Below the cut is everything I could find: the praise Dorothy Sayers laid on him in her landmark anthology Great Short Stories of Detection, Mystery and Horror; the enigmatic and possibly exaggerated Lone Hand bio; typos (or are they?) in the official records; the dubious character of his occasional collaborator, John R Watson; even a possible affair...
"The Life and Times of Mr Arthur J(ohn) Rees"
• 'Miller': E. Morris Miller in Australian Literature (Rev 1950 ed)
• 'Who Was Who': Who Was Who among English and European Authors, 1931-1949. (1978) Based on entries which first appeared in The Author's and Writer's Who's Who and Reference Guide, originally compiled by Edward Martell and L.G. Pine, and in Who's Who among Living Authors of Older Nations, originally compiled by Alberta Lawrence.
• 'The Lone Hand': a biographical sketch in The Lone Hand Volume 14 Number 84, April 1914, page 337
• 23/9/1872 in St Kilda to Frederic Rees and Harriet (nee Crutchfield) courtesy of Victorian Pioneer Index
• 23/9/1872 on Frederic Rees family tree
o among his sisters are 'Kate Frances' (1960-1920) and 'Mary Ann' (1870-1871): the "Frances and Annie", "my sisters in Australia", to whom he dedicated The Shrieking Pit?
• 1875: Findon
• 1877: Dodo Press bio
• 1880: Who Was Who
• Miller: 'Arthur J. Rees was born in Melbourne in 1977' (probably a typo)
WIFE & MARRIAGE
• Frederic Rees family tree states that he married Mary Elizabeth MILLAR around 1901
• Victorian Pioneer Index lists Mary Elizabeth Millar's birth in 1868, of Charles Gypsum Millar and Mary Aice (nee Kenney)
o does list the marriage of an Arth Jno Rees to Mary Jane Gilbert in St. Kilda in 1901 (possible typo?)
• Miller: 'He was for a short time on the staff of the Melbourne Age and later joined the staff of the New Zealand Herald'.
• 1935 Authors and Writers Who’s Who: editor of New Zealand Truth 1910-12.
• The Lone Hand says that he wrote for the Melbourne Age 'for some years' and was later 'a special writer of the New Zealand Herald and the New Zealand Press Association'.
• Miller: 'In his early twenties he went to England.'
• Austlit: settled in England 1911
• The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature (1985) records that he was a freelance journalist when he first moved to England
• Findon: in 1911 AJR lived in Nepcote and was 'working as a journalist on his own account'
o date he moved to Findon unknown
• The Lone Hand: 'writing for various magazines' since coming to London.
• Findon: 'lived with his wife in a bungalow named Nettledown on the lane leading to the north side of Cissbury Ring ... Nettledown was of rudimentary construction, being of wooden fabrication with a corrugated iron roof.'
• Who Was Who: gives his address as Falconhurst, Evelyn Rd, Worthing
• Austlit: 22 Nov 1942 in Worthing, Sussex, England
• Miller: ' He died in 1942.'
• 'The Missing Passenger's Trunk' and 'The Finger of Death' (the latter story a condensation of The Unquenchable Flame) reprinted in Volume IX of The World's Best One Hundred Detective Stories (1929)
• Miller: 'two of his stories were included in an American world-anthology, besides translations of other of his works into French and German.'
• 'The Missing Passenger's Trunk' reprinted in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, October, 1987.
• Full bibliography here.
• wrote two novels with John Reay Watson (see below)
• Miller: 'His literary output belongs to the period that follows [his leaving Australia], and reflects little if anything of his Australian experience.'
• Old Sussex and her Diarists (non-fiction) is described as 'a rambling discussion of life in Sussex as depicted by diarists of the county' consisting of 'substantial extracts...with linking narratives and further contemporary material' by Christopher Samson Handley.
o In Old Sussex and her Diarists AJR writes of the slow uptake of both potatoes and the Pope in the area: here
MENTIONS & REVIEWS
• His work is held up by Abraham Saul Burack as a positive example in Writing Detective and Mystery Fiction (1945) and Writing Suspense and Mystery Fiction (1977)
• Who's Who In Wales (1921)
• The New International Yearbook: a Compendium of the World's Progress for the Year 1921
• The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature (1985) by William H. Wilde, Joy Hooton, and Barry Andrews
• described as 'Mr Arthur J Rees, an English author' in Melbourne's The Argus, 21-9-1935
• Barzun and Taylor's Catalogue of Crime calls The Shrieking Pit a 'first-rate novel of the length and pace customary at the time of its writing, but distinguished from its fellows by an absolutely steady forward march through a variety of clues and contradictions.'
• Dorothy L. Sayers in the introduction to Great Short Stories of Detection, Mystery and Horror (1928) mentions "Mr. A. J. Rees's sound and well-planned stories".
• born at Tinonee, N.S.W., 23rd May, 1872; of Scottish parentage
• short stories published in The Bulletin
• NOVELS: In a Man's Mind, London, 1896; An Earthly Fulfilment, London, 1899.
• An Earthly Fulfilment by 'J. R. Watson' highlighted by Wigg & Son 'Newest and Best Fiction of the Month' in The West Australian through August 1899
• described in 1900 by A. W. Jose, Angus & Robertson's Reader, as too 'sexual' for a 'respectable English paper'