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Murder Underground (British Library Crime Classics) Paperback – 31 Mar 2014

3.6 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The British Library Publishing Division (31 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712357254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712357258
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The style is deliciously dry and dated, but that brings with it a certain charm. There is certainly no gore, but there is plenty of vintage good stuff to enjoy. --The Lady

About the Author

Mavis Doriel Hay (1894 - 1979) was a novelist of the golden age of British crime fiction. Her three novels - of which Murder Underground was the first - were published in the 1930s and are now very rare. The British Library republished The Santa Klaus Murder in 2013.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm always on the lookout for Golden Age crime and this book was recommended by the best - DL Sayers

It isn't perhaps in Sayers' league and the plot wasn't as puzzling as Christie on top form; but the characters were engaging and the outcome satisfying. I'll certainly read others by this author and others in the British Library Crime Classics collection
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A refreshing glimpse back into a much more gentile time, but still maintaining a very reasonable plot line. Good manners and a very relaxed lifestyle seem to be the norm here: people being concerned about paying the extra penny for an extended Underground journey, for example! The interest in the characters maintaining their correct behaviour tended to rather distract me from the plot a little but I found that that just added interest and enjoyment for me. Not a "Classic" by any means, but buy a ticket and enjoy the ride.
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Format: Paperback
I can't understand the reviewers who find this boring! The story romps along and while various people become suspects although they are clearly innocent, there is a very satisfying 'baddie' whom you know must be guilty. The suspense lies in waiting for ages for him to be rumbled, but by the end several people are converging on him from different angles. The characters have entertainingly comical names like Pongleton and Plasher. The book is quite short and therefore easy to get through in a couple of evenings. The style is simple, clear and unpretentious. This book is well worth its place among the British Library's reprints. I withhold one star as it is quite simplistic compared with the crime fiction of more sophisticated contemporaries like Leo Bruce or Dorothy L Sayers.
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A friend put me onto this author and being fond of Agatha Christie novels thought I'd give it a try especially as I am familiar with Belsize Park underground where it is set. I wasn't disappointed either though it is not quire in the same class as Agatha. It is fairly easy to guess who the culprit is before the end of the novel but it is a very good read.

There are two other novels in the series and the second (Death on the Cherwell) which I am currently reading is a great deal more 'mature' and more devious in plot.

If you enjoy period murder mystery novels and/or Agatha Christie well worth getting!
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Format: Paperback
Having read and enjoyed (although annoyed by) 'Death on the Cherwell' I thought I'd have a go at this one.
It's abominable. The story crawls along at a snail's pace and by the end (it's so drawn out boredom set in pretty quickly) I couldn't care less who actually killed the old bag. The pasteboard characters are utterly unbelievable, for the most part unpleasant and act as if murder is a game. They deliberately lie to the police and suppress information. They judge a man's guilt or innocence by his status in life (typical of many similar books of the period I regret to say) and spread malicious gossip. One of them keeps some of the dead woman's possessions and then 'persuades' one of the simpletons living in the house to put it back to where it should be (even though the coppers have searched the room!). Quite why anyone would want to reissue this awful book and how Dorothy L Sayers could speak so highly of it is beyond me. This one is on the same level of sheer awfulness as Jefferson Farjeon's 'Mystery in White'. If you'd never read any of this series before it may well put you off buying any others and that would be a pity because there are some excellent titles in the series notably those by John Bude and Freeman Wills Crofts..
Avoid this one like the plague..
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This a period piece and the dialogue is very much of its time and authentic.

The story tootles along at a medium pace and you can guess 'Who done it'. However, it is entertaining to go with the flow.

Would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys a classic period mystery.
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This is a very satisfying little mystery tale. A wealthy genteel lady of 'a certain age' comes to a grisly end on the circular staircase of a 'deep' underground station in London. Few people use the stairs (there are a lot of them!), Miss Pongleton uses them because she has a fear of lifts. This idiosyncrasy provides the opportunity for her murderer to perform the dirty deed.
But whodunit? As the tale unfolds the evidence points more and more to Miss Pongleton's hapless heir - the impoverished, happy-go-lucky and feckless Basil. His bizarre behaviour on the day of his aunt's demise is problematic. His attempts to provide himself with an alibi become ever more convoluted.
It's all very nicely done with some good characterisation and it kept me turning the pages. Three-quarters of the way through you will probably have your suspicions as to the culprit but that won't spoil your enjoyment of the denoument.
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The author is a writer of 3 Golden Age detective stories, who deserves to be better known. This is a traditional whodunnit of the gentler sort, but very ingenious indeed. For anyone interested in social history, it is, like many such detective stories, a lovely picture of life in a boarding house. If anything, I found it a little over-contrived but that is not uncommon with stories of this period. Well done te British Library for re-issuing such authors.
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