As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by The British Library, 10 November 2018. ISBN:
The story plays out during the period of the blackout
as the Nazi bombers fly over London in 1944. However, this is not a historical
novel as this is the year the novel was written, and it was published the following
year. All of which means that Lorac’s readers were all too familiar with hardship
of those dark (both figuratively and literally – because of the enforced
blackout) days. Lorac is the pen-name of Edith Caroline Rivett, one of the
writers of the Golden Age and in many ways, this novel is typical of that
period – a whodunit mystery although this is a police procedural not about some
clever private investigator outdoing the bumbling, inept police.
man is murdered as he stands on a bridge in Regent’s Park, the face of his
assassin momentarily caught in the flare of a struck match. In charge of the
investigation is Chief Inspector Robert Macdonald,
ably assisted by the equally fair-minded Detective
is no shortage of suspects from the two witnesses to the crime, the doctor who
suddenly arrives on the scene and the fellow occupants of the victim’s boarding
house although the evidence appears to be mounting up against Mr Rameses, a
stage illusionist who has rooms on the first
floor of the boarding house.
enjoyed this book immensely - a satisfying feel-good mystery with a large slice
of humour. The twists and turns of the puzzle plot so beloved of the Golden Age
writers kept me entertained but it was the delightful characters, all
admittedly larger than life, that made me want to read on. Chief Inspector
Macdonald proves to be an eminently sensible individual, intelligent and
well-educated, who refuses to jump to easy assumptions – in short, everything we
like to think the good policeman should be. I was intrigued by Rameses and his
diligent practice to maintain his stage act. Like Macdonald, he is a man who
observes first and comments after. The two work well together. I shall read
more by this author just to find out if the two men join forces on a case in
the future. Perhaps my favourite character is the boarding house caretaker, Mrs
Maloney who always brings a smile to my lips when she appears.
is the first novel I’ve read by this author. I must confess that I had never previously
heard of the writer before and it was a surprise to discover that Edith
Caroline Rivett had published 48 mysteries under the pen-name of E C R Lorac plus
a further 23 novels as Carol Carnac.
is a novel of its time but if you enjoy the gentle whodunits of the Golden Age,
‘Murder by Matchlight’ will not disappoint.
E.C.R. Loracwas a pen name of Edith Caroline
Rivett (1894-1958) who was a prolific writer of crime fiction from the 1930s to
the 1950s, and a member of the prestigious Detection Club. She lived her last
years with her elder sister, Gladys Rivett (1891-1966), in Lonsdale,
Lancashire. Edith Rivett died at the Caton Green Nursing Home,
Caton-with-Littledale, near Lancaster.Her
books have been almost entirely neglected since her death but deserve
rediscovery as fine examples of classic British crime fiction in its golden
Judith Cranswick was
born and brought up in Norwich. She wrote her first novel (now languishing in
the back of a drawer somewhere) when her two children were toddlers, but there
was little time for writing when she returned to work teaching Geography in a
large comprehensive. It was only after leaving her headship that she was able
to take up writing again in earnest. Judith teaches Tai Chi, and line dancing,
yoga, Pilates and Zumba. Her other hobbies include reading and travelling. She
is lucky enough to be a cruise lecturer. You can read some of her adventures –
the Ups and Downs of Being a Cruise Lecturer on her September 2014 blog on her