Roy Vickers was the author of over 60 crime novels and 80 short stories, many written under the pseudonyms Sefton Kyle and David Durham. He was born in 1889 and educated at Charterhouse School, Brasenose College, Oxford, and enrolled as a student of the Middle Temple.He left the University before graduating in order to join the staff of a popular weekly. After two years of journalistic choring, which included a period of crime reporting, he became editor of the Novel Magazine, but eventually resigned this post so that he could develop his ideas as a freelance. His experience in the criminal courts gave him a view of the anatomy of crime which was the mainspring of his novels and short stories.Not primarily interested in the professional crook, he wrote of the normal citizen taken unawares by the latent forces of his own temperament. His attitude to the criminal is sympathetic but unsentimental.
Vickers is best known for his ‘Department of Dead Ends’ stories which were originally published in Pearson’s Magazine from 1934. Partial collections were made in 1947, 1949, and 1978, earning him a reputation in both the UK and the US as an accomplished writer of ‘inverted mysteries’. He also edited several anthologies for the Crime Writers’ Association.