Final Curtain by Ngaio Marsh

The Final Curtain has a lot of similarities to many of Marsh’s other mysteries. We’ve got a country house party. Inspector Alleyn doesn’t show up until about halfway through. We’ve got a young couple who are meant to be together but have difficulties in the way. We’ve got a tie …

Murder by Matchlight by E. C. R. Lorac

Murder by Matchlight features Scotland Yard’s imperturbable Chief Inspector Robert MacDonald, who is tasked with finding the killer of the man on the bridge. His only evidence: a set of bicycle tracks that come to an abrupt end. His suspects: a colorful cast that includes the shy, soft-spoken witness, a …

Swing, Brother, Swing by Ngaio Marsh

Swing, Brother, Swing is fairly typical for Marsh. We have a dysfunctional family, headed by Lord Pastern and Baggott, whose newest obsession is playing the timpani for a swing band. Pastern’s step-daughter, Fee, is not quite but almost engaged to Carlos, who plays the accordion. Carlos is sleazy and overly …

So Pretty a Problem by Francis Duncan

So Pretty a Problem is the third of the Mordecai Tremaine books. Mordeaci, our amateur sleuth, is a retired tobacconist with a fondness for romance literature. He’s mild-mannered but a shrewd observer of people. Tremaine has accompanied his good friend Scotland Yard Inspector Jonathan Boyce to Cornwall for a relaxing …

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

When will these older, wealthy men stop inviting their whole families, most of whom hate them or each other, to Christmas house parties? Simeon Lee is the one who’s done it this time. All his children, a grandchild none of the others know, and an old “friend’s” son, are at …

Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith

Adrian Gray and his six adult children, along with a few spouses, are gathered at his country home for Christmas. I want to say “to celebrate Christmas,” but I don’t think they were ever really going to celebrate. They are not a nice group of people. Adrian is not a …