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

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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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Description

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

Her husband unmasked as a scoundrel, Lady Cynthia Letchingham seeks refuge at her cousin Hannah’s north-country home Greylands. But on Cynthia’s arrival, she finds Hannah an invalid, having recently suffered a mysterious paralysis; the house is devoid of servants, and Hannah’s husband, charming and sinister by turns, keeps watch over everything and everyone. Only the presence of charming Sybil Hammond and a darkly handsome neighbour relieve the atmosphere for Cynthia – but then a dark red stain appears mysteriously on the sleeve of her coat…

What has really happened to Hannah, and the other entangled mysteries along the way, make The Secret of Greylands (1924) an absorbing golden age crime novel matching Wilkie Collins’ high Victorian gothic to the agility of early jazz age fiction. This new edition, the first in over eighty years, features an introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.

Praise

“Not only a crime story of merit, but also a novel which will interest readers to whom mystery for its own sake has little appeal.”NATION

“Full of thrills and unexpected developments.” STAR

“A most skilfully written detective story and the mystery is carried through quite brilliantly.” CLARION

“A capital story— highly ingenious.” TRUTH

Bibliographic Data

Category: Crime Fiction
Publication Date: March 2016
Territories: World
ISBN: 978 1 911095 24 8 (ebook) / 978 1 911095 23 1 (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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“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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“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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