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Dance of Death by Helen McCloy

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  Dance of Death by Helen McCloy I received this e-book from Crime Classics via NetGalley. It is published in the series from Agora Books called Uncrowned Queens of Crime.  It’s very nice to get to know other writers who have written classic crimes, and I have thus been inspired to read authors unknown to me before. In this novel a young debutante is found dead buried in snow. Although she is covered in snow her body temperature is high and the cause of death resembles a heat stroke.  It is not a heat stroke but she has been poisoned with an overdose of a diet drug.   In charge of the investigation is Inspector Foyle with the help of psychiatrist Dr Basil Willing. Foyle and Willing have different ways of solving cases, and Willing tries to convince Foyle about the value of psychology in criminal investigation. He states that a blunder is the one form of clue a criminal can neither remove, conceal nor destroy - the one clue that is entirely beyond his conscious control.  So when trying

The Ghost It Was - Richard Hull

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  The Ghost It Was by Richard Hull is a crime novel I have received from Agora Books via NetGalley to review.  I haven't read anything from this author before, but he writes in the classical British crime genre and with a lovely dry sense of humor. James Warrenton (uncle James) has bought Amberhurst Place, because it is said to house a ghost, and he is interested in spiritism.  He has 4 nephews and a niece. None of them specially interested in ghosts, but  some of them rather interested in Uncle James' money.    The niece (Emily) and nephew (Henry Malcolm) both live with and work for the uncle.   Two nephews live with their mother not far from Amberhurst Place. The eldest (Arthur) is a solicitor, and the other (Christopher) is a poet. The last nephew is  the charlatan Gregory Spring-Benson, who appears at the manor hoping to get hold of some money, as he is nearly bankrupt.  One of the nephews are killed and later yet another murder takes place. It is up to inspector Fenby to i

Dead March for Penelope Blow - George Bellairs

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Dead March for Penelope Blow by George Bellairs is number 18 in the Chief Inspector Littlejohn series. A frail old lady (Penelope Blow) comes to Scotland Yard several times to speak to Inspector Littlejohn, but he is away on a murder case. She will not speak to anyone else. When Littlejohn returns he hears that Penelope Blow has died in a fall from an upstairs window. Littlejohn is not convinced it is an accident and begins investigating the matter. That is not an easy task. The Blow family denies him access to the house and he and Cromwell must seek help from the servants. A story of family secrets, madness, hatred and jealousy soon unravels.  As always it has been a joy and pleasure to read a Littlejohn mystery. It is a classic British detective story written with wit and interesting characters and settings. Well worth a read! I got this book to review because I have joined Crime Classics Advanced Readers Club. Thanks - I enjoyed it very much.

He'd Rather Be Dead - George Bellairs

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He'd Rather Be Dead by George Bellairs is number eight in the Chief Inspector Littlejohn series. I received it for review from George Bellairs Literary Estate via NetGalley.   Sir Gideon Ware - the mayor of Westcombe is murdered during the annual lunch he is holding for Boroug officials.   He is a man making enemies everywhere, and no one grieves his death (apart from his wife), when he is murdered during the lunch. He is poisoned, but it seems nobody has been able to administer the poison. Everyone attending the lunch are suspects, and in the beginning it was rather a lot of people to keep track of. As the Chief Constable  Mr. Boumphrey  is afraid to be unpopular among the distinguished  guests at the lunch, he asks for Scotland Yards help, and Littlejohn comes to help. He succeeds in solving Wares murder and yet another one committed during his investigations.  It is a well told story. Bellairs is rather good at describing the various people and the atmosphere in a buzzing seasid

Murder to Music - Margaret Newman

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Murder to Music by Margaret Newman A book in the Uncrowned Queens of Crime series. I got this thanks to Agora Books to review. It’s nice these crime novels are being published again. It was first published in 1959 but it is still worth a read. Detective superintendent Simon Hudson is attending a Metropolitana Choir concert, where his girlfriend Delia  is singing in the choir. The assistant director Owen Barr is shot after conducting Mr. Tredegar’s Mass. Owen has a capacity for taking and giving offence and since he was appointed assistant director the meetings and choir practices has not been very harmonic ones. Shortly after his death the Italian tenor Mr. Cassati disappears and another murder is attempted. The members of the Metro’s Managing Committee responsible for the concert are all under suspicion. Simons girlfriend, Delia is also a member and helps Simon investigate. I enjoyed reading the story - entertaining and well written. The ending was a surprise to me.

Death Stops the Frolic - George Bellairs

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I got this book via George Bellairs Literary Estate and Agora Books to review. I have enjoyed quite a few of Bellairs books and especially Chief Inspector Littlejohn. This is however not in the Littlejohn series, and I missed him and Sergeant Cromwell. The story takes place in Swarebridge during WW2, where two murders are committed. The senior deacon of the chapel of Zion is giving his annual performance as leader in follow-the-leader at the  Anniversary Tea Party. He falls through a trapdoor and is stabbed to death. The sympathetic Superintendent Nankivell is head of the investigation, but before he succeeds in finding the murderer, another murder is committed. I found the description of people in the community very good  and often very funny, and Bellairs i s also a master at creating the sometimes claustrophobic atmosphere in the close religious society of Zion. The plot was a bit weak and not very exciting.

Answer in the Negative - Henrietta Hamilton

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Agora Books has put focus on uncrowned, female  writers from The Golden Age of Detective Fiction. This resulted in me getting Answer in the Negative to review. Henrietta Hamilton was an English writer known for her stories about amateur sleuths Sally and Johnny Helder. I haven’t been able to find much about the writer but she is the author of: The Two Hundred Ghosts (1956) Death at One Blow (1957) Answer in the Negative (1959) A Night to Die (1959) In Answer in the Negative the archive assistant at National Press Archives - Frank Morningside - has been the receiver of poison pen letters and practical jokes. At first not so bad, but it evolves and gets nasty. That makes his superior Toby call on his friends for help. His friends are the married couple and amateur sleuths Sally and Johnny Helder. Johnny reluctantly offers to help and they start inquiries at the archive pretending to be researchers. While investigating two murders take place before Johnny su