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Thursday, March 9, 2023, 12:58


A classic whodunit with plenty of fun British flavor from the author of Winnie-the-Pooh. My rating: ★★★★☆

Content warnings: language (mild), violence (not graphic), not a Christian author | Click here to read full post


This was such a fun read. It reminded me repeatedly of Agatha Christie’s The Secret of Chimneys, one of my favorite low-intensity British mysteries. This book had the same country house setting and early-1900s British flavor (mild cussing included), as well as some similar characters—Antony Gillingham and Bill Beverly reminded me a lot of Anthony Cade and Bill Eversleigh (see, even the names), two of my favorites in the Christie classic. The style didn’t have much in common with the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, despite their shared author, but every now and then I could hear Pooh’s voice if I listened for it.

As for the mystery itself—not overly complex, but a pleasant pace and some interesting angles and clues, a bit of suspense and a lot of sneaking around investigating secret passages and such. I loved the library scenes, not just because of the lovely quote “Antony could never resist another person’s bookshelves” but also because of Bill’s gallant attempts to throw the suspect off the scent. Toward the end, I started to suspect one aspect of the solution but didn’t see all of it coming. The ending did feel a bit anticlimactic to me. But the rest of the story was enough fun to make up for that.

If you can, definitely get the edition that includes the author’s preface. His comments on what makes or breaks a detective story are some of the best reading in the book.

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Happy reading!



Jayna Baas is the author of Preacher on the Run. She is a member of ACFW and The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network. Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free short story here.

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