Monday, September 16, 2019

British Library Crime Classic...

Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon, first published in 1936, is a country house murder mystery. Lord Aveling has invited a dozen guests to Bragley Court to enjoy a weekend of hunting. His guest list includes an artist, a gossip columnist, a stage actress, a pretty young widow, and a mystery novelist. But he ends up with an unexpected thirteenth guest when John Foss gets injured at the local train station and is brought to Bragley Court to recuperate. Luckily, John's not superstitious--besides, any "bad luck would come to the thirteenth guest who passes in through the door." And that isn't him.

Bad luck does come to Bragley Court when a portrait of Lord Aveling's daughter is vandalized, a family dog is killed, and a stranger's body is found at a nearby quarry. Then, one of the thirteen guests ends up dead, and Lord Aveling calls Detective Inspector Kendall to come and investigate the murders--a job made harder by the many secrets every guest seems to be concealing. (Even the butler has something to hide!)

This is another entertaining mystery from the Golden Age of detective fiction. I had fun trying to figure out what secrets each character was keeping, and who among them had a motive to commit murder. I also liked the snarky friendship between Pratt, the artist, and Bultin, the gossip columnist; John's attraction to Nadine, the pretty young widow, made for a nice side story. And throughout the novel there were witty bits of dialogue and eye-rolling moments between the various characters that totally made me smile. This is a good one.

Happy Reading!

22 comments:

  1. I love the Golden Age of Detection and this one sounds like a the title and sound of this mystery!

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  2. I love the Golden Age of Detection too! Plus the premise of this book sounds very intriguing. I wonder if my library has a copy. Hmm.

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    1. Fingers crossed! Because this one is a fun one. :D

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  3. I don't think I can read this. A dog is murdered!

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  4. This sounds like a fun mystery. Love the Golden Age of detection! :)

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  5. I love the golden age of detective fiction too. Would be curious to discover where the idea for mysteries involving guests gathering at a guest house, secluded island, college dormitory etc and then finding that people are being murdered started. I know that Agatha Christie was a specialist in this kind of plot but was she the originaor or does it go back to 19th century?

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    1. That would be interesting to know. Because there sure are a lot of them, aren't there? Which is good. They're one of my favorite mystery plots. :)

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  6. One think I love most about these kinds of books is finding out everyone's secrets! I think they appeal to the nosy-parker in me! :D

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    1. Playing book detective is a lot of fun. I like nosing around in characters' lives, too. :)

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  7. That does sound like a good one. (*Note taken*)

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  8. These things sound so quaint nowadays but they are still fun reads. First rule for characters in these things is "never stand to close to the hero or main character." That is usually deadly.

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    1. Ha! That's so true. And apparently, according to this book, never be the last to arrive. ;D

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  9. I totally need to get this! Sounds awesome. :)

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  10. They way you describe me has me wanting to rad this one right now. I love the sound of it.

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    1. I thought it was a fun old-fashioned mystery, and I ended up liking it a lot.

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  11. What a pretty cover. I need to check out some of these editions. I love that they are bringing back stories from the Golden Age of detective fiction.

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    1. I love that they're reprinting them, too! :)

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