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September 2, 2017 | madame librarian
From the British Library Crime Classics series--a collection of mysteries from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction--an era of classic murder mystery novels of similar patterns and styles, predominantly in the 1920s and 1930s.
"Miss Tither, the village busybody, is not the best-loved resident of Hilary Magna. She has made many enemies: bombarding the villagers with religious tracts, berating drunkards, and informing the spouses of cheating partners. Her murder, however, is still a huge shock to the Reverend Ethelred Claplady and his parish. Inspector Littlejohn's understanding of country ways makes him Scotland Yard's first choice for the job. Basing himself at the village inn, Littlejohn works with the local police to investigate what lay behind the murder. A second death does little to settle the collective nerves of the village, and as events escalate, a strange tale of hidden identities, repressed resentment, religious fervour and financial scams is uncovered. Life in the picturesque village of Hilary Magna proves to be very far from idyllic."--Amazon.com.
Robert Arthur Kewdingham is an eccentric failure of a man. In middle age he retreats into a private world, hunting for Roman artifacts and devoting himself to bizarre mystical beliefs. Robert's wife, Bertha, feels that there are few things more dreadful than a husband who will persist in making a fool of himself in public. Their marriage consists of horrible quarrels, futile arguments, incessant bickering. Scarcely any friends will visit the Kewdinghams in their peaceful hometown Shufflecester. Everything is wrong - and with the entrance of John Harrigall, a bohemian bachelor from London who catches Bertha's eye, they take a turn for the worse. Soon deep passions and resentments shatter the calm facade of the Kewdinghams' lives.
Prince's College, Cambridge, is a peaceful and scholarly community, enlivened by Prudence Pinsent, the Master's daughter. Spirited, beautiful, and thoroughly unconventional, Prudence is a remarkable young woman. One fine morning she sets out for Suffolk to join her cousin Lord Wellende for a few days' hunting. On the way Prudence encounters Captain Studde of the coastguard - who is pursuing a quarry of his own. Studde is on the trail of a drug smuggling ring that connects Wellende Hall with the cloistered world of Cambridge. It falls to Prudence to unravel the identity of the smugglers - who may be forced to kill, to protect their secret. This witty and entertaining crime novel has not been republished since the 1930s. This new edition includes an introduction by Kirsten T. Saxton, professor of English at Mills College, California.
With an introduction by Martin Edwards 'My friend Ellingham has persuaded me to reveal to the public the astounding features of the Reisby case. As a study in criminal aberration it is, he tells me, of particular interest, while in singularity of horror and in perversity of ingenious method it is probably unique.' 1913. John Farringdale, with his cousin Eric Foster, visits the famous archaeologist Tolgen Reisby. At Scarweather - Reisby's lonely house on the windswept northern coast of England - Eric is quickly attracted to Reisby's much younger wife, and matters soon take a dangerous turn. Fifteen years later, the final scene of the drama is enacted. This unorthodox novel from 1934 is by a gifted crime writer who, wrote Dorothy L. Sayers, 'handles his characters like a "real" novelist and the English language like a "real" writer - merits which are still, unhappily, rarer than they should be in the ranks of the murder specialists.'
"In the peaceful seaside town of Broadgate, an impossible crime occurs. The operator of the cliff railway locks the empty carriage one evening; when he returns to work next morning, a dead body is locked inside--a man who has been stabbed in the back. Jimmy London, a newspaper reporter, is first on the scene. He is quick on the trail for clues--and agrees to pool his knowledge with Inspector Shelley of Scotland Yard, who is holidaying in the area. Mistrustful of the plodding local policeman, Inspector Beech, the two men launch their own investigation into the most baffling locked-room mystery--a case that could reignite Jimmy's flagging career, but one that exposes him to great danger."--Page 4 of cover.