Mystery in White (British Library Crime Classics) Kindle Edition
|Length: 245 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
But that is the least of their problems when they are joined by others from the train and find out that there has been a murder on the train and maybe a murder in the house. Several of the group think there is a feeling of evil about the house and a bread knife is found in the middle of the kitchen floor.
What follows is an intriguing mystery and very well written. I loved the characters and there is plenty of humour and some excellent dialogue. Will all the stranded passenger survive the experience and what about the owner of the house whose food and beds they are making free with? Will they discover just why the bread knife was lying in the middle of the kitchen floor?
Recommended to anyone who likes their crime and mystery stories traditional. This is one of an excellent series of forgotten crime novels which the British Library is bringing to new readers.
Snow is lovely for Christmas, but not if you're trying to travel somewhere. That's certainly what the passengers on the 11.37 from Euston Station to Manchester think. The train has been stalled for half an hour six miles from the nearest town. In one of the 3rd class compartments, waiting with various degrees of impatience, are six people: an elderly bore, a platinum blonde, a clerk, a sister & brother and Edward Maltby of the Royal Psychical Society. He's on his way to visit the ghost of Charles I.
All of a sudden, Maltby jumps out of his seat, seizes his bag, and hurtles himself off the train without explanation. Soon, all others but the bore follow him, more out of boredom than anything else – and to get away from the bore. Unfortunately, it's still snowing heavily, they soon get lost, and find shelter just in time.
Shelter is a house with a fire burning, tea set, door unlocked, and no one around. Curiouser and curiouser. But they are trapped. I mean, lucky ducks. Except for the four murders which are going to happen in half a day.
I had a hard time slogging through this mystery. There is humor, but of the excessively dry British variety. Dialogue overwriting abounds and I ended up skipping paragraphs. But, to be fair, the overwriting is part of the dry humor. At one point a character says, "I think you and I might get on quite well if you'd be a bit more explicit." My feelings about this book exactly.. Because the buried plot is actually quite good.
"Mystery in White" was originally published in 1937. It has been re-issued in 2014 as part of the British Library Crime Classics series. I've purchased quite of few of these Golden Age re-issues and am usually pleased. As a matter of fact, the series published another book by J. Jefferson Farjeon which I enjoyed more than "Mystery in White". I thought Thirteen Guests: A British Library Crime Classic (British Library Crime Classics) was 4.5 stars rounded up to 5.
Finally, the psychic researcher suddenly bolts from his seat to go look for human habitation nearby. Four of the others follow, leaving the obnoxious man behind. Fighting their way through swirling snow, the group eventually finds a rather large house, its door open, fires burning in the fireplaces, and water boiling for tea.
And no one is in the house. But there is a body buried in the snow outside.
While this may sound like an Agatha Christie story like “Murder on the Orient Express” or “And Then There Were None,” the similarities are slight and superficial. Instead, it is “Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime Story” by J. Jefferson Farjeon. Originally published in 1937, it was republished late in 2014 as part of the British Library Crime Classics series, and became a surprising hit in U.K. bookstores.
Farjeon was the son of Benjamin Farjeon, a popular and prolific novelist in the 19th century who was inspired to write by Charles Dickens accepting one of his stories for publication. The son wrote numerous mystery novels, including on, No. 17, that was made into a movie by Alfred Hitckcock. Farjeon’s sister, Eleanor, was a poet and writer of children’s stories. Writing clearly ran in the family.
Mystery in White is rather light holiday fare, even (as it turns out) a murder on the train and the body in the snow. There’s a bit of holiday levity, particularly with the brother and sister characters, David and Lydia Carrington. The psychic researcher turns out to be a fairly decent detective, and he’s instrumental in eventually solving the murders as well as another murder buried 20 years in the past.
The British Library has published some 25 novels in the Crime Classics series, including two additional stories by Farjeon: “The Z Murders” and “Thirteen Guests.”
“Mystery in White” is a rather fun read, particularly if it’s the holidays and it’s snowing outside.
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On Christmas Eve a snowstorm rages.Read more