Whodunit, British Library, Crime Classic, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L. Sayers

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“Nobody would have murdered him,” Miss Lavinia cried. “Everybody liked John!”

“I’m afraid it is evident that someone did not.”

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Description

“Nobody would have murdered him,” Miss Lavinia cried. “Everybody liked John!”

“I’m afraid it is evident that someone did not.”

The note left beside Dr. John Basted’s corpse simply read: ‘It was the man with the dark beard.’

Dr. Basted hadn’t approved of his daughter Hilary's fiance. So when Hilary's father is found shot dead inside his own office, the door-key turned from the inside, the fiance Basil Wilton becomes a chief suspect for Scotland Yard. Yet how could the crime have been engineered?

Now an important lacquered box is missing; a former colleague of Basted’s has suddenly shaved his beard; and the doctor's ex-secretary has come mysteriously into money. Before Inspector Stoddart of the Yard can form conclusions, another murder takes place, again credited to the “Man with The Dark Beard”...

The Man With the Dark Beard is the first of Annie Haynes’ Inspector Stoddart mysteries, originally published in 1928. It is a sparkling lost classic from the early golden age of crime fiction.

Praise

“Miss Haynes, I think, improves steadily – this is the best detective story she has yet written.” TIME AND TIDE

Bibliographic Data

Category: Crime Fiction
Publication Date: October 2015
Territories: World
ISBN: 978 1 910570 73 9 (ebook) / 978 1 910570 74 6 (paperback)

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The body lay face downwards in a foot of water at the bottom of the ditch. Up to the present it has not been identified. But a card was found in the pocket with the name of –

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“Owing to the sudden death of Miss Charmian Karslake this theatre is closed until further notice. Money for tickets already booked will be refunded.”

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“Early this morning a gruesome discovery was made by a gardener employed at Holford Hall in Loamshire...”

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“A crime of a peculiarly mysterious nature was perpetrated some time last night in a block of flats called Abbey Court.”

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Protruding from the dead woman’s breast was the gold and jewelled dagger she had shown them half an hour before. And, looking horribly incongruous among the laces of her fichu, a deep stain was spreading.

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“I cannot understand why Mr. Bechcombe apparently offered no resistance. His hand-bell, his speaking-tube, the telephone—all were close at hand. It looks as though he had recognized his assassin and had no fear of him.”

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“He had his tea as usual; when I knocked at the door with the tray (he always had afternoon tea), I found him—like this.”

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“There’s no dirty trick he wouldn’t play—it’s my belief that he wouldn’t even stop at murder!”

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“Who knows if he didn’t make away with her here? Those things found in the Home Coppice show that she was made away with plain enough, I say.”

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Glancing at her more closely, he noticed dark stains on her white gown. Horror-struck, he bent over her for a moment, and realised that it was unmistakably a corpse.

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“As for books,” Sir Oswald said, “I don’t care for them. Unless I get hold of a good detective story. The tracing out of crime always has a curious fascination for me.”

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