Friday’s Forgotten Book: Poison in the Parish by Milward Kennedy (1935)

Miss Tomlin’s body is exhumed six months after she died thanks to vicious rumours going round the village. O perhaps not merely rumours for the body is found to be full of arsenic. The Chief Constable asks his friend, the physically challenged Francis Antony to dig around a little so that they can find the murderer. Anthony is loathe to do so but certain personal compulsions make him take up the role of the detective.

The thing that intrigued me when I finished the book was whether the murder was really done by the person who confessed to it or was it a cover-up? If it is the former than it becomes (by the time of writing of the novel) an ordinary hackneyed plot where the identity of the murderer becomes quite clear rather early on but if it is the latter than it is a great novel. And I would like to think that it has an ambiguous end rather than the straight-forward open and shut case it proposes to be.

Have you read it? What are your views?

First Line: … cannot think how the marriage has lasted so long.

First Published: 1935

Pages: 288

Other Opinions: Do You Write Under Your Own Name? Mystery File

8 thoughts on “Friday’s Forgotten Book: Poison in the Parish by Milward Kennedy (1935)

  1. Ambiguous endings can be intriguing, Neeru. And I would guess that in real life, there are plenty of cases that have a certain ambiguity about them. It could be the person who’s been arrested and imprisoned for a crime, but what if it was someone else… It sounds as though that’s done effectively here, too, which isn’t easy, in my opinion.

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    1. I love ambiguous ending at times though at other times, they can be frustrating😀 I read this book as being more open ended than perhaps was intended. I do not know. I wish you all would read it and let me know. It is one I definitely want to discuss.😃

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  2. The review you linked to on my blog was done by Bill Deeck. I haven’t read this one yet, and it doesn’t look as though I’m going to any time soon. I couldn’t find a copy anywhere for sale on the Internet. Kennedy wrote quite a few mysteries back in the day. They all sound interesting, from what little I’ve read about them. I think some enterprising publisher ought to look into them. Have you read anything else by him?

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    1. I wish you’d find it soon Steve because I really want to discuss the book. I was lucky enough to find this book in a library. Subsequently I read two more of his: Death to the rescue, and I’ll be Judge, I’ll be Jury. I wonder why BL is not republishing him since Mr. Martin Edwards seems to quite like the author. Perhaps there are copyright issues…

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  3. Can’t find an online copy, I’m afraid – it looks like he only died in 1968, so they may well still be in copyright. Hopefully someone will re-publish them soon – sounds intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

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