Cut Throat by Christopher Bush (1932)
The hamper delivered to Lord Zyon’s home should have contained evidence of illicit trade activity, sent to him by Sir William Griffith. Instead, it contains Sir William Griffith, with his throat cut from ear to ear. Superintendent Wharton investigates, and brings Ludovic Travers along as a “detached observer.”
An intricate plot with a myriad of suspects and complicated by cast-iron alibis. The solution is quite complex, but ingenious. The story does bog down a bit when suspects are re-interviewed and clues rehashed. But to amuse the reader along the way, Bush provides some very entertaining episodes wherein he puts Travers through an “ordeal by flirtation” with one suspect, and Wharton via a romp around the countryside in a re-creation of the crime.
My Judgment – 4/5
Vintage Mystery Extravaganza – 2015 Bingo: Read one book with the method of murder in the title
Black Beadle by E. C. R. Lorac (1939)
When Joseph Suttler is deliberately run down and killed the police don’t have long to wonder why. Once they find that Suttler was actually a very cunning blackmailer there are several suspects to choose from, and none can prove where they were during the critical time. There’s rising politician Barry Revian, who’s car was used as the murder weapon, and information regarding Revian was found in Suttler’s pockets. Another is prominent Jewish financier Mark Garlandt, who would do anything to keep Revian from attaining a certain government position. And finally, Owen Jones, a clerk who worked for Suttle, and who after being caught embezzling money, Suttler began blackmailing. Chief Inspector MacDonald is brought in to investigate and untangle all these threads.
I’m a definite Lorac fan, and I definitely enjoyed reading this one. MacDonald is often accused of being rather characterless, but here Lorac gives the reader a better sense of the man. The plot is intriguing, but I did think the clues provided weren’t really adequate for the reader to determine whodunit. But all-in-all it was still a satisfying and enjoyable read.
My Rating – 4/5
Vintage Mystery Extravaganza – 2015 Bingo: Read one book with a color in the title
Calendar of Crime Reading Challenge – April: #3 Primary action takes place in this month