Anthony Boucher's
Proposed Code For Mystery Reviewers

As Proposed to Mystery Writers of America

I shall try to remember that while the critic writes for The Ages, the first duty of the reviewer is to help the prospective reader to decide whether or not he'll enjoy the book in question.

Among the extremely diverse books lumped together as "mysteries, " I shall try to judge each fairly according to the best standards of the type which the author intended to produce, and not those of another type which I personally prefer.

I shall never interfere with the reader's suspense and enjoyment by revealing the solution, or any other element which the author deliberately and for good reasons withholds from the reader for a major part of the book.

Anthony Boucher (1911-1968; né Anthony Parker White) was a crime and science fiction writer, but also reviewed in those genres for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Sun-Times, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, the New York Herald Tribune and for nearly seventeen years, in the fifties and sixties, was the mystery critic for The New York Times Book Review. He won three Edgars for his critical writing in that time. In 1970, Bruce Pelz and Len and June Moffatt held the first mystery convention in Santa Monica, California, and dubbed it The First Annual Anthony Boucher Memorial Mystery Convention. It continues to this day.

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