Monday, April 10, 2017

A Grave Case of Murder: Review

A Grave Case of Murder (1951) by Roger Bax (Paul Winterton aka Andrew Garve) finds the Appleby family of Long Wicklen Village thrust into a murder investigation when they would much rather be celebrating the hundredth birthday of their patriarch William Appleby, known as The Ancient, or the upcoming marriage of The Ancient's great-granddaughter Barbara. But the festivities are interrupted when Barbara's intended is found shot to death in the freshly dug grave which was waiting its rightful inhabitant.

Neville Hutton was a smooth, handsome man who had swept Barbara right off her feet. True to her Appleby blood, she refused to listen to the voices of reason who said that perhaps she should wait till they knew one another better. Then another young woman comes to Long Wicklen and claims that Neville had already married another country and under another name. Before her claims can be investigated, the woman disappears and then Neville's body is found. Did Wanda Thornton shoot her alleged husband and run? Or did one of the Applebys shoot the man who seemed destined to ruin Barbara's life. Inspector James of Scotland Yard arrives in the village to discover the truth. It won't be easy though...the Applebys are stubborn and close ranks when outsiders come to investigate. But James is quick to read between the lines and discover what they aren't saying

A lively crime novel with an interesting family at its heart. Inspector James is a perceptive and sympathetic detective. Not exactly a fair play mystery (although anyone who can spot and figure out the meaning of the primary clue may figure it out before the final reveal), but definitely worth attention and time. It could easily be read in one sitting.  ★★ and a half.

This counts for "Other Building" on the Golden Vintage Scavenger Hunt card as well as the next book in the Follow the Clues Challenge (connection = a "supposed" marriage is mixed up in each case).


Anonymous said...

This one sounds like fun.

Simon T - StuckinaBook said...

Lord, what a cover! But another unknown to me - thanks :)

Alex Daw said...

As I get older I lean more towards crime novels...oh dear what does that say about me? There is one Roger Bax novel in my library - part of the Inspector James series - I must borrow it before it falls into the great book grave.