This book is part of the Meg Langslow series. I enjoy these books because they are fun and she uses some great words that are great for vocabulary building.
Meg's twins, Josh and Jamie, are playing ball for the first year in the Summer League. The league was started by parents frustrated by the manager of the Little League. He is a tyrant that has alienated many of the parents to the point that they are afraid to gather and talk with each other. When Meg and her husband, Michael, have the team and their families over to their house the night before the first game, they learn just how tyrannical he is and are plotting how to get rid of Biff so that their children's enjoyment of the game is not destroyed. It seems Biff has started things that may help the parents get rid of him. He has invited a member of the Summer Ball League to come for the opening day and just as the first game is about to start, Meg finds Biff's brother dead in a porta-potty that Biff's company supplies to the field.
Meg helps her boss and friend, Randall, in trying to get Biff to live up to his commitments and the Sheriff find out what really happened. As she was trying to get Biff to follow the contract, she learns about his corrupt practices with his business and with the League. She comes up with suggestions that will allow her to get the work finished on the town square and at the ball field. The Summer League Official is shocked to learn the truth about Biff and his bad behaviors. In fact, when Biff attacks Meg's son Jamie, she punches him the nose and all the parents stand up and say that they will testify to his attacking the child and her defending her child. The official also says he is no longer allowed to be the President and calls for a meeting to elect a new President and VP and Accountant.
As Biff's world unravels, more things start to come to light, including the truth of the murder.
I really enjoy this story and my daughter who doesn't like mysteries, enjoys listening to the story and hearing the silly things that happen in the story.
1. A New Era Dawns: Ernest Bramah - The Tales of Max Carrados;
2. The Birth of the Golden Age
3. The Great Detectives: Margery Allingham - The Crime at Black Dudley, Mystery Mile, Look to the Lady, Police at the Funeral, Sweet Danger, Death of a Ghost, Flowers for the Judge, The Case of the Late Pig, Dancers in Mourning, The Fashion in Shrouds, Traitor's Purse, and The Tiger in the Smoke;
4. 'Play Up! Play Up! and Play the Game!'
5. Miraculous Murders: Anthony Wynne - Murder of a Lady
6. Serpents in Eden
7. Murder at the Manor: Ethel Lina White - The Spiral Staircase (aka Some Must Watch)
8. Capital Crimes
9. Resorting to Murder
10. Making Fun of Murder
11. Education, Education, Education
12. Playing Politics
13. Scientific Enquiries
14. The Long Arm of the Law: Henry Wade - Lonely Magdalen
15. The Justice Game
16. Multiplying Murders
17. The Psychology of Crime
18. Inverted Mysteries
19. The Ironists: Anthony Rolls - Family Matters
20. Fiction from Fact: Josephine Tey - The Franchise Affair
22. Across the Atlantic
23. Cosmopolitan Crimes: Georges Simenon - Pietr le Letton (Pietr the Latvian)
24. The Way Ahead
Free Square / Eric the Skull: Martin Edwards - The Golden Age of Murder
The book that started it all:
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 6 & 7
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 8-10
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 11-15
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 16-20
The story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Other Books Mentioned, Chapters 21-24
Ooooh, I'm so glad this book was rescued from oblivion by the editors of the British Library Crime Classics series. And I'm all the more glad for the fact that, reading its description, I didn't expect half the delights it would turn out to have in store.
Family Matters is, on its face, a take on the age-old theme of marital discord leading to murder -- one of the most prevalent topics in crime fiction practically ever since the inception of the genre, and done practically to death in its own right as a result of having been tackled by everybody from Arthur Conan Doyle to the Golden Age Queens of Crime and pretty much every other modern suspense and thriller writer. So, a rave review by Dorothy L. Sayers notwithstanding, I approached this with quite pinch of caution.
I needn't have worried, and I now fully understand why the ever-skeptical Sayers even went so far as to proclaim that she was "quite ready to accept anything that is told me by so convincing an author" as to the chemistry involved in bringing about the murder (or was it?) and in confounding, in turn, the police, the medical experts, the coroner, and (almost) the jury. (Though I would love to get a chemist's perspective on the accuracy of it all at some point.)
The real stand-out feature of this novel is Rolls's ability to sketch a character and an atmosphere, and his deliciously malicious sense of humor, which extends to pretty much everybody and everything involved in this sordid tale, beginning with the community in which it takes place, all the way to the fighting couple's neighbors and friends, the inmates and atmosphere of their horrid household, and the murdered man himself: if ever a character asked to be murdered, surely it is this story's Robert Arthur Kewdingham who, however, for all of Roll's scathing satire of the archetypal mysogynistic bully, still manages to be ... well, let's say at least two-and-a-half-dimensional.
Of course, towards the end of the story the judicial process is administered its due share of jibes as well, and in light of the Flat Book Society's recent read of Val McDermid's Forensics, I particularly enjoyed Roll's pick on the era's preeminent medical expert witnesses of the ilk of a Dr. Bernard Spilsbury:
"Pulverbatch was a thin, pale man, with an expression like that of a highly intellectual saint. He appeared to be in ceaseless communion with a fount of inner knowledge. When he spoke, he had a way of drawing back his thin lips, showing two rows of very small natural teeth, and occasionally giving a short whispering whistle. In the seclusion of his fine Bayswater home he attempted, with no great success, to play jigs upon the violin for the entertainment of Mrs. Pulverbatch.
'Hyaline deterioration?' said the Professor to his eminent colleague. 'Yes, my dear chap -- I quite agree with you. But look here ... [...] I never saw anything like it. I wish we had Chesterton here. But I think we shall ultimately come to the conclusion which I ventured to put forward as a working hypothesis at the start.'"
Though I do own, and have read, the paperback edition of this book, I also highly recommend the audio version narrated by Gordon Griffin, who has fast become one of my favorite go-to narrators of books by British authors (or set in Britain).
I read this book for the "Ironists" chapter / square of the Detection Club bingo, the image for which is actually taken from the cover of this particular book.
This is the third book in the series and it can be read out of order (I should know this is the 2nd time I have read this series out of order). Lee is the niece of Nettie, who owns the Chocolate shop in Warner Pier. Lee is the business manager and she is dating Joe, an attorney who rebuilds old wooden boats. One day, in town, Joe is attacked by Hershel, the local town problem, in front of everyone. Joe doesn't hurt Hershel, but he is confused by what happened. As they try to figure out what has happened, Hershel's boat is found in the water near Joe's boat ramp. The town is searching for Hershel and just as Joe is getting ready to take Lee back to her van, Hershel appears at her window and says he doesn't trust the people near Joe's shop and he wants to meet Lee's aunt at the chapel. When they get there, Hershel is dead and Joe is accused of the murder. As they try to find out the truth, they are being attacked and now they really need to know what is happening.
I enjoyed the story, but there were some misused words, not related to the malapropisms of the character of Lee. The story would stop so she could describe the chocolates that they were ordering, offering or eating and this would slow the flow of the story. The fun part in the book was all the chocolate facts. There were no recipes, just facts.