Bats in the Belfry: A London Mystery

E.C.R. Lorac. Poisoned Pen, $12.95 ISBN 978-1-4642-0965-9
This entry in the British Library Crime Classics series, originally published in 1937 and part of Lorac’s Chief Inspector Macdonald series, effectively builds on its opening scene’s gallows humor to a satisfying fair-play resolution. After the funeral of Anthony Fell, an Australian gentleman who died in a car accident, Fell’s cousin Bruce Attleton discusses with other mourners the best way to conceal a murder. Attleton’s ward, Elizabeth Leigh, belongs to a London club that meets monthly to discuss an intellectual exercise, and she shares with its members this challenge—to devise a method for disposing of a corpse that’s “not only ingenious, but possesses the elements of practical common sense.” The parlor game becomes more serious when Attleton disappears, and the mystery deepens after a headless corpse turns up in a creepy London studio known as the Morgue. Macdonald, a nicely sardonic and plausible lead, investigates. Fans of golden age mysteries will look forward to seeing more of Lorac, a pseudonym of Edith Caroline Rivett (1894–1958). (May)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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