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

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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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Description

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.

Little Polly Spencer liked to visit her hiding place up on the London rooftops, to escape a scolding or worse from her stepmother. Peeping through a studio window, she sees what looks like a burglary. But signs of robbery are merely a cover for murder – and the young figure on the roof seemingly the only witness to the crime.

Polly is sent to live with her well-born mother’s family, her secret kept from the police. More than a decade later, she has become Lady Warchester, the wife of a wealthy titled man—yet, in a world utterly removed from her childhood, she will finally face the pale-faced killer she glimpsed through the window all those years ago. And the danger of having seen too much is about to become acute…

The Witness on the Roof (1925) is a classic of early golden age crime fiction. This new edition, the first in over eighty years, features an introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.

Praise

“Miss Haynes has a sense of character; her people are vivid and not the usual puppets of detective fiction.” NEW STATESMAN

Bibliographic Data

Category: Crime Fiction
Publication Date: March 2016
Territories: World
ISBN: 978 1 911095 28 6 (ebook) / 978 1 911095 27 9 (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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“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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“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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