Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Patricia Wentworth, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, British Library, Crime Classics, Martin Edwards

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Katherine Dalton Renoir (‘Moray Dalton’) was born in Hammersmith, London in 1881, the only child of a Canadian father and English mother.

The author wrote two well-received early novels, Olive in Italy (1909), and The Sword of Love (1920). However, her career in crime fiction did not begin until 1924, after which Moray Dalton published twenty-nine mysteries, the last in 1951. The majority of these feature her recurring sleuths, Scotland Yard inspector Hugh Collier and private inquiry agent Hermann Glide.

Moray Dalton married Louis Jean Renoir in 1921, and the couple had a son a year later. The author lived on the south coast of England for the majority of her life following the marriage. She died in Worthing, West Sussex, in 1963.

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“I want to catch them. To do that we’ve got to lead them on. Now listen to me.”

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Together they looked down at the inert sprawling figure of a man fantastically dressed in red-and-white-striped pyjama trousers, with a red sash belt and a white silk shirt open at the neck.

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It had been so quickly done that he felt almost as if a little knife had actually flashed by him and stuck, quivering, in the door at his back.

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Murder in the poisoned bosom of a genteel, if alarmingly dysfunctional, family in the English countryside.

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“We’ve managed to head off the Press men so far. But that won’t last. We can’t escape publicity, and the reading public enjoys murders.”

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