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WWII mystery stands the test of time

Death At The Dog

by Joanna Cannan

Endeavour Press

Humor, Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 30 Dec 2016


Death at the Dog is a charming cozy originally published in 1940. When old Mathew Scaife is poisoned, suspects abound. Thoroughly disagreeable and with a penchant for causing trouble, Mathew is hated, particularly by the tenants he sought to evict in order to rent to affluent evacuees from the city. Inspector Guy Northeast is tasked with finding who killed Mathew Scaife and why. The chief suspect is Crescy Hardwick, a charismatic and outspoken writer who would have lost her home had Mathew not died. It doesn’t help that earlier that evening she had threatened to murder the old reprobate. Despite loads of circumstantial evidence, Inspector Northeast doesn’t believe he capable of murder.

Death at the Dog is as enjoyable today as when it was first published. The method of murder is ingenious and the culprit comes as a definite surprise. It is a novel that mystery lovers of all ages can enjoy - light and with little to no violence.


I received a copy of Death at the Dog from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



It is late 1939 and Crescy Hardwick is a charismatic, if unpredictable, divorcée who seems to have found her place in the world at last…

She loves and cherishes the rural cottage she has rented for the past few years.

So, it is especially galling when she receives notice from the landlord of her impending eviction.

Being Crescy, she does not take it well…

But she is not the only person in the community to despise her landlord, Mathew Scaife. Most of the local people and even his own family seem to resent him.

Nobody mourns when old Mathew is discovered dead in his chair at the local pub. Indeed, it seems likely that he would have been swiftly forgotten – were it not for the eagle eyes of an apparently bumbling doctor, who makes an astonishing discovery.

Mathew Scaife was murdered; quickly and quietly and in a room full of people.

How could this be?

It is up to Inspector Guy Northeast to find out who killed Mathew and why. Returning reluctantly to the area, he quickly works out that the prime suspect is Crescy Hardwick.

Which is something Guy finds difficult to come to terms with, for a host of reasons … not all of them professional, or even logical.

As Guy establishes the ingenious method used to kill Scaife, and as the case against Crescy mounts, Inspector Northeast must determine whether that case is based in fact, or whether something more complicated is going on …

Many people disliked Mathew Scaife. But who would be willing to risk the gallows to kill him? And why?

As Guy investigates the people around him, he discovers that some of them differ greatly from the image they present to the world. The question is, is Crescy among those individuals?

And if so, could she be a murderess, or has somebody else been guilty all along?

Death at the Dog is a chilling murder mystery that keeps up the suspense until the very last page.

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