cover image Crossed Skis: An Alpine Mystery

Crossed Skis: An Alpine Mystery

Carol Carnac. Poisoned Pen, $14.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-728219-94-3

Set in 1951, this intriguing entry in the British Library Crime Classics series from Carnac (1894–1958) centers on the case of a fatal fire. When Mabel Stein returns to her London neighborhood after a weekend visiting her sister in another part of the city, she runs into her delinquent son, Syd, on the street near the boarding-house she owns. Mabel is anxious to get home, but Syd says, “Better not go home yet.” He goes on to admit that he arrived at their house a little earlier to find it ablaze and decided to let it burn, believing it to be vacant, so they could profit from an insurance payout. Meanwhile, the firefighters at the scene find a man’s charred corpse in a room. Fingerprints on the coins used in the room’s gas meter provide Scotland Yard’s Det. Chief Insp. Julian Rivers, Carnac’s series lead, with an important clue. Another clue implicates a skier, which suggests a link to a party of 16 men and women who just left England for a skiing holiday in the Alps. Carnac keeps the reader guessing to the end. Fans of clever literate murder mysteries will hope for more Carnac reissues. (Nov.)