MR. WESTERBY MISSING (1940)
Has it ever happened that you have wanted to shake the police-man sleuth in a novel, asking him to wake up? He is one of the finest, an officer of Scotland Yard, and yet why is he so clueless? It happened to me in John Rhode’s The Murders in Praed Street and now Cecil Street under his other pseudonym, Miles Burton, gives us another such dumb policeman in Mr. Westerby Missing. I am no great-shakes at sleuthing but I became suspicious of a character right from his/ her first entrance and the suspicions soon solidified into conviction…but inspector Arnold continued to be his dumb self (till the last when everything was crystal clear to everybody but our inspector) till the amateur sleuth Desmond Merrion spelled out everything to him. If it was a ploy to make the amateur shine vis a vis the professional obtuse, it was a cheap shot.
First Line: Inspector Arnold sat in his room at Scotland Yard, a telephone to his ear.
Publication Details: London: Collins (The Crime Club), 1940
First Published: 1940
TRAGEDY AT THE THIRTEENTH HOLE (1933)
Inspector Arnold is in much better form in this earlier novel.
Mr. Nicholas Burnside, the Sauce-King (“One drop makes all the difference”) is playing golf with his nephew, Captain Guy Burnside, when suddenly he drops dead. The Inquest reveals that it was the golf-ball hit by Guy Burnside that inadverently caused his uncle’s death after it hit him on his temple. It is declared as a tragic accident but soon tongues start wagging as Burnside inherits his uncle’s immense fortune. Was the shot then just an unlucky stroke or was there more behind it? And why did a poor aristocratic archaeologist meet a nasty accident just a little distance from the 13th hole?
Inspector Arnold, recuperating from a bout of influenza at Heaven-Beach gets involved in the investigation and invites his friend Desmond Merrion to join him in investigating the case. Unfortunately, the dearth of suspects makes the culprit easy to identify though I am not convinced about his/ her motives.
First Line: “But I’m perfectly fit now, sir,” Inspector Arnold maintained obstinately.
Publishing Details: London: Collins (The Crime Club), 1933.
First Published: 1933
Other Books read of the same author:
Miles Burton is one of the authors I’ve selected for Six-Shooter Reading Challenge hosted by Rick Mills @ Mystillery. This is an absolutely no-stress challenge [(even reviews are not mandatory (though always welcome)] in which you read six mysteries of the same author. It is an interesting challenge because reading books by the same author makes one aware of certain tropes employed by the author which might not be very clear if one was to read only a couple of books of the author in a year. And secondly, Rick is a very generous host because every body who completes the challenge, get a book as a prize. You can join the challenge over here.
Submitted for Friday’s Forgotten Books @ Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom.