Death at the President’s Lodging (1936) by Michael Innes

Book Review by Sylvia D: Michael Innes’s Death at the President’s Lodging (1936) was the first of many novels and short stories featuring detective, John Appleby, eventually Sir John Appleby, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Writers often give their detectives a particular hobby; P D James’s Adam Dalgleish writes poetry, Susan Hill’s Simon Serailler is … Continue reading

The Body in the Silo by Ronald Knox (1933)

As well as formulating the Ten Commandments of Detective Fiction or Decalogue, the Catholic priest and theologian Ronald Knox wrote six detective stories of which this is the fourth. All but the first feature Miles Bredon, an investigator for the Indescribable Insurance Company. The novel opens with Miles and his wife Angela discussing an invitation … Continue reading

Case with 4 Clowns (1939) by Leo Bruce

Book review by George S: Case with 4 Clowns (1939) is the fourth of Leo Bruce’s Sergeant Beef novels, and it’s not the one to start with, since in it Leo Bruce gives away several spoilers about the outcomes of previous books in the series. He could be careless about that sort of thing – … Continue reading

Those Who Remain by Eileen Tremayne (1942)

Shuttling between London and the secluded village of ‘Eldbury’ in the early part of the Second World War, this novel concerns the plight of a single family as they retreat to the relative safety of the countryside, while outside events develop and gradually begin to impinge on their lives. References to the previous war, together … Continue reading

The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle (1942)

This novel was initially published as Uneasy Freehold. In 1944 it was made into a film titled The Uninvited and starring Ray Milland. At the beginning of the novel Roddy Fitzgerald and his sister, Pamela, tired of London life, are driving through Devon looking for a house to buy. They come upon Cliff End by … Continue reading

To All the Living by Monica Felton (1945)

This novel gives an account of the experience of a group of men and women working in a munitions factory (‘Blimpton’, near the town of Dustborough) during the Second World War. Felton supplies a detailed, not to say exhaustive picture of the innumerable challenges involved in managing such a site, intermingled with the inevitable and … Continue reading