Author: John Bude
Publication Date: 1935
Rating: 3/5 stars
Book Blurb: “Never, even in his most optimistic moments, had he visualized a scene of this nature—himself in one arm-chair, a police officer in another, and between them . . . a mystery.” So thinks the Reverend Dodd—vicar of the quiet Cornish village of Boscawen and a reader of detective novels—when an actual mystery unexpectedly lands on his doorstep in The Cornish Coast Murder. Julius Tregarthan, a secretive and ill-tempered magistrate, is found at his house in Boscawen, shot through the head—and the local police investigator is baffled by the complete absence of clues. Fortunately for the inspector, the Reverend Dodd is at hand, ready to put his lifetime of vicarious detecting experience to the test.
This was a decent read. It had a cozy feel to it. Seriously – the book starts with a vicar sitting by a fire with a good friend, waiting for books to be delivered. He is an avid reader of mystery novels and fancies himself a sleuth. Someone get me a cup of tea and a blanket…
The mystery was good – a man is shot in the head. The shots came through a window and there are no unexplained tracks leading to the house, and the other side of the house is facing a cliff – so how was he shot? Who had a motive?
I liked the head-scratching when it came to the mystery. I did think it spent a little too much time on the red herrings, and it felt a little long thus why I only gave it three stars. But I didn’t guess the murderer, so I was engaged most of the time trying to figure things out.
I enjoyed the ending, especially the vicar’s response to the case and how he felt about solving murders. It was more pensive and thoughtful as opposed to today’s on-to-the-next-murder trope in cozy mysteries.
Oh, the British Library Crime Classics have beautiful covers!