Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Cheltenham Square Murder: A British Library Crime Classic by John Bude


The Cheltenham Square is a flat u-shaped neighborhood with lots of odd characters and lots of gossip.  They all have their little idiosyncrasies and many of them don't like certain ones on the square but one never expected murder...

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 7th.

It took several unrelated incidents to lead up to murder.  A hundred year old tree was cut down.  A woman leaves her husband.  The husband moves because he's going under after being swindled by a neighbor.  All this makes the crime plausible.

One neighbor is visiting the other in a study that faces the street.  The windows are open.  When the owner gets up to pour them each a whiskey, he hears an odd sound.  Turning around, he finds the visitor dead.  He's been shot with an arrow and was instantly killed.

There are five archery people on the square.  They try to figure the angle of the shot and determine it must have come from the vacant house.  But with no one living there and no one seeing anything, it's a hard crime to solve.

Before the story is over, the surviving neighbor man is killed, too.  It takes a lot of investigation and a lot of legwork before they get a clue about what might have happened.  They're almost too late to catch the killer but they do.

Living in this square was like living in a small town.  Everybody knows everybody else's business.  But some clues lead to dead ends.  It took some brainwork to solve this crime.

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