Friday’s Forgotten Book: Hunt the Slipper by Henry Cecil (1977)

Harriet and Graham have been happily married for twenty years when one fine day, Graham doesn’t return from his office. A worried Harriet thinks of all kind of scenarios but when a month later, she receives a cheque of 100 pounds from a firm of solicitors with a letter explaining that she’d receive a similar monthly cheque henceforth but that the firm cannot divulge the name of the person who has arranged these financial transactions, she becomes convinced that Graham has abandoned her for another woman and feels hurt because she thought that they had a perfect life together.

Seven years from that day, Harriet applies for divorce, on grounds for abandonment. She likes a man called George and knows that he’d like to see their relationship develop. However, Harriet is still conflicted about Graham and wants him to return, even hoping that the court would dismiss her petition. That doesn’t happen and she is granted her divorce but as she plans that evening with George who should return but Graham, pretending as though nothing has happened!!! Memory loss or is a much more devious game afoot?

This book, which had long been on my wishlist, didn’t turn out to be as much fun as I expected it to be though there were moments of genuine amusement. And there are certain things that will strike a chord with British readers as when Harriet explains the changes that have taken place since Graham’s disappearance and reappearance: “We have gone decimal now. There are hundred pennies in a pound so three pounds fifty is the equivalent of what used to be called three pounds ten.” (67)

Or about making a trunkcall to Australia “It’s so clear it might be next door.” (68).

This was the last and posthumous book of the author and also unfortunately for me the last few pages were missing. Grrrrr.

*

First line: It ought to be a source of satisfaction to many wives, even if they are of a jealous disposition, that their husbands show a healthy interest in other women.

Publication Details: 1977. ND: Rupa, 2003.

Pages: 156

Source: DSEL: 823.04C322H

Other books read of the same author: According to the Evidence; Natural Causes

14 thoughts on “Friday’s Forgotten Book: Hunt the Slipper by Henry Cecil (1977)

  1. This does sound like it would be a fun book, but it doesn’t sound like you enjoyed it much.

    You are always reminding me of authors I have intended to read, but haven’t gotten to. I have one book by this author, not yet read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tracy, I think my own high expectations played a great role in my reaction to the book. I expected a wonderful mystery and when that didn’t happen, I felt let-down. And the missing pages added to the disappointment. If you do read the book on your shelf (and I’m wondering which one it might be), I’d love to know your views.

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      1. The one I have is Alibi for a Judge. It is in an old Penguin paperback edition and I am afraid that the print may be difficult to read, but I can try it.

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  2. Another author I’m very pleased to see on your list, though am sorry the book itself was a disappointment. I haven’t read this one but have enjoyed quite a few others by him including Daughters-in-Law which is a favourite

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is a crime and I hope you become the dictator soon, incidentally, have you read I. Allan Sealy’s Trotter Nama, there is a wonderful episode regarding missing pages in that. sorry for the late reply. I was just off-many-things.

      Liked by 1 person

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