okay, I’ll say this early on: this should appeal to anyone who likes Patricia Wentworth, because I find the style, and the characters - mainly, the large suspect pool - similar to how Wentworth deals with character dialogue. this is a classic “country house murder” set-up, with a big wrinkle that the country-house, causing its owner Sir Charles financial peril, has several paying boarders, thanks to his second wife Bunny’s idea that prevented outright sale of the property. so a murder could be “all in the family” (toss in servants), or do we look to homicidal-level ruffling of feathers between our prickly victim and some boarder(s)? or is this poisoning to do with none of that...though I don’t see, at the moment, how that would work; the suspect roster is big without waiting for the letter-carrier or the nearest curate to be roped in to all this.
I hoped for some early scenes in the South of France, but the romance that brought Bunny and Sir Charles together on the Riviera was merely dropped as part of the backstory; in fact: murder already happened, coppers mulling over confusing and long suspect list that has sorted itself out once action moved to the scene of the crime and I got to meet all the people who were just names. some obvious suspects, as the deceased was a bit of a pain and a bit free with arrogant opinions...so some specific verbal skirmishes, and a few “I’d like to strangle that woman” comments, are coming back to haunt a few country-house dwellers.
there’s some subtle humor placed throughout the pages, and Lisa seems to be most dependable for saying something entertaining. meanwhile, I don’t get Miss Silver breezing in late, of course, but Inspector Ronald Price, of the Yard, has been summoned, as an unbiased truth-sniffer-outer, because local law enforcement - Constables and Superintendents presiding in this idyllic rural setting - are all too chummy with, and in some cases too related to, all these charming, friendly murder suspects.
very happy! gonna want a clever whodunit/solution to go with all the above, though. but nice to find another neglected old Mystery writer who is worth discovering. the list is apparently endless!