinson, 1958.


Faculty of Murder, London: John Long, 1961; Make-up for Murder, London: John Long, 1966.


Jessica Hawke, Follow My Dust: a biography of Arthur Upfield, London: Heinemann, 1957.


The Barrakee Mystery, London: Hutchinson, 1929.


Cake in the Hat Box, London: Heinemann, 1955.


Bony Buys a Woman, London: Heinemann, 1957.


An Author Bites the Dust, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1948.


See Caroline Baum, ‘The Case of the Disappearing Detective’, Good Weekend, 20 January 2007, pp. 26–29.


Come Back to Murder, London: Hammond, 1957.


Murder's Burning, London: Hammond, 1967.


See Who's Dying, London: Hammond, 1967.


A Shroud for Unlac, London: Hammond, 1958.


Gently Dust the Corpse, London: Hammond, 1960.


Let the Man Die, London: Hammond, 1961.


The Ringnecker, London: Hammond, 1965.


Unpaginated article, Moorabbin News, 21 January 1933, in Courtier's personal scrapbook owned by his daughter Lynne Main.


The Glass Spear, London: Andrew Dakers, 1950.


One Cried Murder, New York: Rinehart, 1954.


Now Seek My Bones, London: Hammond, 1957.


Death In Dream Time, London: Hammond, 1959.


From letter by Courtier to his brother-in-law, Alan George, 9 July 1973, owned by Lynne Main.


No Obelisk for Emily, London: Jenkins, 1970.


Dead If I Remember, London: Hale 1972.


Into the Silence, London: Hale, 1973.


The Smiling Trip, London: Hale, 1975.


Andrew Saniga, ‘The Real World Please!’ in Derham Groves (ed.), Murderous Melbourne: a celebration of Australian crime fiction and place, Melbourne: University of Melbourne, 2008, unpaged.


The students’ designs were featured in the exhibition Murderous Melbourne: a celebration of Australian crime fiction and place, 10 June – 7 September 2008, Leigh Scott Gallery, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne.