No Fury (1936) by Francis Beeding

Valerie Beauchamp, famed writer of rubbish romance novels, is looking forward to meeting the man who she had fallen in love with by letter, but is about to be in for a rude shock – he doesn’t exist! Instead, he was a practical joke orchestrated by a group of friends – now former friends – that she does not find remotely funny. Valerie, traumatised by the trick, plans a savage revenge – a tontine in her will that gives money to all of the group, but the amount significantly increases where anyone in the group to die.

To enact her plan, Valerie intended to commit suicide, but someone beats her to it, brutally murdering her. Did someone know of the tontine? Because once Valerie is dead, the others also begin to die one by one…

OK, I think “No Fury” aka “Murdered One By One” is probably one of the hardest books to review without spoiling it, but I’ll give it a go. Right…

Francis Beeding, or rather the two people who wrote as Beeding, was first and foremost a thriller writer, and despite this being a more traditional mystery, like Death Walks In Eastrepps, rather than one of the Colonel Granby thrillers, there is a lot here that feels like a thriller. The detectives, such as Inspector Martin, are a fairly bland bunch until the end, and, like Eastrepps, there is a significant courtroom section in the third quarter of the book. The victims are a likeable bunch and actually act vaguely like real people at times – some consider not taking the money due to their actions causing it, etc – and there’s a nice, if quick, romance as well. The murders, all done in a variety of ways, are well done, suitably grim without being remotely graphic.

My core problem with the book is less easy to discuss, as if I do, I will spoil the book. Seriously, if I give a whiff of my issues with the book, it will mean there is no need to read it.

I could also point out some other issues with the killer’s plan, or the fact that the police basically stop investigating the first murder and treat the tontine killings as a separate case when clearly they are linked…

If it wasn’t for the central problem that I can’t mention, then I would have really enjoyed this one, I think. I still enjoyed it a bit. I wonder, would my problem apply to anyone who read it? Maybe, maybe not… I’m guessing that if you’ve read it, you’ll realise what I’m talking about – it’s just a bit too heavy-handed in one section where a lighter touch would have much improved it…

5 comments

  1. Brad spoiled this book for me by his last comment in his post on Death Walks In Eastrepps.
    But I also spoiled a Carr book for him (Death Turns The Tables). So we’re quits now !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I eagerly read and wrote as revenge against Santosh!!! Seriously, however, although you and I have discussed the problem herein, PD, I can attest to what a fun read it was. This seems to be crux of my problem with Beeding: mostly, they seem to have written spy thrillers, which interest me not at all, and the few mysteries seem to be highly enjoyable reads with . . . well, with that problem. However, I am certainly going to give The Norwich Victims a try one of these days!

    Liked by 1 person

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