vintage playing card jokers, one with a drawing of a masked thief at night-time with a flashlight, the other a drawing of Justice

The Crime Club Card Game

I hope this finds all readers well. I see that most of my fellow bloggers have been busy and I applaud them for keeping up their good work. Their offerings and insights have brought me joy and I am grateful! I seem to have had an episode of brain-fog which is only now starting to lift slowly. It’s not that I didn’t do anything, I have a day-job… and in my free hours I have pottered about, and one of the pleasant things I did was to re-visit my favourite ‘Golden Age’ crime stories. So I was excited to come across this card game from the late 1930s!

I have the more common 2nd edition (1938 -1940), which comes in dark green box (the lid is padded) and with green-backed cards. A special card for Peter Cheyney is glued to the bottom of the box. The first edition (1935) comes in a dark purple box, with card backs of purple. Both editions can still be found on auction sites, although the first edition is, unsurprisingly, much rarer.

Peter Cheyney was a popular author of British detective and mystery books in the 1930s and 40s. He is probably best known for creating Lemmy Caution. Eddie Constantine played this character in a series of French movies mostly based on the books. The Crime Club was either lucky or paid Mr Cheyney handsomely to get him to give his name to this card game.

vintage playing card with drawing of Peter Cheyney
Quite a dapper look!

Or it was simply good marketing. The game contains 50 cards, mostly made of characters from Peter Cheyney’s books, but there’s also Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot . The cards are made up of 6 suits with 8 cards in each suit. There are:

3 (yellow, blue and red) detective suits:

Each detective has an assistant:

and 3 crook (blue, purple and green) suits.

They have assistants, too, of course!

Then there are objects and locations for each suit:

I have to admit, I found the rules too much to take in (at present, I will want to play at least one round!) and so far, am happy just looking at the cards – I think they are fabulous. Sadly, as is too often the case, the illustrator is not named.

Thank you for reading.


      1. Thank you for your kind words. It really is difficult to find the time sometimes but once you started, it’s also really hard to stop … especially with fans like you! 🙂 xx

  1. Hiya Wibi, hope all is well 🙂 Superb set of cards and art, thanks for sharing. Yes, so often the artists aren’t credited, shame. I particularly like Superintendent Battle (what a cool name!), Carlotta and Janet Murch. How creepy is that card ‘Body’ with the stiff behind the curtains!!

  2. I love the cards…. please work out a way we can play the game online 🙂

    Or I can imagine a postmodern novel…..

    I agree the ‘Body’ card is a little disturbing…….

    Thanx for a gr8 post.

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