"Publicity was Miss Cordell's bugbear. Respectable publicity was bad enough.... but shameful publicity! A death mystery! This was terrible!
Four Freshman at Persephone College--Sally Watson, Daphne Loveridge, Gwyneth Pane and Nina Harson--are intent upon forming their own secret society when they spot a canoe floating past them on the Cherwell with a dead body lying inside. It's their college bursar, Myra Denning. Now Sally and her friends are intent on protecting their college and figuring out how and why Myra Denning died. Of course, the local police and Scotland Yard have their own ideas.
"Undergraduates, especially those in their first year, are not, of course, quite sane or quite adult."A British Library Crime Classic, Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay was first published in 1935 and recently reprinted in 2016. And I'm glad it was because it's an entertaining mystery. The four amateur sleuths reminded me a little of Nancy Drew and her friends. And I liked the 1930s references and the college setting a lot. And it's funny, too. The actual police, though, do the bulk of the mystery solving ... with a little help from the four girls.
While Death on the Cherwell isn't quite as good as an Agatha Christie, this lighthearted mystery is a lot of fun. I, for one, would love to read Hay's other two detective novels, especially if they're as enjoyable as this one.