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 January 2019. ISBN
first read this when it was reissued as an example of a good crime story from
the late Golden Age. It was originally published in 1950 and my first
copy was published in 1972. Now the British Library has re-republished it!
discovery of the body of Mr. Smallbone in a deedbox (obviously a reasonably
sizeable box which was well sealed) leads to an extensive police investigation
at Horniman, Birley and Crane, lawyers who serve the highest of the land.
Henry Bohun is a newly qualified solicitor (and newly employed at H, B and C)
who has an impressive portfolio of previous posts. Henry becomes a legal
advisor to the police in the investigation. Inspector Hazelrigg has
a highly competent team investigating the affairs of the very respectable legal
firm and he trusts Henry as a stranger to that company and a friend of a
sergeant in the army who had joined the police.
recent death of Abel Horniman from his weak heart further complicates matters.
But it is after another death that mystery is elucidated. The
reputation of the book as a classic of the genre is well deserved since it
flows beautifully as the investigation reaches a successful conclusion.
The characters in the office are fully described with all their quirks.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Gilbert’s books are well worth searching out if you haven’t read them
before. He varied his style and topics and rarely stayed with one detective.
Gilbert(1912-2006) wrote thrillers, police
procedurals and espionage novels that rank among the highest and most varied
achievements of British crime writing in the second half of the twentieth
century. A founding member of the Crime Writers' Association, Gilbert was for
many years partner in a London law firm and drew on his knowledge of the law in
writing his most acclaimed novel.
Jennifer Palmer Throughout
my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my
15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but
occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting
reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including
Famous Historical Mysteries.