Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Not Quite the Brilliance of Agatha Christie

By P. R. Shore.
1929. $2.00
Current price: $822.50
No reprints as of now.
This one might be worth seeking out—if it ever gets reprinted. Excerpts from three reviews:
RINGSHALL, like all old English villages, is full of tradition and superstition. When Mrs. Harrington, wife of the Squire, takes it upon herself to run its affairs, the townsfolk become resentful and even threatening.
Late in the evening of the annual fair, after everyone has had a full day of her personality, the Squiress is found dead on Foakes Green.
Inspector Grier, after delving into the victim's past, brings to light a highly checkered career involving blackmail, a large fortune, and a missing daughter. — THE BOOKMAN (February 1930; Jump To page 698)
Thoroughly intriguing novel by a minor mystery writer who wrote only two books in the genre. This one from 1927 is a classic English village mystery with a haunted green, a resident witch who curses the victim, a spinster narrator, a curate who acts as amateur sleuth with the spinster, and a shrewd policeman.
We have two chapters in which the curate and spinster examine train tables to determine if one of the suspects is lying about his alibi. We have much hanky-panky with servants. We have the surfacing of a sinister blackmailing foreigner who reveals the victim’s deep, dark secret.
All in all, crammed full of Golden Age plot motifs nearly all of which become tired by the 1930s in their overuse. — John, PRETTY SINISTER BOOKS (May 11, 2011)
Although professional detectives pop in and out, most of the work is done by Miss Leslie and her friend the curate. The solution finally comes by means of some hidden papers, but the reader is given a chance to put most of it together herself. The solution is good enough, though it is not cut to a multi-faceted, Christie-like brilliance. — Curt J. Evans, MYSTERY*FILE (16 October 2010)
- BEAR ALLEY (October 23, 2010)

Category: Detective fiction

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