A Question of Proof by Nicholas Blake, Rue Morgue Press 2008 trade paper mystery (not shown), original publication in 1935,
This one is about as classic a British mystery as you could ask for. I’ve had it on the shelf for some time, and on a recent trip decided to take it along for evening reading, and found it to be quite entertaining.
The annual Sports Day at respected public school Sudeley Hall ends in tragedy when the headmaster’s obnoxious nephew is found strangled in a haystack.
The boy was despised by staff and students alike, but English master Michael Evans, who was seen sharing a kiss with the headmaster’s beautiful young wife earlier that day, soon becomes a prime suspect for the murder.
Luckily, Evans’ friend Nigel Strangeways, nephew to the Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard, is on hand to help investigate the case. It’s clear to the experienced mystery reader that the obvious suspect isn’t the culprit, but…who is?
Of course Strangeways appears in many Blake novels, being his primary character. I have read a couple of others, but think this makes a good introduction to the new reader of Blake’s mysteries.
I read a few of the later Strangeways books – I believe one was set at a publisher – but somehow missed the first one, even though I usually do like school settings.
It’s classic stuff, Jeff.
Rick, I’ve read a few of the Nigel Strangeways books and have enjoyed them very much — good, classic literary British mysteries. Blake was a pen name for C. Day-Lewis, England’s Poet Laureate during the last years of his life and father of actor Daniel Day-Lewis. I understand he modeled Strangeways on poet W. H. Auden.
That’s great information, Jerry. I got lazy and didn’t look into the author’s actual name and history. Thanks a lot.
Yes, I’d read the Auden reference before, as well, and have been meaning to read “Blake” for this among other reasons (entirely too many people are still too startled that a Poet Laureate would also be a crime-fiction writer).
I read this one a few years ago and I remember enjoying it. I had read a lot of the Strangeways books years and years ago, and recently have wanted to read more of them. Thanks for the reminder.
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