Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy - James Anderson


The theft of the diamond necklace and the antique pistols might all be explained, but the body in the lake - that was a puzzle. "Don't expect me to solve anything," Inspector Wilkins announced modestly when he arrived to sort out the unpleasantness. And at a house party that included English aristocracy, foreign agents in disguise, a ravishing baroness, a daring jewel thief, a Texas millionaire, and of course, the imperturbable butler, it was going to take some intricate sleuthing to uncover who killed whom and why...

The cover image is a good clue to the contents of this fun book - it's a return to the 1930s, with war looming, but people still having "top hole" fun in the country house of an English earl - a house which comes complete with a secret passage. The author has his tongue firmly in his cheek, but has written an affectionate tribute to Christie, Sayers et al and he has constructed a convoluted plot worthy of Christie at her peak. Some of the characterisation is weaker than the others, but again, I think that is very Christie-esque - as is Wilkins' repetition of "not sanguine, not sanguine at all".

An enjoyable mystery, and I'm looking forward to the other two in the series.

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