Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Dead Shall be Raised and The Murder of a Quack by George Bellairs, Martin Edwards

These are two old tales featuring Detective Inspector Littlejohn.  It begins with the discovery of a body that was buried twenty years ago...

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).   It will be published October 3rd.

Two men had a fight in the bar and were removed from the premises by the owner.  They found one shot dead the next day.  The other never came around again.  They assumed he'd left the area, maybe joined the war effort, or just moved on.  When the body is identified as his, that theory goes up in smoke.  

Littlejohn is only in the area because he and his wife are on Christmas vacation.  However, the local cop has sprained his ankle, so he's going to work on the case unofficially to help him out.  He knows the true murderer got away with his crime and he's determined to find out who it was.  The problem is that many of the people involved in the case have died.  Maybe the criminal has, too.

In the second tale, he and the landlady find the local doctor hanging from a piece of his equipment.  It just so happens he was strangled first so it wasn't suicide.  This case has half the town involved in what happened.  The doctor had no medical degree (some called him a quack) and he sent on patients that needed more care than he could give.  He could set bones, offer herbal medicines and he listened well.  But someone was afraid of what he knew...

Both tales take a lot of fact gathering to get to the heart of the matter.  Nobody gets away with a crime once Littlejohn is on the case, though. 

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