Charters & Caldicott

by stella bingham

Take one body in the library. Add two old English gentleman playing amateur sleuth. Mix well and serve.


Whatever happened to Charters and Caldicott, that pair of cricket-mad ‘solemn asses’ from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic suspense movie The Lady Vanishes?

Fast forward about fifty years. The world has changed beyond recognition, but not Charters and Caldicott. A little longer in the tooth, perhaps, they remain dedicated to the manners of the old school, enjoying lunch at their gentlemen’s club and afternoons watching Agatha Christie movies. They are however entirely unprepared for a whodunit of their own, when the dead body of a young woman is found in Caldicott’s flat, stabbed with a Malayan paperknife.

Pitched on a trail of unexplained deaths (‘are you keeping count of all these, Charters?’) and dogged by the fastidious Inspector Snow, they attempt to unravel the mysteries around them. Why were the handbags switched? What does the cryptic message ‘Mix Well and Serve’ mean? And why does the enigmatic Venables, a fellow clubman, turn up at every twist in their journey?

This tale of Nazi gold, murder and deception features effervescent dialogue and delightful characters – especially the eponymous heroes, relics of an England already out-of-date by the 1930’s but none the less charming for that.

Charters & Caldicott is a comical, lighthearted but lethal treat of a whodunit, in which our heroes take their responsibilities seriously – but somehow always find as much time for lunch, tea or a cocktail as they do for detective work. And quite right too.

Bibliographic Data

Category: Crime Fiction
Publication Date: March 2015
Territories: World English
ISBN: 978 1 910570 12 8

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