Review published on November 12, 2017.
Resort to Murder is the second in the Miss Dimont murder mysteries. It is set on the seaside Riviera in Devon, where the body of a young woman has been washed ashore. She has no identity and the police are inclined to dismiss the case as one of suicide.
However, Miss Judy Dimont, ace reporter on the local newspaper, the Riviera Express, has other ideas and is determined, with the help of an attractive new recruit, Valentine, to solve the case. Her editor would rather give space in the paper to the beauty pageant and less controversial matters, and he refuses to allow Judy to pursue the investigation. That, of course, does not stop her at all.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable novel, and it is written in a light, breeze style which in no way detracts from some of the serious issues it brings to the fore of Britain in the 1950s. The paper’s editor, for example, reported to Judy during the war when they were engaged in covert operations, and Judy often finds it difficult to adjust to taking orders now the roles are reversed. The Mayor of Todhempstead is organising the Beauty Contest, and this brings out the rather dismal, sleazy world of exploitation and promises of a better life in London for the lucky contestant. By the end of the story, surprising wartime secrets are revealed as well as a resolution of the murder.
Resort to Murder would make a very acceptable Christmas present, or take it on holiday next year. A good personal read and one for reading groups too.
Ruth Ginarlis 5/5
Resort to Murder by T.P. Fielden
HQ 9780008193737 hbk Nov 2017