Sunday, September 10, 2017

Death of a Busybody by George Bellairs

book cover
Death of a Busybody
by George Bellairs

ISBN-13: 9781464207365
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from NetGalley:
Miss Tither, the village busybody, is not the best-loved resident of Hilary Magna. She has made many enemies: bombarding the villagers with religious tracts, berating drunkards, and informing the spouses of cheating partners. Her murder, however, is still a huge shock to the Reverend Ethelred Claplady and his parish.

Inspector Littlejohn’s understanding of country ways makes him Scotland Yard’s first choice for the job. Basing himself at the village inn, Littlejohn works with the local police to investigate what lay behind the murder.

A second death does little to settle the collective nerves of the village, and as events escalate, a strange tale of hidden identities, repressed resentment, religious fervour and financial scams is uncovered. Life in the picturesque village of Hilary Magna proves to be very far from idyllic.

My Review:
Death of a Busybody is a mystery that was originally published in 1942 and is set in England. The characters were described with a humorous touch and village life was described in passing as the detective investigated, so the story had some interest beyond the investigation.

Inspector Littlejohn and the local constable followed up on obvious leads and questioned many people. Inspector Littlejohn slowly uncovered what happened until he was finally able to put it all together. There were clues, and the reader (having more clues) can guess whodunit before the Inspector. But the mystery was more complex than I expected.

There was no sex. There was a minor amount of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable, interesting mystery.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.


Alexandra Amor said...

Debbie, what prompts you to review oldies (but goodies!) like this? Is this an old favorite of yours or were you wanting to read something from a different era?

Debbie said...

Alexandra, sorry for taking so long to reply to this question. These mystery oldies from Poison Pen Press are being republished, so I'm getting them just like new books that I review. I partly like to review them because I'm interested in history and it's fun to see what people thought about "current" events, not knowing what happened in the next few years, like we do. I also prefer older mysteries to cozy mystery because they're still trying out new ways to tell crime stories and I find that interesting. Cozy mysteries are very formula written and sometimes hardly spend time on the mystery. To me, solving the puzzle (me or the detective) is the whole point of reading mysteries.