Friday’s Forgotten Book: A Policeman at the Door by Carol Carnac (1953)

Edith Caroline Rivett is better known by her pseudonym of E.C.R. Lorac. However, Rivett also wrote under other names. Today’s Friday Forgotten book is the one she wrote under the pseudonym of Carol Carnac and features two of her three series characters: Chief Inspector Rivers and Inspector Lancing.

Solicitor William Thorpe, married to his, job falls in love with young, vivacious, artist Rosamand Verity when one day she comes to his office asking for legal advice. Their marriage is not a success however as Thorpe tries to turn her into a dry stick of a woman as appropriate what he thinks is his standing in the society, Rosamund tolerates it for a few years but one day when things become too much, packs her bags and departs from her marital home, leaving her little son Derek behind with his father. Thorpe sees this as a betryal and removes all traces of Rosamund from his life and home. He is especially keen that Derek not inherit even a smudge of Rosamund’s artistic talents but should instead help him in his office. Derek who knows that his father is against his artistic ambitions, hides his paintings from him and tries to work in the office. But one month of that dry, legal work and Derek hands in his notice. The row between father and son turns so ugly that Derek leaves his home.

The next day neither Mr. Thrope nor Derek turns up at the office. For the old clerk, Miller, this is so unexpected and unprecedented that he gets all worried and sends the new young secretary, Jane to the home of the Thropes. The corpse of Mr. Thrope is discovered subsequently, his head having been smashed in by a fire-poker. The main suspect is Derek, especially as he seems to have made a run of it after killing his father. However, Inspector Rivers finds that there are other suspects too including shady tenants, snoopy neighbours, and then there is the run-away wife.

I find Rivett to be an okay writer. Have read a few of her Lorac books but this was my first experience with her Cornac avtaar. And frankly, I did not find this book any different from what she has written as Lorac. There wouldn’t have been any difference in the book had Macdonald solved it instead of Rivers. Have you read any book of hers? Do you find any difference in her writing under the two pseudonyms?


First Line: When Derek Thorpe walked out of the front door of The Rowans he was careful not to bang the door behind him.

Publication Details: 1953. London: Collins (The Crime Club), n.d.

Series: Julian Rivers #10

Pages: 192

2 thoughts on “Friday’s Forgotten Book: A Policeman at the Door by Carol Carnac (1953)

  1. She definitely and her own style, Neeru, and you can see it come through whether she’s writing as Lorac, Carnac, or someone else. This story does interest me, as I’ve read Crossed Skis and was thinking of reading something else with those two sleuths. So I’m glad you didn’t dislike the book. But markedly different? Quite possibly not.

    Liked by 1 person

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