Some Die Eloquent Mass Market Paperback – 1981
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|Mass Market Paperback, 1981||
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As Sloan and Crosby dig a but further it seems there is something suspicious about the death after all and her relatives come under suspicion with several of them having means, motive and opportunity. I enjoyed this well written cosy mystery with its touches of dry humour and its likeable characters. This is an entertaining light read if you don't want to grapple with anything too difficult or harrowing.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The procedurals are set in the fictional County of Calleshire, England which very much resembles the County of Kent where Catherine Aird (the pseudonym of novelist Kinn Hamilton McIntosh) lives.
Detective Sloan has a lot on his mind, including his very pregnant wife, and a deceased Chemistry mistress at the local Girls' Grammar School. Miss Wansdyke was 59 years old and a year away from retirement. She was diabetic but otherwise healthy. Her only unusual aspect: a quarter-of-a-million pounds in her bank account that no one seemed to be able to account for. Even though the autopsy revealed no suspicious cause of death, Dr. Dabbe is mistrustful:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a middle-aged woman in possession of a fortune will attract people anxious to part her from it."
The only flaw in his theory: no one knew about the money.
When the blood tests come back, they reveal that there was no trace of insulin in Beatrice Wansdyke’s body. It appeared as though she'd been without it for several days, even though she had been complaining to her physician about feeling ill and he had upped her dosage of the drug.
She was indeed murdered.
"Some Die Elequent" isn't my favorite Catherine Aird mystery. It lacks much of the sparkle and wit of her earlier Sloan novels. A little bit of Superintendant Leeyes goes a long way, and in this novel he practically hogs the dialogue. The only bit of excitement occurs when Constable Crosby is bopped over the head in the hospital linen closet.
These Calleshire Chronicles have been labelled 'cozies' by some reviewers, but I find them a bit too edgy to easily fit into the 'cozy' category. Catherine Aird's humor has many hidden barbs. I'd classify her Inspector Sloan books as police procedurals, with interesting dollops of village life in not-so-cozy postwar England.
Some Die Eloquent is the 8th book in the Inspector CD Sloan series by Catherine Aird. This series is a delightful example of a Britsh police procedural. Sloan is a modest, but effective, police inspector who is hampered in his investigations by his boss, Superintendent Leeyes, and his subordinate, Detective-Constable Crosby. He is a very likable character and both Leeyes and Crosby provide comic relief. The much-maligned Crosby usually unknowingly provides an insight that aids Sloan in finding the culprit, thereby making himself somewhat valuable to the team. Superintendent Leeyes spends his personal time taking classes at the local college and wants to share his knowledge with his subordinates, who usually find ways to avoid him.
I found this book well-plotted and the storyline very interesting. I don’t think it’s spoiling anything to say that there was a murder committed, but Sloan first had to prove that it was murder before he could narrow down the murderer from several plausible suspects. Sloan is not afraid to use his intuition and follow hunches, which typically turn out to be correct.
Although this is considered a police procedural and was written in 1979, it has many of the elements found in Golden Age mysteries, and I think fans of the genre would enjoy this book. Some of the book – the portion taking place in the hospital – is a little dated, but not enough to hamper one’s enjoyment.
So when the medical examiner finds a few suspicious indications, he informs Inspector C D Sloan. Sloan is plenty busy on his own. His wife is 9 months pregnant with their first baby, and growing more irritable and uncomfortable by the minute. (Hm, wonder what that's like.) But Superintendent Leeyes is just as determined that Sloan figure out how the woman died, where the money came from, and whether there was any foul play involved.
I really enjoy this series. I love the dry, English humor that runs through the books. The exchange between Inspectors Sloan and Harpe has all the humor of Abbott and Costello, but with a British flavor. My only complaint is that sometimes the books leave a lot of loose ends. But this one is one of the best and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys the genre.