Fell Murder by E. R. C. Lorac

Elderly farmer Robert Garth is “a hard man and a stubborn man, a man moreover who set his face against reform and change”. While respected throughout rural Lunesdale for his abilities and hard work, he is not loved, or even liked. Over the years he fought with many, and could “be a bitter enemy…”. When he is found murdered the local police are overwhelmed with suspects. Their only recourse is to turn to Scotland Yard and Inspector MacDonald.

This is an enjoyable entry in the Inspector MacDonald series. Solid writing and an interesting plot. The suspects, motives, and diversions Lorac provides for the reader to puzzle over should keep them guessing. Unfortunately for me, a couple of chapters in I vaguely recalled reading this years ago (can’t remember when) so I was unsurprised by the murderer (heavy sigh). 

I found myself absorbed in the story because the portrayals of individuals and locales are so remarkable. Lorac offers a realistic picture of farming life as it was in the north of England. She captures the quiet dignity of the locals, as well as their intelligence and reserve. The rural, insular setting lends itself to an atmosphere of melancholy that is very well done. This is also one where putting MacDonald in a different setting gave him more personality. Lorac presents him with an easy manner that, along with his innate understanding of people, allows him draw out individuals who are normally very reticent.

A thoroughly interesting and entertaining story. If you are looking for very good read, you will enjoy this.

Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the advance reader copy made available for my review.

My Judgement – 4/5

Prior Rulings – Do You Write Under Your Own Name?

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