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A classic British mystery set on the gorgeous French Riviera
March 23, 2016
Death on the Riviera: A British Library Crime Classic
by John Bude
Poisoned Pen Press
Pub Date: March 1, 2016
The British Library Crime Classics are true treasures for the mystery lover. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to read such wonderful stories knowing that most have been unavailable to the public for over five decades.
Death on the Riviera is an excellent procedural containing two separate but interrelated cases. One is a counterfeit currency racket, the other an exceedingly clever murder. Detective Inspector Meredith and his Sergeant Freddy Strang have been sent from London to aid the French police in the counterfeiting case. A chance meeting between Sergeant Strang and Nesta Hedderwick’s neice draws attention to Villa Paloma. Here at the residence of the rich and eccentric Englishwoman Nesta Hedderwick, an unusual group is brought together, amongst them her neice, an artist who is not an artist, a ne’er do well playboy and his paramour, and a young Englishman on holiday. While systematic police work is essential, the small revelations that luck provides give inspiration essential for breaking the cases. There is even a dash of humor and romance.
This light read is cleverly plotted, and though the puzzle is difficult to unravel, the reader is always aware that Inspector Meredith will solve the crime and the guilty parties will be caught. This makes for a perfect escapist read. An added bonus is that Death on the Riviera is clean and well written making it appropriate for all ages of mystery aficionado.
I received a copy of Death on the Riviera from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
When a counterfeit currency racket comes to light on the French Riviera, Detective Inspector Meredith is sent speeding southwards – out of the London murk to the warmth and glitter of the Mediterranean. Along with Inspector Blampignon – an amiable policeman from Nice – Meredith must trace the whereabouts of Chalky Cobbett, crook and forger. Soon their interest centres on the Villa Paloma, the residence of Nesta Hedderwick, an eccentric Englishwoman, and her bohemian house guests – among them her niece, an artist, and a playboy. Before long, it becomes evident that more than one of the occupants of the Villa Paloma has something to hide, and the stage is set for murder. This classic crime novel from 1952 evokes all the sunlit glamour of life on the Riviera, and combines deft plotting with a dash of humour. This is the first edition to have been published in more than sixty years and follows the rediscovery of Bude’s long-neglected detective writing by the British Library.