The Works of Francis Durbridge

Francis Durbridge


Francis Durbridge considered himself primarily a playwright and his forte was taut dialogue and a fiendish plot comprising numerous twists, turns and cliffhangers. Whilst early in his career he personally on occasion developed his radio plays into novels the time involved took him away from developing new radio and television plots and serials where his real interest lay.

Consequently during his long career he worked with a number of collaborators who, under his supervision and with his approval, developed his scripts into narrative form for publication. Collaborators and the number of novels worked upon included Charles Hatton, a long-time friend from Birmingham University (11), James McConnell who himself wrote thrillers under the name Douglas Rutherford (12), John Thewes (2), Tim Carew (5), Paul Townend (6) and John Garforth (4)

The first novel was Send for Paul Temple based upon the radio serial of the same name published by John Long in June 1938 shortly after the radio serial was broadcast. It was very successful and ran to several reprints. John Long went on to publish several further novels:

  • Paul Temple and the Front Page Men (1939)
  • News of Paul Temple (1940)
  • Paul Temple Intervenes (1944)
  • Send For Paul Temple Again (1948)
  • Back Room Girl (1950) an original story.
  • Beware of Johnny Washington (1951) based upon Send for Paul Temple.
  • Design for Murder (1951) based upon Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair.

After a gap of several years Francis Durbridge changed publisher and from 1957 Hodder and Stoughton published novelisations of all his television serials until 1988. Recently a number of these novels have been re-issued and are available in the Harper Collins Crime Club series.

Books by Francis Durbridge