Death of a Busybody by George Bellairs, © 1943, introduction by Martin Edwards, British Library Crime Classics 2017 trade paper, mystery.
The titular nosy parker in Death of a Busybody is Miss Ethel Tither. She has made herself deeply unpopular in the English village of Hilary Magna, since she goes out of her way to snoop on people, and interfere with their lives.
A seasoned reader of detective stories will immediatley spot a potential murder victim. Sure enough, by the end of chapter one, this unpleasant lady has met an extremely unpleasant fate: she is found floating in a cesspool, having been bludgeoned prior to drowning.
The local police call in the Yard, bringing Inspector Thomas Littlejohn, George Bellairs’ series detective, to the village. In his search for suspects, he finds that he is spoiled for choice. The amiable vicar supplies him with a map showing the scene of the crime; maps were a popular feature of traditional whodunnits for many years, and Bellairs occasionally included them in his books, as he does here. – partly from a Goodreads review
This is a mystery novel strongly based on character and setting, which is just the way I like them, and I enjoyed this one quite a lot.
I’ve read a few George Bellairs mysteries and enjoyed them all. I have not read DEATH OF A BUSYBODY but now I want to very much! I’m also a fan of the British Library Crime Classics, too.
It’s a good one. I’m a fan of BLCC too.
Oh, that is a horrible death. This is the George Bellairs book that I have, and in the same edition. I hope I get to reading it soon.
I have never read Bellairs but now I want to. Love the cover.
I think you’ll enjoy this one, Patti.
Sounds good. Another one to add to my list.
This one’s quite good, and notable for the fresh spin he put on a tired old alibi gimmick that had been around since 1926 (debuting simultaneously in two very famous novels – and an Austin Freeman story!). I doubt many readers had ever heard of a “Welte Vorsetzer”, but Bellairs clearly did.