I like a good cosy crime novel when I need a bit of brain down-time. I suspect it’s a habit picked up in my early teens when I was too old for children’s books but not quite mature enough for proper adult books; my Dad started me off on Agatha Christie, John Creasey and Leslie Charteris books and the genre has stuck.
Dolores Gordon-Smith is, in fact, a modern author but her books are set in the 1920s/30s so they have the right ambience as far as I’m concerned. She isn’t an author whose books I rush to buy as soon as the next one comes out but periodically I decided to check whether she’s written a new one and if she has I’ll generally buy it.
The sleuth in the books is Jack Haldean a former Royal Flying Squad pilot turned author and the policeman on the case is Bill Rackham.
In this novel, the tenth of the series, Jack is asked by his new wife to investigate her school friend’s odd reaction to a house she visited. The investigation uncovers the forgotten murder of the title, which Jack and Bill solve.
If I was being pernickty I would say the plot is a direct lift from an Agatha Christie book, although I can’t remember the title and it was set at the seaside rather than in London. Having read the Christie book I had an inkling of what some of the outcome would be, although I confess to not having cottoned onto the murderer, which was good.
I enjoyed my down-time with this book and I think the fact there are long gaps between reading the books in the series means I’m not as quick at picking up the clues as I am with some series.
If you’re going to read them though don’t start with this one, go back to the beginning and start at A Fete Worse Than Death.