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Not As Good As Others In This Series
on 19 October 2011
It's 1935 and we are introduced to Lord Edward Corinth, upright but loveable British aristocrat, and the independent, rather contrary Verity Browne, journalist and paid member of the Communist Party yet from a bit of a rich background herself. Both are on their way to a dinner at Mersham Castle, Edward's brother Gerald's country seat, where the Duke is trying to promote peace between the nations of Britain and Germany, to avoid another war like the last at all costs.
But someone has other plans than peace, and the late arrival of Edward and Verity gives a murderer the cover to poison the duke's wonderful port. General Craig, one of the guests, dies before them all, and though the feeling is he must have taken his own life, that verdict sits poorly on the shoulders of Edward and Verity, who decide to investigate further.
This is the first book in a wonderful series of 1930s murder mysteries featuring Edward and Verity, but unfortunately for me, it didn't quite live up to some of the other stories in the series, which I read beforehand. Chock-full of politics and war, which of course was very much the order of the day, it just seemed to me that the mystery fell by the wayside a little as we followed this and the background lives of Edward, and in particular, Verity and the Communist Party. Though there was some sleuthing, it didn't seem to me to be done very logically or heartily, even though both sleuths maintained they were sure the victim had been murdered and they wanted to see justice done. Also a little irritant constant use of the word 'bourgeois'...
Anyway, still worth a look, particularly if you've loved nearly all the rest of the series, as I have, but not the best.