Murder Underground

Mavis Doriel Hay. Poisoned Pen, $12.95 trade paper (270p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0661-0
Not every volume in the British Library Crime Classics reprint series is a gem, as shown by Hay’s first mystery, originally published in 1934. Elderly Miss Euphemia Pongleton is on her way to the Belsize Park station of the London Underground, where she’s subsequently strangled with her dog’s leash. Her fellow boarders at the Frampton Private Hotel speculate on the death and eventually stumble on fragments of the truth that identify the murderer. Significant action is not shown; rather it’s discussed in the hotel’s parlor—we never see the actual murder, nor are we privy to the initial police interviews. The novel perks up when Mrs. Daymer, amateur sleuth and lover of homespun wool, appears. At one point, she coyly remarks, “I almost think I ought to try my hand at a crime novel after this. Treating it in a psychological way, of course—not merely superficially, as most crime novelists do.” Fortunately, Hay (1894–1979) would apply this advice to her second mystery, Death on the Cherwell, also available in this series. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2016
Release date: 11/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 286 pages - 978-0-7123-5725-8
Open Ebook - 270 pages - 978-1-4642-0662-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-4079-5776-0
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