Home » Keep Murder Quiet by Selwyn Jepson
Keep Murder Quiet Selwyn Jepson

Keep Murder Quiet

Selwyn Jepson

Published 1941
Enter the sum

 About the Book 

Selwyn Jepson (1899–1989) was a British author, whose father was the mystery/detective author Edgar Alfred Jepson (1863–1938. His mother was Frieda (nee Holmes), daughter of the musician Henry Holmes and his sister Margaret (1907–2003), also a novelist, was later the mother of Fay Weldon.He was educated at St Pauls School, London, and the Sorbonne in Paris. He was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Tank Corps in 1918, but never fought in combat. He travelled throughout Europe after the end of World War I and, around this same time, began writing professionally. After enjoying some success with short stories, he decided to make writing his career, completing his first novel, The Qualified Adventurer (1922)- this novel which was filmed in 1925.He travelled throughout Europe during the 1920s and 1930s and this enabled him to develop a wide circle of acquaintances across the continent plus an extensive knowledge of European politics. In addition, he acquired a fluency in the French language.By the outbreak of World War II he had published a good number of mystery novels and he had been screenwriter and occasionally director on 10 films, beginning with For Love of You (1933).His writing career came to a temporary halt when war broke out for he was recruited for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), mainly because of his knowledge of continental Europe. In his SOE role, Captain (later Major) Selwyn Jepson was the recruiting officer for the independent French section, designated F Section. In this role he was spoken of as one of SOEs most skilled craftsmen and it was said that he was SOEs senior recruiting officer.When interviewed later by the Imperial War Museum he remarked, I was responsible for recruiting women for the work, in the face of a good deal of opposition, I may say, from the powers that be. In my view, women were very much better than men for the work. Women, as you must know, have a far greater capacity for cool and lonely courage than men. Men usually want a mate with them. Men dont work alone, their lives tend to be always in company with other men. There was opposition from most quarters until it went up to Churchill, whom I had met before the war. He growled at me, What are you doing? I told him and he said, I see you are using women to do this, and I said, Yes, dont you think it is a very sensible thing to do? and he said, Yes, good luck to you. That was my authority!After his wartime service he returned to writing with Riviera Love Story (1948) being his first post-war novel. And in 1950 his short story Man Running was filmed by director Alfred Hitchcock as Stage Fright with Jane Wyman, Marlene Dietrich and Michael Wilding.He continued with his mystery novels and in 1954 he was screenwriter for three films, The Red Dress, The Last Moment and Forever My Heart. In addition he was responsible for some of the scripts for the series The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, which began in 1956. The BBC also produced a number of his works, such as The Golden Dart and The Hungry Spider.In later life he resided at Far House, Farther Common, Liss, Hants, by which time he was a well-known mystery/detective author and screenwriter. Arguably his best known work was Keep Murder Quiet (1940) and the Eve Gill novel series- Gill was a young sleuth frequently dealing with problems caused by her liquor-smuggling father. He was also portrayed in film and in various books through his experiences in SOE during the war. An example of this is in Carve Her Name With Pride by R J Minney with Jepsons connection being that he was responsible for approving Violette Szabo, whose World War II exploits and tragic death were the subject of the book and film of that name. He is also featured in Sebastian Faulks novel Charlotte Gray.In later life he was a keen book collector and had an extensive art collection. He died in his 90th year.Gerry Wolstenholme