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by Leo Bruce
Academy Chicago Publishers, April 2003
225 pages
ISBN: 0897335163

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Note: This is a limited edition reprint of book originally published in 1965

History schoolmaster Carolus Deene is called upon to investigate the disappearance of solicitor Duncan Humby and the sudden death of millionaire James Grossiter in the English village of Hallows End. Known to be a somewhat successful amateur sleuth, Carolus accepts the invitation of Lionel Thripp when Humby's partner urges him to take the case. Carolus drives to Hallows End and visits the site where Humby's abandoned car was found. He then interviews James Grossiter's nephews, two farmers who reside near the town.

Holroyd and Cyril Neast couldn't be more unpleasant when Carolus arrives at Monk's Farm. Grossiter's sole heirs insist they never saw Duncan Humby even though his car was found in their lane. Humby's appointment with Grossiter was arranged on the sly when the old man decided to change his will in favor of several charities. Although the local doctor insists Grossiter died of heart failure, Carolus suspects the Neasts had a hand in his sudden departure from life. He can prove nothing, though, even when aided by Detective Sergeant Snow. Darkin, Grossiter's valet, isn't talking, and the only other information Carolus gets comes from the local pub owner. The amateur detective is about to give up when a startling clue is suddenly thrown in his lap. The discovery of Humby's body in a wooded hidey-hole spells the beginning of the end for a very clever murderer.

A superb British mystery speckled with clues and just the right amount of red herrings to throw the reader off track, this is the eleventh Carolus Deene mystery by Rupert Croft-Cooke, aka Leo Bruce, to be reprinted by Academy Chicago. Fans of the true English cozy will love this excellent effort first published in 1964.

Reviewed by Mary V. Welk, July 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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