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Monday, May 13, 2024

The Cornish Coast Murder (1935) by John Bude

πŸ”΅ Reverend Dodd and his best friend Doctor Pendrill love to spend their Friday evenings together by the fireside, discussing detective novels they had just buddy-read, and each would, alternately, bring some more detective novels to be perused before their next meeting. Some authors they cherish are Edgar Wallace, J.S. Fletcher, Farjeon, Sayer, Freeman-Willscroft, and "my dear old friend Christie". That's one thing I've been dreaming to do after my retirement - hopefully I'd find the perfect friend to do it with when the time comes!

πŸ”΅ One stormy night, on one of those meetings, Doctor Pendrill is summoned to the neighboring house, because one Julius Tregarthan, an ill-tempered man who quarreled with everybody, was found dead, with a bullet through his head. A murder! A real one, not in a novel.

πŸ”΅ The investigator, Inspector Bigswell from Boskawen police force, puzzled over the case as it has limited clues, besides some of the strangest things that he found. Three bullets were shot from outside the victim's study in three wide ranges of direction - only one of it got through the victim. Then sets of footprints they had found were also inexplicable. Bigswell's suspects are Miss Tregarthen (the deceased's niece), and her lover, a writer who inexplicably left his abode on a hurry on the night of the murder, and seemed just to vanish.

πŸ”΅ Inspector Bigswell is fortunate that the local vicar is surprisingly not only good at delivering sermons, but is equally good at deduction. The combination of Bigswell's investigating experience and Reverend Dodd's insight of human nature bring in a beautiful conclusion to this simple-but-complicated mystery.

πŸ”΅ It was a super fun read, and a celebration of the Golden Age crime novel. The Cornish coast, with its sea, boats, and all, isn't only the nice background, but it forms an essential character of the crime itself. Bravo!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2


  1. I liked this one too and as a native of Cornwall I thought he depicted the county very well.

    1. It's a pity Bude didn't make this one a series. I love Reverend Dodd & Dr. Pendrill's relationship. :)


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