Murder Takes a Turn
Murder Takes a Turn A British country house mystery by Eric Brown Severn House Historical Fiction Pub Date 01 Jul 2018
There is nothing quite like a well written, originally plotted manor house mystery. Murder Takes a Turn is an exemplary manor house mystery complete with a wide cast of characters, each with a motive and potentially the opportunity to murder the victim. Denbigh Connaught has long been a terror, with a long list of wronged acquaintances, including Charles Elder. When Charles receives a letter from Denbigh stating he wants Charles to act as agent for his new novel and invites him to stay for the weekend, he is greatly disturbed. Long ago Charles suffered greatly at Denbigh’s hand and is reluctant to consider accepting the invitation. Meanwhile Donald and his partner are hired by Denbigh’s daughter to investigate his secretary, who she believes is somehow defrauding her father. At Charles’ behest, Maria (his business partner) and Donald accompany him to Denbigh’s estate where they find an assortment of characters- an impoverished lady, a noted artist, a drunken colonel and Denbigh’s brother, a travel writer of some repute, and Denbigh’s secretary, a man clearly on the go. Each were wronged in some way by Denbigh and each has been summoned so that he can right that wrong in some way. But even the best intentions cannot prevent the noted scoundrel from being murdered. The question is who could have done it. While Ralph investigates the ne’er do well secretary, Donald and Inspector Mallory tackle Denbigh’s murder. What they find is a legacy of wrong doings and hate and more than a few motives for murder.
Murder Takes a Turn is a classic manor house mystery, but it is far from formulaic. The central characters are well developed, their actions and motivations understandable. The interplay between Donald and his wife Maria is sweet and believable, reminiscent of the comedy mysteries popular between the 1930s and the 1950s. The historical setting is richly drawn, immersing the reader in 1950s Britain. I’ve read several of Eric Brown’s novels, and have been impressed by each and every one. Murder Takes a Turn will easily appeal to fans of classic mysteries.
5 / 5
I received a copy of Murder Takes a Turn from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
A country house weekend in rural Cornwall ends in murder and mayhem for crime-writer sleuth Donald Langham and his wife Maria. “It’s time to let bygones be bygones. Water under the bridge, right? What happened … happened a long time ago.” When Langham’s literary agent receives a cryptic letter inviting him to spend the weekend at the grand Cornish home of successful novelist Denbigh Connaught, Charles Elder seems reluctant to attend. What really happened between Elder and Connaught during the summer of 1917, nearly forty years before – and why has it had such a devastating effect on Charles? Accompanying his agent to Connaught House, Langham and his wife Maria discover that Charles is not the only one to have received a letter. But why has Denbigh Connaught gathered together a group of people who each bear him a grudge? When a body is discovered in Connaught’s study, the ensuing investigation uncovers dark secrets that haunt the past of each and every guest – including Charles Elder himself