Recommendsday

Recommendsday: Even More British Library Crime Classics

Continuing on from the cozy crime BotW pick yesterday, lets have some more murder mysteries today. After all, it’s been whole month since I recommended a British Library Crime Classic, so it must be time for some more – Happy Wednesday everyone!

Seat of the Scornful by John Dickson Carr

A very dislikeable judge is found holding a gun by the body of a murder victim. He says he didn’t kill his daughter’s fiancée but all the evidence seems to suggest that he did. Gideon Fell investigates a crime that turns into a game of cat and mouse. This is really strong on creating a set of characters that you feel that you’d understand and although the denouement feels very of its time, I did enjoy it.

Death on the Riviera by John Bude

This is another in the Inspector Meredith series and deals with an investigation into a currency racket on the French Riviera. Side note: I feel like the French Riviera gets more than its fair share of murder mysteries from this era – there are a lot of them in the Inspector Littlejohn series, as well as a few Agatha Christies and that’s just the stuff I can think of off the top of my head. If only Peter Wimsey had investigated down there we could have the full set. Anyway, this has an eccentric English woman with a house full of bohemian guests and quite a lot of the requisite glamour from the setting, but the solution is… a lot to deal with and I wasn’t sure if it all quite worked over all. Still if you like John Bude, definitely worth checking out, as it’s been out of print for yonks.

Mystery in the Channel by Freeman Willis Crofts

This is a little bit different – a seemingly impossible murder on a boat that turns into a financial mystery. The story opens with a ferry between Newhaven and Dieppe spotting a seemingly deserted yacht – and then spots what looks like a body on deck. When the crew investigates, they find not one but two bodies on board – but no sign of the murder weapon. Once the investigation gets underway, the victims are identified as two key figures in one of the largest financial houses in the country. Inspector French of Scotland Yard is called in to investigate and after a bit more digging it emerges that the firm is in trouble – on the brink of collapse. A huge sum of money is missing – and so is one of the other partners in the business. Were the dead men fleeing the country? And if they were, where is the money and who killed them? I really enjoyed this – and the denouement is really clever and fast paced. I’m not normally a boat person (save Swallows and Amazons) but this explains everything in simple enough terms for a non sailor like me to understand and yet is really quite complex. Definitely worth a look.

Enjoy the rest of the week everyone!

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