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The Cornish Coast Murder (British Library Crime Classics) [Kindle Edition]

John Bude , Martin Edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 288 pages
  • Word Wise: Enabled
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Book Description

The Reverend Dodd, vicar of the quiet Cornish village of Boscawen, spends his evenings reading detective stories by the fireside – but heaven forbid that the shadow of any real crime should ever fall across his seaside parish. The vicar’s peace is shattered one stormy night when Julius Tregarthan, a secretive and ill-tempered magistrate, is found at his house in Boscawen with a bullet through his head.

The local police inspector is baffled by the complete absence of clues. Suspicion seems to fall on Tregarthan’s niece, Ruth – but surely that young woman lacks the motive to shoot her uncle dead in cold blood? Luckily for Inspector Bigswell, the Reverend Dodd is on hand, and ready to put his keen understanding of the criminal mind to the test.

This novel from the golden age of British crime fiction is set against the vividly described backdrop of a fishing village on Cornwall’s south coast.

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Product Description


Bude's characterisation was a little sharper than many other genre novelists of the time. Combined witha light tone and an abundance of charm, this novel, in which an enthusiastic amateur beats the police at their own game in a rural English pre-war setting, is sheer comfort food for the crime fan. --The Herald

Apart from the mystery of who did what, when and how, the appeal of the story is in the faithful portrayal of Cornwall before the onset of mass tourism. And while reading of the hunt for clues along the cliff paths, we enjoy an intoxicating breath of sea air. --Daily Mail

About the Author

John Bude was the pseudonym of Ernest Elmore (1901 - 1957), who wrote thirty crime novels, all of which are now rare and highly collectable. Elmore was a co-founder of the Crime Writers' Association, and worked in the theatre as a producer and director

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1753 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The British Library Publishing Division (19 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,486 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Book of its Time 7 April 2015
This is a book very much of its time. It was written in the 1930s around the period when Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers were making their substantial mark on the world of detective fiction. This is a lesser work and of a slightly lower quality but I still very much enjoyed it.

Julius Tregarthen is found dead in his sitting room one evening. He was shot by someone outside the house. The Revered Dodd and his good friend the local GP are called to the scene. Inspector Bigswell is sent to investigate and is helped along by the Reverend Dodd.

In order to enjoy this book you need to immerse yourself in the period in which it is written. You cannot view this book with a modern mind as it would cause great irritation & I doubt you would complete the book. This is a world where it is unthinkable that Tregarthen's niece could possibly have murdered anyone, she is a woman and women don't do that sort of thing! It is also a world where the vicar knows every member of his parish and so is a vital assistant to the Inspector. I personally very much enjoyed the social history side of this book as much as the story itself.

The story is not particularly original although I suspect it was more so when it was written. There are also more red herrings than in a fishmongers. The actual murder is very simple but I did enjoy the meanderings of the Inspector as he tried to make the clues fit his preferred suspect! I also enjoyed comparing this to a modern thriller. In this day and age the police spend many man hours in getting vast quantities of information about all the various suspects and get warrants for obtaining bank details etc.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read 26 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book and also his book set in the Lake District. Good plot and well written. Although he wrote it some 70 years ago it is still a very good read
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Julius Tregarthan - Dead 9 Dec. 2014
Ernest Elmore was a theatre producer and director as well as an author. Although he did write under his own name when it came to his crime novels he chose to write them under the pen name of John Bude. He was also a founding member of the CWA although when you think of the greats of that time his name isn’t one of them. Bude’s novels are competent and easy to read and take in, but he did lack that certain something which makes other mystery writers stand out. As his crime novels are not easy to get hold of, well not until now when they are being re-published his books have become something of a collector’s item. As you can see if you do decide to purchase this book, it is a good enough story and makes an enjoyable read, but ultimately it is over complicated with perhaps too many red herrings.

On a stormy night Julius Tregarthan is shot dead in his home, on the outskirts of a Cornish coastal village. When his body is found by his niece the police are obviously called in, but the local doctor has already arrived by then, followed by his friend the local vicar. These two professionals love a good whodunit, and now they find themselves actually caught up in one, most especially the vicar, who loves a good mystery.

As Inspector Bigswell sent by the local constabulary to investigate the murder starts his investigations, he finds that he does have to refer to the vicar from time to time, even more so when the case looks like it will collapse. Trying to whittle down the suspect list and with a number of conflicting clues this isn’t an easy task for the inspector, but could he have identified the right culprit, the one person who suddenly leaves the area?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Cornish Coast Murder 1 May 2015
By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER
This is another in the wonderful British Library Crime Classics series, where classic mystery novels have been republished for a new audience. This book was first published in 1935. In the Introduction by Martin Edwards to this book, it is explained that the author’s real name was Ernest Carpenter Elmore; probably a good idea to have gone for a “snappier” pseudonym. This book was the author’s first.

The story involves the death of a man Julius Tregarthan, killed by shots fired through the windows of his house, one of which hits him in the head. The death of this man in a small Cornish village brings into play the local vicar, Reverend Dodd, and the local doctor, Doctor Pendrill, who assist in trying to piece together what may have happened, and why, when the police arrive, first in the form of the local constable, Constable Grouch, and then the more senior man, Inspector Bigswell. (The names of these policemen struck me as rather amusing wordplay on the author’s part). At the top of the list of suspects are the victim’s niece Ruth, and a writer who has lived in the area for two years, Ronald Hardy.

There is no way that a reader of this story can work out who may have committed the crime, how or why, given that information is fed out to us as it becomes available to the police as they investigate. To that end, the story is not so much a crime thriller, as a crime procedural. This doesn’t make it any the less interesting, as the story presents a horrific death in its first few pages, and then slowly we learn more of the people in the area, their backstories and motives, and the slow and methodical police work that is required to put together all the information they uncover.
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