The Case Of The Flowery Corpse (1956) by Christopher Bush

On his way to visit his friend Henry Morle in the village of Marstead in Suffolk, Ludovic Travers is almost run off the road by a speeding driver. As he continues his journey, he comes across the same car, this time a wreck, with the driver dead.

But this isn’t a case of drunk driving (or just idiot driving) – it transpires that the driver was poisoned. When a second poisoned body surfaces, there seem to be far more questions than answers. Travers and Inspector Jewle of Scotland Yard soon have a far more complex case than it first appeared to be to solve…

Book Forty-Nine in the Ludovic Travers series, which, as of tomorrow, will be fifty-strong, as reprinted by those nice chaps at Dean Street Press. Just in case anyone thinks I’m biased btw, I don’t actually work for them – they’re just nice enough to humour me constantly banging on about Brian Flynn. See, there I go again. Sorry, bit of a nervous tic.

So a big thank you to them for this book, because it’s got twins in it. I was looking for other examples of the twins appearing in classic crime fiction, other than John Rhode’s brilliant The Robthorne Mystery and here we are – twin doctors at work in the area. How much that factors into the mystery, well, that would be telling, but when I was sketching out ideas for something I was writing about Fear and Trembling by Brian Flynn (see, there I go again) I was struggling to come up with many more examples. So, again, thanks for this one.

But back to Bush and Travers. This is another entertaining outing for Travers, always a charming narrator. When Bush started writing the books in Travers’ voice, I think it’s fair to say that the problems get a little less complex, but the humour in the books more that makes up for that. Here, Bush lets himself down a little with a murderer who, I think, could have been one of a few characters at the end, and Travers himself not realising what was going on with a certain telephone call for a good while, a delay that might have cost someone their life.

But there’s plenty of entertaining shenanigans here, with the reader trying to work out who poisoned who, who moved which body where and how, and how one of the bodies has chrysanthemum petals on it when the obvious method of transport had none.

I’ve read a lot of the Bush titles but have barely scratched the surface. He is my current go-to author when I need something reliable and, especially as this is book forty-nine, there’s still a refreshing energy about the series.

The Case Of The Flowery Corpse and nine other Christopher Bush titles will be released on May 4th in ebook and paperback.

6 comments

  1. “The So Blue Marble” by Dorothy B. Hughes also features twins, though probably not in the role you are looking for.

    Like

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