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||Andrew Garve (1908-2001) - pseudonym for Paul Winterton, also wrote as Roger Bax and Paul Somers|
Prolific English short story and mystery writer, who published over 40 thrillers. Often Winterton's heroes are ordinary persons, who are thrown into dangerous situations and during the story they prove to be extraordinary courageous and persistent. Winterton used three pseudonyms, Roger Bax, Paul Sommers, and Andrew Garve, which he adopted in 1950. Winterton's best known books include Murder in Moscow (1951) and A Hero for Leanda (1959).
"He braced himself as he rang the bell. He loathed this part of his job, as every policeman did, and years of experience had failed to inure him to it. Or even to tell him what to expect. The sudden news of death could bring collapse and prostration; tears and sobs; hysteria; petrified shock; withdrawal and silence; volubility - one never knew, for there was no common pattern of behaviour. What Burns did know, as a compassionate man, was that it was hard to be the bearer of such tidings..." (from The Case of Robert Quarry, 1972)
Andrew Garve was born as Paul Winterton in Leicester. His father, Ernest Winterton, was a journalist, and for a time a Member of Parliament. He was educated at the London School of Economics and at the London University, receiving his B.Sc. in 1928. After graduation, he visited Russia. In 1929, Winterton became a staff member of The Economist. From 1933 to 1946, he worked as a reporter, lead writer, and foreign correspondent for the London News Chronicle. During World War II (1942-45), his post was in Moscow - the experience gave him much material for his novels and articles on the Soviet Union. Winterton's secretary-interpreter was Tania Sofiano, who also helped the American war correspondent Quentin Reynolds. Because the BBC did not have a regular broadcaster stationed in the city, it relied on such journalists as Winterton, the Australian John Fisher, and the Russian-born British war correspondent and writer Alexander Werth, who worked for the Sunday Times. In 1944, Winterton complained in a letter to his employers, that "our only news source is the Soviet press, and this is colorless, vague and always out of date." Moreover, the Soviet authorities rarely allowed reporters to visit areas near the front line. The Russian journalist and novelist Ilya Ehrenburg, whom Winterton met, christallized the Soviet stand saying bluntly, that in wartime, every objective reporter should be shot.
In spite of the censorship, Winterton was one of those correspondents, who reported on Nazi atrocities at an early stage. He had accompanied the Red Army into the deserted Majdanek Nazi Extermination Camp, and prompted a call for a special war crimes commission. A shortened version of his shocking and detailed report was transmitted in August 1944, but only on the BBC's North American service. BBC thought Winterton was recirculating Societ propaganda (International Radio Journalism: History, Theory and Practice by Tim Crook, 1998, pp. 200-201). In the same month, News Chronicle published Winterton's article 'Biggest Murder Case in History.'
After visiting Tallin, Estonia, retaken by the Red Army, Winterton wrote: "I discovered that the bulk of the people of Tallin were extremely hostile to the Soviet Union, had no desire to be part of it, feared that the Russians would deport large number of them into the interior of Russia as was done in 1940, and had been if anything rather relieved by the German occupation. I tried to write a part of this, but of course the censor stopped it all – even though I put the whole thing in an objective setting and emphasised the strategi importance of the Baltic States to Russia's security." (in Stalin's Holy War: Religion, Nationalism, and Alliance Politics, 1941-1945 by Steven Merritt Miner, 2003, p. 290)
Winterton's first book, A Student in Russia (1931), was based on his stay in Moscow just after his graduation. Since the late 1940s, Winterton published only fiction. His first crime novel, Death Beneath Jerusalem (1938), set in Palestine, was published under the pseudonym Roger Bax. It was followed by five other Bax books. No Tears for Hilda (1950), about the death of an obnoxious wife, and No Mask for Murder (1950), in which the hero was an expert on lepsosy, were Winterton's first novels written as Andrew Garve. In Blueprint for Murder (1948) and A Grave Case of Murder (1951) the protagonist was Inspector James, and represented the author's expertness in the genre of pure detection novels. After 1951, most of Winterton's fiction was published under the name Andrew Garve, though he wrote several novels as Paul Somers. Winterton died on January 8, 2001, in a nursing home in the county of Surrey, at the age of 92.
