Agatha Christie,Ngaio Marsh,Dorothy Sayers,Margery Allingham,Bobby Owen,British Library Crime Classics

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Death Comes to Cambers

Bobby Owen is a guest at a country house, advising on security... but soon it’s a case of murder not burglary

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Description

Police officer Bobby Owen is a weekend guest at Lady Cambers’s majestic country pile, there to advise on security following recent burglary scares. But when the lady of the house disappears, her bed unslept-in, it’s a case of murder not burglary – for Bobby discovers her ladyship, strangled, in a nearby field.

One of the finest of the early Bobby Owens novels, Death Comes to Cambers combines wit and excellent characterization in a satisfying and classic whodunit, featuring an eccentric creationist, a superior archaeologist and an inventive cipher.

Death Comes to Cambers is the sixth of E.R. Punshon’s acclaimed Bobby Owen mysteries, first published in 1935 and part of a series which eventually spanned thirty-five novels.

Praise

‘What is distinction? The few who achieve it step – plot or no plot – unquestioned into the first rank… in the works of Mr. E.R. Punshon we salute it every time.’ DOROTHY L. SAYERS

‘Mr E.R. Punshon is one of the most entertaining and readable of our sensational novelists because his characters really live and are not merely pegs from which a mystery depends.’ PUNCH

Bibliographic Data

Category: Crime Fiction
Publication Date: August 2015
Territories: World
ISBN: 978 1 910570 36 4 (ebook)/978 1 911095 36 1 (paperback)

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Information Received

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“You see,” Miss Kayne said, “I committed a murder once myself.”

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“Know him?” he asked.

Bobby was for a moment too surprised to answer. He had thought of every one else but not of the man whose dead face now was staring up at him.

“Yes. I know him,” he said.

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Perhaps the victim had not been unconscious but had known her fate, had sent upwards from the black pit a cry that none but murderers had heard.

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“You think it’s murder, don’t you?”

“There is no proof of that as yet, sir,” Bobby answered cautiously.

“No, I know, but it’s what you think,” Glynne answered. After a pause, he added: “So do I.”

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“I’ll have breakfast ready before you’re dressed,” Olive said, her mind full of bacon and eggs, tea, toast.

“Can’t stop,” Bobby told her. “I’ve to be at Castle Wych at once.”

“What’s happened there?”

“Murder,” Bobby answered as he made for the door.

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Late in the afternoon a man, unidentified, had been seen to throw a glove into the Midwych, Wychshire and Southern Canal…

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“Ode to a chocolate,” murmured Bobby.

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“I wouldn’t come any nearer if I were you. It’s not a thing to see unless you have to.”

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“I’ve got to hurry,” Bobby said. “Mr Weston has been found dead from a knife-wound in his study.”

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Deep in bucolic Wychshire something dreadful is stirring …

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With a slow gesture of one lifted hand, Bobby pointed. There, in a space between the prostrate stag and posturing goddess, was a human leg, a twisted, motionless leg in a strained, unnatural position.

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“Give me gossip or Sherlock Holmes, and I take gossip every time. The detective’s first aid and ever present help in time of doubt.”

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“I don’t like it, Olive. No good, plain evidence, not so much as the smell of a fingerprint. Nothing but psychology and an atmosphere of doubt, menace, and suspicion.”

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“Gets on your nerves, doesn’t it? I mean, that playing of hers. I’ve never heard anything like it.”

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Bobby Owen stood for a time in silence, looking down thoughtfully at the dead man’s face. A small, insignificant face, lacking even that touch of repose and dignity which death, even violent death, so often gives, and one that Bobby had never seen before. Of that at least he was sure.

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