Review published on September 1, 2016.
So Pretty a Problem is set in Cornwall and follows the story of the shocking fatal shooting of Adrian Carthallow, famous controversial artist and summer resident. Was it suicide or did his pretty wife kill him? Inspector Penross isn’t convinced by the widow’s story and fortunately for him amateur criminologist Mordecai Tremaine just happens to be on holiday in the area.
This is my first encounter with Mordecai Tremaine who reminded me more of Agatha Christie’s Parker Pyne than Hercule Poirot. I didn’t warm to him at all, but maybe if I tried another book he just might grow on me. As this was written in 1950 the writing style reflects the time and I personally found it too stiff and old fashioned compared to the books I like to read. I much prefer a faster pace and a darker story when I’m reading a murder mystery. However, it is a clever mystery that had lots of twists, turns and suspects. I was unable to guess the murderer, which is quite unusual for me. I enjoyed the relationships between the group of friends, before the murder, and how that played out as I got closer to the end. I also quite liked the way the book is divided in three parts : At the time of the corpse, Before the corpse and Following the corpse.
I’d definitely recommend this to fans of cosy murder mysteries and it would probably work quite well in a book club setting.
Nicki Maguire 3/3
So Pretty A Problem by Francis Duncan
Vintage 9781784704827 pbk Aug 2016
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