On his return from South Africa, Charles Knox is invited to spend the weekend at the country home of Sir Neville Strickland, whose beautiful wife Rosamund was once Knox’s fiancee. But in the dead of night Sir Neville is murdered. Who did it? As suspicion falls on each of the house guests in turn, Knox finds himself faced with deception and betrayal on all sides, and only the enigmatic Angela Marchmont seems to offer a solution to the mystery. This 1920s whodunit will delight all fans of traditional country house murder stories.
I’m just gonna say it. I liked this book. Yes it was a bit cheesy, yes it was formulaic (and hopefully you remember how I feel about formulaic books), yes it was predictable (see the previous yes), yes lots of yeses. And you should say yes to this story as well if you like a simple easy-read mystery.
You have Charles Knox, recently returned from 8 years in Africa, meeting up with old friends and a former fiancee at a weekend house party in her home with her now husband. The husband, a stale older gentleman who ends up dead during the party weekend. The first question to be asked is murder or accident? You have Sir Neville’s cousin Hugh and his wife who are a bit outlandish, a bit suspect-able, and a bit motivated if you know what I mean. We have old friend Bobs and his sister Sylvia. And you have Angela Marchmont, Rosamund’s cousin just returned from the States where she’s lived the last decade or so. Who is Rosamund you ask? The former fiancee turned hostess for the party. Oh, well and the remaining cast would be the servants of course. Can’t have a house party at an English country estate without servants. And Angela, she’s the one who can’t just leave things be or even just leave them to law enforcement. She’s gotta do her own thinking and questioning and putting things together. Which most likely should eliminate her from the suspect list. Perhaps?
By the end? Of course I’d figured it out. My ah ha! moment will probably also be your ah ha! moment. And the poor creator of said ah ha! moment doesn’t even realize that they created it. Until it’s spilled out to them piece by baby piece by the actual killer. Which brings another question to my mind. Why does every single killer in almost every single book/movie/TV show/whatever waste time spilling it all out step by ever loving step to whomever they plan to frame for the murder? Except of course to buy time for them to get caught. Can’t they spill in interrogation or in their memoirs or something? It’s one of those things that as a writer I understand the concept but as a reader I want to beat my head into a soft pillow or something.
End of the day? I liked this story and I’m glad that I own it in my Kindle Library. I’ve seen that this is just the first of a few by this author featuring Angela Marchmont which is somewhat exciting as well. Like I said, predictable to a degree but worth the read.
About Clara Benson