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

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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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Description

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

Robert Saunderson’s murdered body is found in the summer house at Lord Medchester’s country mansion. Some crystal beads, broken off a neckace and found on the scene, form the primary clue. But where is the necklace, and whose could it be?

Detective Inspector Stoddart and his assistant Harbord have to unravel a mystery that cost two men their lives and destroyed the reputation of others.

The Crystal Beads Murder, first published in 1930, was the last of the Inspector Stoddart mysteries, and Annie Haynes’ final book overall. She died, after a long illness, before completing it and it was finished by an unknown friend and fellow writer. This new edition features an introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.

Praise

“An uncommonly well-constructed tale... throughout the reader is kept continually on the ‘qui vive’” WESTERN AUSTRALIAN

Bibliographic Data

Category: Crime Fiction
Publication Date: October 2015
Territories: World
ISBN: 978 1 910570 79 1 (ebook) / 978 1 910570 80 7 (paperback)

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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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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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“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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