I mentioned a little while ago that I was reading a novel first published in 1913 written by Frank Froest who was a high-ranking police officer at Scotland Yard; The Grell Mystery is a police procedural, the main character being Chief Inspector Foyle. I am now reading a second Foyle novel, The Maelstrom, which was co-authored by George Dilnot; I’ve been reading reviews of these books and have been a little surprised by some of the criticism they have received recently. Frank Froest was an amazing character, and it strikes me that a lot of what he says in his books in terms of police procedures and detective work are surprisingly modern despite not having the science and technology that we have. If he has idealised his main character Heldon Foyle, then he has a lot in common with many authors!
I was talking about the book, and someone wondered whether the TV series about another detective called Foyle, in ‘Foyle’s War’ written by Anthony Horovitz; I wondered if maybe Horovitz had read Froest’s novels and carried on the character but set in the 1940’s… I was wrong. Horovitz got the name from Foyle’s bookshop, and his policeman is Christopher Foyle, not Heldon. Foyle of course is a river in Ireland, and an Irish Assembly constituency;