Winterton used often his own experiences to give authenticity for his works. He traveled widely, which is seen in the diversity of the settings: English villages, the Scilly Isles, Ireland, France, Australia, Russia, and the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland, Africa and the Indian Ocean. His works were also translated into several languages and adapted for radio and television in Britain and the United States. In a series of four novels - Beginner's Luck (1958), filmed as The Desperatew Man (1959), Operation Piracy (1958), The Shivering Mountain (1959), and The Broken Jigsaw (1961) - he depicted the exploits of a young reporter who competes with a more experienced woman journalist on a rival paper. His knowledge of Russians is seen in the stories Murder in Moscow, The Ashes of Loda (1965), The Late Bill Smith (1971). Winterton once remarked, that "there are no experts on Russia – only varying degrees of ignorance." The Ascent of D-13 (1969) was an account of mountain climbing on the Turkish-Russian border, where two men fight against hazards of blizzard and avalanche in order to find and destroy a secret weapon.
The Russian-based thriller, Came the Dawn (1949), was filmed with Clark Gable and Gene Tierney under the
title Never Let Me Go
(1953). Delmer Daves, the director, was a specialist of dramas and
action films. In this romantic melodrama, an American correspondent
(Gable) marries after WW II a Russian ballerina (Tierney), but is
forced to leave her behind in Moscow, when he becomes persona non grata
with the Soviet authorities. When Molotov travels to London, he tries
to pull strings through him.
Garve's The Megstone Plot (1956) served as the basis for the film A Touch of Larceny (1960), directed by Guy Hamilton and starring Vera Miles. The light comedy was about a naval commander, who disappears in the hope that he will be branded a traitor and can sue for libel. In the complicated scheme to defraud a newspaper, depicted more detailed in the novel, Winterton used again his own experiences as a journalist.
Winterton's short stories appeared in such periodicals as Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Bestseller Mystery Magazine, and The Saint, and in several anthologies (A Choice of Murders, 1958; Best Detective Stories of the Year, ed. by Anthony Boucher, 1963; John Creasey's Mystery Bedide Book, 1969 and 1972, ed. by Herbert Harris, 1968; Ellery Queen's Mystery Parade, 1969; and Winter's Crimes 7, ed. by George Hardinge, 1975).
Several of Winterton's heroes are familiar with the sailing on the coastal waters or at the sea, as in the novels The Narrow Search (1957), in which a father kidnaps his daughter from his estranged wife and her new boyfriend, The File on Lester (1974), and A Hero For Leanda, written as Andrew Garve. The pseudonym's surname came from a small village in Scotland, at the eastern end of Loch Garve. In this novel, the protagonist is a former engineer, Mike Conway, who has left his regular work and bough a sailing boat. After losing it, he is penniless. He takes a dangerous work, sails to an isolated island on the Indian Ocean, and helps Alexander Kastellan, a leader of a freedom movement, to escape from it. Kastellan turns out to be a bad person, but Conway overcomes apparently insuperable odds, and wins the heart of the heroine, Leanda, by means of his navigational skills.
With Elizabeth Ferrars (1907-1995), Winterton founded the Crime Writers's Association in 1953, and served its first joint secretary. His later novels include Counterstroke (1978) and Home to Roost (1976), a psychological thriller, told by Walter Haines, a successful mystery writer. He has married the beautiful Laura, but after happy years the famous tv-star Max Ryland enters their life, and Laura leaves him. Ryland is stabbed to death. Walter confesses the murder, although he was at the time of the death in Portugal and another deceived husband appears with his confession. The Case of Robert Quarry (1972) is a crime story in which Detective Chief Superintendent Joseph Burns plans to retire, visit Lascaux and explore Provence, but then makes a start on the case of Robert Quarry, an industrialist has has been murdered. He works with a young, vigorous detective-sergeant Ryder; they complement each other like hand and glove. It looks as though Burn must hand the case over unsolved to his successor, until he starts a game of bluff and double bluff.
Series characters: Inspector James in Roger Bax stories, and Hugh Curtis in Paul Somers books. - For further reading: World Authors 1950-1970, ed. by John Wakeman (1975); Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection, ed. by Chris Steinbrunner and Otto Penzler (1976); Twentieth Century Mystery and Crime Writers, ed. by John M. Reilly (1985); Encyclopedia Mysteriosa by William L. DeAndrea (1997) - See also: Hammond Innes, who depicted in his novels the sea and seamanship.
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