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Dearh on a Quiet day - Michael Innes

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I recently discovered three authors of classic English crime novels of which I am a huge fan.
It is Michael Innes, George Bellairs and Edmund Crispin. I have already read quite a number with great pleasure and it was a real treat to be given this novel to review. It got it from Crime Classics to download via NetGalley.
This novel  is number 16 in The Sir Appleby series .
David Henchman is a student attending a reading party supervised by old Pettifor. He goes for a days outing and sees a smoke on top of Knack Tor. He climbs to the top and finds a dead body very shortly after he has heard a shot. This results in a thrilling run for his life and at some point Appleby appears in the story. Telling more about the plot would be a spoiler.
It is a very well told and exciting story with plenty of action, humor and suspense. I really enjoyed it.

The Allingham Minibus - Margery Allingham

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From Crime Classics Review Club I have been lucky to receive a collection of short stories by Margery Allingham.
It is a collection of very different short stories. Some are  crime stories, other  ghost / super natural stories, and then  again  some are essays. Some of the stories bring a revisit with Allingham's famous detective: Albert Campion and that is always enjoyable. One of these stories I had read previously: The Man with the Sack, as it also occurs in Campion at Christmas (The Case of the Man with the Sack).
The book starts with a short article about the writer and is followed by a tribute to her and her work written by another of the great classic crime writers:  Agatha Christie
The tribute is well deserved, and this is a collection of very well written short stories all worth reading.

A Knife for Harry Dodd - George Bellairs

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A Knife for Harry Dodd by George Bellairs

This time I was given number 21 in the Chief Inspector Littlejohn mysteries from the George Bellairs Literary Estate for a review.

It was a fine reunion with Littlejohn and Cromwell.
The story takes place in rural England in the 1950s. Harry Dodd is stabbed on his way home from the pub. He is an unobtrusive man, who now lives with his mistress and her mother. The family forced a divorce after his digression and apart from his former wife there is no love lost between them. In the beginning Littlejohn and Cromwell have very little to go by, but gradually Harry's whereabouts unfolds and also who his enemies and friends are. More murders take place before they succeed in solving the crime.
It is a very well told story with a good plot, which was difficult to guess. And as always a lot of fun characters. The teamwork between Littlejohn and Cromwell delightful - so jet another well written mystery by George Bellairs.


I have previously blogged abo…

The Return of Mr Campion - Margery Allingham.

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The Return of Mr Campion by Margery Allingham.

I really like to read books by Margery Allingham and have all her novels featuring detective
Albert Campion, so it was quite a treat to receive this collection of short stories from Crime Classics
Review Club. It is a collection of essays, detective stories featuring Campion, ghost stories and love stories. The essays are charming and interesting stories where Allingham writes about her work as a writer,
how she became one and the art of mystery writing. We also learn about Albert Campions first
appearance in a novel and his insistence on participating in following mysteries. In this collection Campion features in about half of the stories - in two of them only as a listener to
Inspector Charlie Lukes narrations.
It was a lovely reunion with Allingham and I especially enjoyed the short stories in which Campion
took part.

Corpse at the Carnival - George Bellairs

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This is number 29 in the Chief Inspector Littlejohn series.
The story takes place on the Isle of Man. It is carnival  time in Douglas and during the parade an old man is stabbed to death . He is known as Uncle Fred. At the same time Littlejohn arrives on the island to visit his old friend Archdeacon Kinrade and Detective Inspector Knell asks him for help. It turns out that Uncle Fred has used different names throughout his life, but gradually his life, before he moved to the Bella Vista boarding house, unfolds. During the investigation of the crime, we get to know quite a lot of the island, and there are many lovely descriptions of places, nature, locals and their faith about "the little people". Bellairs really must have liked staying  there. You even want to go there yourself after reading the novel. It is a well-written story, enjoyable to read about the Isle of Man and the ever so sympathetic Chief Inspector Littlejohn . The plot is fine as well.

Bones in the Wilderness - George Bellairs

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This is number31 in the  Littlejohn series.

Samuel Cheever a broker and secondhand dealer with a bad reputation goes to France to buy antiques.
He stays away for a long time and people begin to wonder what has become of him.  His wife doesn't seem to care much, bur when the local MP continually asks: What's Happened to Cheever, Littlejohn and Cromwell are sent to Francaster to investigate. Here Cromwell buys a miniature from Mrs. Cheever and it shows to be important in the investigation. When a set of false teeth found in an unidentified body at Etang de Vaccarés, Littlejohn and Cromwell travel to France. In order to solve  the case they go to different places in France - The Camargue with bulls, horses and gardians - Bresse with poultry - Dombes with it's many lakes - Provence. There are wonderful descriptions of the life, the food, the wine and the different regions.
 It was a lovely revisit to France, Littlejohn and Cromwell as well as a well told murder mystery

Campion at Christmas - Margery Allingham

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Thanks to Crime Classics, Net Galley and Agora Books I was able to read 4 short stories from one of my favorite  writers of classical crime stories.
The novels feature Albert Campion in three of the stories. Two are  crime stories and one is Christmas with his wife Amanda  and the dog, Poins.
The last novel, Happy Christmas , is about a couple celebrating Christmas like Victorians and with the help of an old lady living at the top of the house.
Margery Allingham is always delightful to read, so this was a real Christmas treat!