Sunday, December 3, 2017

Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate

book cover
Somebody at the Door
by Raymond Postgate

ISBN-13: 9781464209123
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
In the winter of 1942, England lies cold and dark in the wartime blackout. One bleak evening, Councillor Grayling steps off the 6.12 from Euston, carrying £120 in cash, and oblivious to the fate that awaits him in the snow-covered suburbs.

Inspector Holly draws up a list of Grayling's fellow passengers: his distrusted employee Charles Evetts, the charming Hugh Rolandson, and an unknown refugee from Nazi Germany, among others. Inspector Holly will soon discover that each passenger harbours their own dark secrets, and that the councillor had more than one enemy among them.

First published in 1943, Raymond Postgate's wartime murder mystery combines rich characters and a fascinating depiction of life on the home front.

My Review:
Somebody at the Door is a mystery set in 1942 in England and was originally published in 1943. A man is murdered using mustard gas, and the police investigate his fellow train passengers. Instead of a typical investigation, we get a series of short stories showing the background of each suspect with events occurring from his point of view. One of these stories was quite exciting. Some were interesting and showed what England was like at the time (Home Guard duties, blackout, etc.). The Inspector also learned this background information, and it helped eliminate some suspects and provided motive and opportunity for others.

I did figure out whodunit from those stories and my guess was confirmed when the Inspector questioned a few people and turned up the final clues. Yet much of the information in the stories was filler--maybe interesting in a historical sense but having little to do with the mystery. Even the exciting sub-story could have been summarized in a paragraph as that person wasn't a strong suspect. Basically, this story may appeal more to fans of historical novels than of whodunit mysteries.

There were no sex scenes, though there was a description of a nude female's breasts. There was some bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this historical 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.

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