I bought a stack of Christmas themed murder mysteries this year with high hopes that I'd get time to read them. I still have a stack of Christmas themed murder mysteries to get through, and whilst it's certainly been cold and miserable enough the last few days to put me in a murderous state of mind I've been too busy at work to pursue that line of thought.
I did manage to read 'Another Little Christmas Murder' though and it was generally entirely satisfactory. Originally published in 1947, but with a distinctly pre war feel to it (there's plenty of food and petrol for a start) there's an independent sort of heroine (she travels in patent medicines), and a suitably rugged hero who turns up to rescue her when her car gets stuck in a snowdrift on the edge of a precipice somewhere in Yorkshire.
There's a handy blizzard in progress so he invited her to come with him to his uncles house. Upon arrival the warm welcome is notably absent, there's a new young wife in residence and uncle is apparently on his deathbed. The snow keeps on driving stray travellers to take refuge in Wintry Wold, which would be trying for any hostess, never mind the suspicious new wife.
In the night our heroine, Dilys, finds herself in the uncles bedroom having a perfectly sensible chat with him, but he does seem to urgently want to see his nephew, Inigo (our hero) so she's more than surprised when his death is announced in the morning. Foul play is naturally suspected, and suspicions are vindicated.
It's not a book that takes itself particularly seriously, the culprits are easy to spot (even if the motive turns out to be slightly surprising) but not in a bad way, there are some satisfyingly catty exchanges between Dilys, and aunt Theresa, and really the only thing that jarred was Inigo's eventual demand/assumption that Dilys give up her job in favour of being his wife. She doesn't seem to mind, but I think I expected more of Dilys than that she would meekly head off into the sunset in such a way. That's only a very small quibble though, and I'd pick up another Lorna Nichols Morgan with interest if I ever get the chance.
Just read this book myself and agree completely although I did find the fact that it keeps on snowing for days with [really] only a minor accumulation amusing and perplexing.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure any of it would bear to much close examination, but I found it enjoyable enough to want to keep - generally thanks to the humour, and that's what would make me pick up another of hers if I saw it.Delete
I always like the cover pictures of these books but find the contents leave quite a bit to be desired, for my taste.ReplyDelete
I have a soft spot for this sort of book and am happy to read piles of them, though the quality can definitely be variable. I've found the British Library ones to be generally excellent (or at least very much to my taste) but there are others I've liked less. They're not quite a 'guilty' pleasure for me, but they're very much the books I turn to when I want to be distracted rather than made to think or concentrate.ReplyDelete