Saturday, 27 December 2008


Marion Babson, The Twelve Deaths of Christmas, delivered everything expected of it. A good old fashioned who-dunnit involving a Psychopath who goes around bumping victims off for causing almost every conceivable inconvenience known to man. Oh how liberating to be able to do what the murderer in this book does. Where Babson does fail is in the characterisation and in depth description found in other books of similar ilk, particularly Margery Allingham's books. Having said this , Babson more than makes up for it with the page turner ability rarely found in a lot of authors, and I sadly have to say that Gladys Mitchell often fails in this aspect. All in all a high 7 out of 10.

Christmas has now come and gone and Santa bought me a wonderful present this year, that was a new Margery Allingham first edition whose cover will adorn this Blog shortly. In the meantime and as a special treat for Kay.

Charlotte Armstrong, "The Case of the Weird Sisters" First U.K. edition published by John Gifford Ltd, 1943, p191.

FORWARD:_When wealthy James Whitlock decides to marry his secretary, he did not take into consideration the reaction of his three sisters, all of whom are suffering from some sort of affliction. His amazing escapades and the ultimate entrance of MacDougal Duff, one time school teacher, but now solver of murder cases, will hold the readers attention absolutely to the end.

Gladys Mitchell "Noonday and Night" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1977, p191.

FORWARD:_Called upon to probe the mysterious disappearance of two touring motor coach drivers, Dame Beatrice, Lestrange Bradley uncovers a racket which involves stolen antiques, smuggling and murder.

Later a third driver is missing, but reappears to tell a tale which Dame Beatrice suspects is only partly true. The story moves from a stately home in Derbyshire to a Cathedral town in West Wales and finishes in a loch-side hamlet not far from Fort William. One slender clue leads to another until the drama is played out and the murderer named.

Coach-party addicts may be able to recognise the various locations and those who contemplate their first coach tour may be reassured by the fact that, according to the story, only the driver-couriers get murdered, never do the passengers.

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