British Crime Classics Challenge Update

Having come to the end of the unread murder mysteries on my shelves, and with the library still not reopened, these two reads were found via Amazon Kindle, for a very reasonable price.

I’m lining up some others, though the library has now reopened (huzzah!).

cross-stitched phrase reading so many books

The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson

Murder in the House of Commons, as the bell calls MPs to a vote. This is a proper whodunnit, with the murder occurring in a private dining room, the now-corpse a guest of the Home Secretary, who had gone to the vote. No one else in or out of the room. And yet, he was shot…

The thing that I enjoyed the most about this murder mystery was not so much the mystery itself, but the depiction of political life: the intrigues of the Government, of the up-and-coming politician-turned-detective, the careful treading of Scotland Yard. Distracting the Press. Wilkinson was an MP and she wrote this during a period when she was out of office in the early 1930s.

Murder in the Mill-Race by E C R Lorac

Moving to the North Devon village of Milham in the Moor, Dr Raymond Ferens and his wife, naturally, are charmed by their new home. And then Sister Monica, warden of the local children’s home, is found drowned in the mill-race. Everyone says she was a saint – but was she?Kindle

Villages are a classic setting for a murder mystery, especially one which is suspicious of newcomers or anyone who might upset how they’ve always done things. They always have secrets, even if they put on a united front to the incomers and pretend all is fine. Scotland Yard is always called in, and the newcomer is the amateur detective. The thing about villages is that strangers are always noticed, so the murderer will be a local. Just which one…?

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