Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime Story (British Library Crime Classics)

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Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime Story (British Library Crime Classics)

Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime Story (British Library Crime Classics)

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Twisted Christmas: The story is set on Christmas, and the holiday plays an important part of events in the present and in the backstory of the plot.

Extremely Short Timespan: The entire story progresses between early afternoon of December 24th and the morning of December 25th. Many of Farjeon's works had been forgotten, but the figure of Ben in Number 17 appeared again in a string of novels, including Ben on the Job (1932), reissued in 1955 and 1985. In some ways I find it hard to pin down why the second half didn’t work for me quite so well as I presumed it would.The Christmas setting is superb and one does get the feel for a snowbound house party and the storyline is passable, providing, of course, that one can keep it all together! Trapped in the house is a neat group of characters: Jenny Noyes, a platinum blonde chorus girl; aristocratic (and argumentative) siblings David and Lydia Carrington; aspirational but fever-ravaged clerk Robert Thomson; elderly bore Mr. As anyone familiar with Agatha Christie’s work will know they feature in several of her books (…) but a quick look at the cover art for the BLCC series also shows trains make a regular appearance. This is really a very enjoyable mystery novel, with mysterious strangers turning up, locked rooms, murder, spooky happenings and even a little romance and humour mixed in.

J. Jefferson Farjeon does provide a subtly humorous, well-plotted, if not strictly cozy, puzzle for us to solve.This was the beginning of a career that would encompass over 80 published novels, ending with 'The Caravan Adventure' in 1955. The novel's quite fun in its way, but the denouement is far too complex and confused (I sort of lost count of the number of murderers), and irritatingly there's a coyly roguish suggestion that Maltby's psychic abilities may have played their part in the unraveling. I preferred Mystery in White to that one, but I have yet to find one of these BLCC mysteries that comes close to a Christie or a Sayers.

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