Harry Dodd is stabbed in the back while walking home from the pub. Who would want to kill such an unassuming man? Was it the mistress that he regrets moving in with, her mother (who just happens to live with them too), or one of the many family members who hate him for various reasons. Inspector Littlejohn and Sergeant Cromwell of the Metropolitan Police are brought in to investigate.
Why have I never read anything by George Bellairs before this?!! I absolutely love this book. It is intelligently written, with sharp, witty dialogue. The plot is intricate and full of twists, but like a true Golden Age Mystery, all of the clues are there, laid out for you to solve the crime. And while this was published and takes place in 1953, the story doesn’t feel dated.
What I really enjoyed were the the many characters that Littlejohn and Cromwell encounter during the investigation. Each added something to the plot, but also, the colorful descriptions of each were fabulous. They ranged from funny “His thin neck projected from his collar like a snake, and his head was almost the same diameter, which gave it the look of a nail sticking out from his collar”, to downright snarky “Her face was round, good-natured and self-indulgent, her figure full and rather attractive for those who liked them that way.”
I have already put several more of the series on my TBR list, and I highly recommend this one to anyone looking for a good mystery, or just a good read.
My thanks to NetGalley and Agora Books for the advance reader copy made available for my review.