Since 1918 there have been thirteen unsolved murders committed on Mondays—and that it could be the work of one killer. At least that what crime novelist Ferdinand Pole is asserting. And he’s sent the information to the Evening Blazon, stating that there will be more to follow—information and possibly killings. That very day the body of disgraced schoolmaster T. P. Luffman is found—and it just happens to be Monday. One week later, when an unknown actress is found dead, it appears that there may be merit to Pole’s contention. Is he in it for the publicity, or does he have a darker motive?
A mystery featuring a serial killer usually always makes for an interesting read. This had the addition of publicity surrounding such a case, with the sensationalism of the press, and the appetite for such stories by the public. Unfortunately, Bush doesn’t take full advantage of any of that. This could have been a thrilling hunt for a killer before they strike again, with the public panting for the latest Tuesday editions. Instead, the plot is rather slim and focuses in too soon on only a few viable suspects. And it doesn’t take that long to filter through them. Alas, I did glom onto the murderer as soon as they stepped on the page, just something about the way Bush presented them I guess.
One of the selling points of the book is that there is something of a “parody” of The Detection Club which Bush incorporates into the story. Here, Ferdinand Pole is the President of The Murder Club, of which he is trying to tempt Travers (who has recently written a book regarding one of his cases) into becoming a member of. I assumed jibes at The Murder Club would be a running theme, but it seemed as if Pole’s attempts, and Travers dismay at learning that the club members plug each other’s books, are pretty much the extent of that story line.
This is the fourteenth of Bush’s Ludovic Travers series, and the eleventh I’ve read. I had been trying to read them in publication order, but since being unable to finish The Case of the Unfortunate Village (about 1/3rd of the way through I started skimming, then gave it up all together), I’ve given that up. I have to say that they are really becoming hit and miss with me, with more falling into the miss column of late.
There is nothing that stands out in Monday Murders, nor is there anything really to complain about. I’d have to say that this is a middling kind of read. I still have several on the shelf, so we’ll see how it goes from here on out.
Vintage Mystery Extravaganza—2015 Bingo—Read one book with a time, day, month, etc. in the title