London Particular aka Fog Of Doubt by Christianna Brand

London is shrouded in fog, fog so thick that you can barely see your hand in front of your face. But for one London household, the fog is the least of their concerns. A lothario by the name of Raoul Vernet has come to visit, a man with a past with at least one lady of the household, and a man that everybody in the house has a reason to kill.

As young pregnant Rosie and her would-be suitor Tedward (yup, Tedward) race to the house in response to a phone-call from a dying Raoul, they come to the house only to find him already dead. It’ll take the combined sleuthing prowess of Inspectors Cockie Cockerill and Charlesworth to save the day.

Well, this is a book of two halves. The writing is at times exquisite. Brand isn’t shy of tackling taboo subjects of the day such as abortion and the characters feel like real people, despite one being called Tedward. Seriously, he’s called Tedward…

But for a highly praised classic crime novel – well, I was under the impression it had a good reputation, as was JJ, but it’s only rated 3.59 on Goodreads – the plotting is a weakness. Once we hit the second half of the book, suspicion seems to go around in circles until the killer is revealed. And unfortunately the killer is pretty guessable. Admittedly, that’s a good thing, as there isn’t really much cluing going on.

So, all in all, a bit of a disappointment. Try Green For Danger by Brand instead.

5 comments

  1. For reputation vs. reality, I think I’m yet to encounter a more stark contrast — espscially given the sheer volume of people who seem to think this is fair play…! Anyway, I’m glad it’s not just me who did not get on with this one. Thankfully Brand has done much better — The Crooked Wreath, Death of Jezebel, Tour de Force — and so there’s plenty we can enjoy from her.

    Like

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