The Arsenal Stadium Mystery by Leonard R. Gribble (1939)
A crowd of thousands are on hand to watch the match between league champion Arsenal and the Trojans was the all-amateur team comprised of “carpenters and electricians, chemists and insurance brokers, clerks and salesmen.” The teams are well-matched, going toe-to-toe in a tie game. Then suddenly their right half, John Doyce, collapses for no apparent reason, is carried off the field, and dies soon after. It’s soon evident that he’s been poisoned, and Inspector Slade of Scotland Yard begins investigating.
A very interesting read. The mystery is well done, with plenty of suspects and it keeps you guessing. The story moves at a good pace, and the dour and cynical Sergeant Clinton makes up for any blandness of Inspector Slade’s character.
My Judgment – 4/5
Vintage Mystery Extravaganza – 2013 Scattergories: #14 Scene of the Crime:
Calendar of Crime – March #3 Primary action takes place in this month
Miss Hogg and the Brontë Murders by Austin Lee (1956)
When Dr. Andrew Appleby falls under suspicion for murder he sends for Miss Hogg to investigate. Several corpses later, all tied together by the works the Brontës’, Shakespeare and Wordsworth, Miss Hogg and her faithful friend Milly Brown, are dashing from Haworth to Cambridge, and on to Stratford, to uncover a murderer with a literary bent.
I first read this about thirty years ago and remember enjoying it. This time around, not so much. Miss Hogg “B.A., Private Investigator” is amusingly frumpish, yet enjoys her cigarettes and cocktails, and is extremely astute. Her sidekick Milly may be rather dim but her character is engaging and has an innocent humor. The scenes of the two with their undergraduate chauffeurs were especially fun. No, it was the fact that the action just seemed all over the place. I actually pulled up a map in order to figure out where who was when, and to try to follow the course of the investigation.
So, on this second read, I’d have to say that while Lee hasn’t written a great mystery, I still enjoyed it as a fun, light-weight read.
My Judgment – 3.5/5
Vintage Mystery Extravaganza – 2013 Scattergories #5 Jolly Old England
Calendar of Crime – July #5 Other July Holiday (Wakes Week – an annual holiday in any of various towns in northern England, when the local factory or factories close, usually for a week or two weeks. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/wakes)