Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Stately Home Murder by Catherine Aird

The Stately Home Murder by Catherine Aird is a fun read.
Unfortunately, my local library system does not have Heinretta Who by Catherine Aird, so I skipped over that to the third Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan mystery, The Stately Home Murder. The murder takes place in a stately home, owned by the Earl of Ornum. The family is the typical scatterbrained characters that we sometimes associate with nobility and English stately homes, and Aird does a great job of drawing the characters. The family librarian and archivist is found murdered in a suit of armor after making a claim that the he might have found paperwork saying that the Earl was not the legitimate heir to the earldom. Sloan is called on the case, and receives heaps of abuse from his superior, Superintendent Leeyes and little help from his assistant, Detective Constable Crosby. There's stories about a family ghost making an appearance, which signals an upcoming death in the family, and when a hanger-on relative winds up dead, it seems to jive with the ghostly appearance. However, Sloan knows that there must be a connection between the two murders. It's just a matter of figuring out who in the small group of suspects could have performed the murder, and why the crime was done.

I enjoyed this story. The story is a quick read, and I have to admit that I didn't suspect the murderer or the reason for the crime. Up until the last 15 pages or so, I was as bamboozled as most other readers are, I suspect. There is some humor in the dry, British humor sort of way. The story has the feel of a golden age detective novel, and I am looking forward to reading more Detective Inspector Sloan mysteries.

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