FFB: In At the Death by Francis Duncan

In At the Death by Francis Duncan, (c) 1952, Penguin Random House – 2016 Vintage trade paper, mystery, #6 in Mordecai Tremaine series

The Blurb: (from back cover)

“When murder is afoot, nothing is as it seems. Mordecai Tremaine and Chief Inspector Jonathan Boyce rarely allow a promising game of chess to be interrupted — though when murder is the disrupting force, they are persuaded to make an exception. After a quick stop at Scotland Yard, the pair are spirited away to Bridgton.

No sooner have they arrived than it becomes clear that the city harbors more than its fair share of passions and motives…and one question echoes loudly throughout the cobbled streets: why did Dr. Hardene, the local GP of impeccable reputation, bring a revolver with him on a routine visit to a patient?

Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Margery Allingham’s classic mysteries, Mordecai Tremaine’s latest excursion into crime detection convinces him that, when it comes to murder, nothing can be assumed…”

My Take:
While last year I read the fourth book in the series, Murder for Chirstmas, and enjoyed it enough to buy a second novel, this one. After reading this, I’ve ordered the other three Duncan novels in these five Vintage Crime editions, and look forward to reading them.

I like the somewhat unusual Tremaine character, Duncan does a nice job with setting, and the plot had enough elements to keep me guessing until near the end. These are easy going mysteries, no graphic violence, no thriller elements, just the thing to read while relaxing in a comfy chair on a Summer afternoon.

The Mordecai Tremaine novels by Francis Duncan, in order. Five are available in Vintage Crime editions.

1. They’ll Never Find Out (1944)
2. Murder Has a Motive (1947)
3. Murderer’s Bluff (1948)
4. Murder for Christmas (1949)
5. So Pretty a Problem (1950)
6. In at the Death (1952)
7. Behold a Fair Woman (1954)

Duncan also writes a series featuring Peter Justice, about which, sadly, I have no information.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, Friday Forgotten Books, Mystery. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to FFB: In At the Death by Francis Duncan

  1. tracybham says:

    My husband has Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan but neither of us have read it yet. I will probably read it for this Christmas. I am glad to hear you like the main character in the series, that always helps.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Yet another British author I have never read. When I was selling books, I did have a number of his books, including this one and MURDER FOR CHRISTMAS. I’ve found it fascinating in recent years to see which British midlist authors, previously unknown or barely known in this country, they have chosen to reprint. A lot of them (George Bellairs comes to mind) are ones I was picking up in bookstore and charity shops over the years.

  3. 1412064gk says:

    Francis Duncan is another writer I’m not familiar with. But your positive review leads me to want to read some of the books in this series.

  4. 1412064gk says:

    Yes, it’s me. WORDPRESS has hijacked my name and now I’m ‘1412064gk” on all of my comments. What a pain! Meanwhile I’m feuding with the WORDPRESS Spellcheck that seems to change everything in my posts without asking me first!

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