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The Mystery at Underwood House
on 1 October 2014
This is the second novel featuring Angela Marchmont, and following, “The Murder at Sissingham Hall.” These books were written in the 1920’s by author Clara Benson as a hobby, but never published in her lifetime. Thankfully, this has been rectified now, as this series is a delight for any fans of Golden Age mysteries.
After her success at Sissingham Hall (and a rather exciting past hinted at by her friend at Scotland Yard, Inspector Jameson), Angela Marchmont is approached by an old friend of hers, Louisa Haynes. Louisa lives at Underwood House with her husband John and son Donald. Her father in law, the mischievous and eccentric Philip Haynes, enjoyed nothing better than causing trouble between his family. John Haynes, as the eldest son, should have received his beloved Underwood House in his father’s will. Instead, Philip Haynes split his will between his remaining living children; John, Philippa, Winifred and Edward. Another daughter, the wayward, rebellious Christina, left home when young and died. The family, including Philip Haynes’s children and grandchildren have to meet twice a year in order to meet the instructions of the will and they do so with ill grace and bad humour. What is more, three of the family members have died during these reunions and Louisa Haynes is worried that they are not natural deaths…
This is a wonderful mystery, with family feuds, secrets, financial scandals and the involvement of both Inspector Jameson and the redoubtable Angela Marchmont. This series is fast becoming a delight and I can only thank the family of Clara Benson for making them available to us at last.