DEATH CMES TO MARLOW by Robert Thorogood (HQ £16.99, 384pp)


by Robert Thorogood (HQ £16.99, 384pp) 

It is party time in Marlow, where friends of a wealthy grandee gather at his Thames-side mansion to celebrate his forthcoming marriage. 

But the mood turns sour when the groom is found dead in his study. Was it by accident or design that he was standing in the way of a heavy cabinet when it fell away from the wall? And if foul play is on the cards, why did the victim have the only key to the locked room in his pocket? 

Fortunately, three amateur sleuths — ebullient ladies of a certain age — are on hand to second-guess the simplistic assumptions of the police. 

In a plot that is full of unexpected twists and turns, what emerges is all that cosy crime fans could wish for. Building on an impressive track record, it is a fair bet that we will be enjoying the mysteries of Robert Thorogood for many years to come.

BODIES FROM THE LIBRARY 4 edited by Tony Medawar (Collins Crime Club £9.99, 416pp)


edited by Tony Medawar (Collins Crime Club £9.99, 416pp) 

In this trip down memory lane, familiar names from the golden age, such as Ngaio Marsh, Gladys Mitchell and Edmund Crispin share the honours with lesser lights claiming their overdue recognition as gifted contributors to classic crime. 

The centrepiece is a novella by Christianna Brand who, after years of neglect, is now enjoying a revival. 

Set in the early post-war years, Shadowed Sunlight centres on a luxury yacht where an ill-assorted guest list includes a jewel thief and a murderer. Eager to make his name, a novice police inspector resorts to unconventional methods to secure a double conviction. 

Other snappier tales of criminal intent, gathered for the first time in book form, testify to Tony Medawar’s skill as an excavator of lost treasures of crime fiction. This, the fourth in the series of Bodies From The Library, is the best yet.

THE WHITE PRIORY MURDERS by Carter Dickson (British Library £9.99, 272pp)


by Carter Dickson (British Library £9.99, 272pp) 

When a glamorous actress is found bludgeoned to death in a lakeside pavilion, there is a wide choice of suspects among her many admirers. But with heavy snow on the ground, how did the murderer get in and out of the pavilion without leaving any tracks behind? 

Enter the irascible Sir Henry Merrivale, physician and lawyer, who takes on the challenge of finding answers to questions that baffle the police. 

As one false premise after another falls to Merrivale’s inexorable logic, a pattern of jealousy and revenge begins to emerge. But don’t be fooled. In good classic style, the obvious solution is never the one to go for. 

In this meatiest of mysteries there is more than enough to satisfy even the strongest appetite. 

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