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Is it possible to commit the perfect murder?

Except for One Thing by John Russell Fearn Endeavour Press Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 24 Feb 2017


I love old mysteries, so it is a pleasure to explore Endeavour Press’s publications. Except For One Thing was first released in the late 40s but is just as enthralling today. It pits the genius and ego of chemist Richard Harvey, the murderer, against the determination and persistence of Chief Inspector Garth. Even better, the killer takes part in the investigation. This unusual book allows the reader to peer into the mind of a brilliant killer as he plots, rationalizes and slowly decays as the consequences of his actions become apparent.

Richard Harvey has a problem. He loves Joyce Prescott, but he is engaged to Valerie Hadfield, a cold hearted actress who refuses to break their engagement. Ending the relationship would cause a public scandal, threatening his reputation and that of his beloved’s family. A chance discussion with a group of friends brings up a question - is the perfect murder possible. Harvey’s desperation and ego lead him to believe that not only is it possible, but it is the only means of ridding him of Valerie.

Except For One Thing is an engrossing portrait of a killer. Some terms are a bit dated, but on the whole, the novel has stood the test of time. If you like mysteries and are looking for something different, Except For One Thing is a good choice.

4 / 5

I received a copy of Except For One Thing from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.


Description Just how possible is the perfect crime? And if committed, who would know? Richard Harvey, or “Ricky” to those close to him, is engaged to Valerie Hadfield, a wealthy actress with whom he fell in love with. However, as time has gone on during their engagement, he’s realised she’s not the women he thought she was. Despite his wishes for the engagement to be brought to an end, the vicious and vindictive Valerie threatens to cause a scandal, ruining his standing as a reputable chemist. More recently, Richard finds the affections of Joyce Prescott, a smart and friendly woman, and the two wish to marry. Frustrated with his situation, Richard muses over ways in which he can be rid of Valerie, freeing the way for his marriage to Joyce. It is at this point that he bumps into Chief Inspector Garth of Scotland Yard, a friend with whom he’s worked with in the past on cases that require his expert scientific abilities. With other members of the police force, the group soon get to discussing the nature of murder cases and modern forensic techniques. Garth believes that the advances in science make it virtually impossible for someone to commit the “perfect crime.” This gets Richard thinking about his options… With all of his experience working alongside the police force, particularly in forensics, he has all the knowledge he needs. All seems to be going to plan, he has thought of everything; covered his tracks in every way he could conceive. However, his own ego soon begins to betray him… He hasn’t in fact been quite as thorough as he had first thought and his plans soon begins unstuck as the tenacious Inspector Garth quickly begins to see the cracks in Richard’s story… Except for One Thing is a thrilling work of crime fiction from one of the genre’s greats.

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