Behold a Fair Woman is the last in the Mordecai Tremaine series and I'm a bit sad to be finished with it. I like Mordecai. He's unassuming, observant, solves crimes and reads romance stories. The books are typical for the era, in a good way.
Mordecai is on vacation, staying with friends. He meets several of the residents and guests on the island before the inevitable murder occurs. There are several suspects. The dead man was not as well-loved as he wanted everyone to believe. And the people on the island are not all as care-free as they would seem. Mordecai has a well-known reputation for solving mysteries and is invited immediately by the local police to sit in on interviews and is encouraged to find out what he can on his own and report back.
The plot is a little convoluted and we never actually meet one of the main players. The characters were fine, but I just don't think this...
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 holiday, with nothing on the agenda but lazing around and soaking up the summer sun. So, of course, Tremaine gets caught up in the murder of a local celebrity, painter Adreian Carthallo. Tremaine had met the artist and his wife, Helen, several months earlier in London and had continued his acquaintance with them in Cornwall, where their vacation home was.
I really liked how So Pretty a Problem was structured. First we jump right into the mystery. Adreian is dead and his wife admits to killing him - although accidentally. Of course, her story has holes galore and the local inspector isn't buying it. Happily, Mordecai is on the spot...
I've been reading a lot of vintage mysteries lately, Hercule Poirot, Roderick Alleyn, Sherlock Holmes. Mordecai Tremaine is one of the lesser-known detectives of the era, at least now, I'm not sure about when the stories were originally published. I like him though; I'm glad the books are being reissued. Mordecai is a retired tobacconist, a bachelor, and a bit of a romantic. He's an amateur detective who solves mysteries by observing, by understanding people. He also blends in well, he's unobtrusive and people tend not to notice him or not be threatened by him, which allows him to sometimes learn things quicker and easier than the police.
In In at the Death, Mordecai is actually invited by his friend Chief Inspector Jonathan Boyce to tag along on an investigation, beginning to end. Mordecai can be rather introspective too. "It was when you came up against the thing in its actuality that its atmosphere changed; from being a fascinating problem to intrigue the brain,...
I admit it - I love vintage mysteries. In spite of the predictability, in spite of the stereotypes, I truly enjoy them. They're a little like stepping back in time.
Murder Has a Motive was originally published in the late 1940s, a great time for mysteries. Mordecai Tremaine is a retired tobacconist with a penchant for mysteries. He had been planning on staying with friends in Dalmering, but as we all know, murder follows amateur detectives around. When Mordecai arrives, his friends tell him that one of their neighbors, a woman who was also starring in the play the community is putting on to raise money for charity, was found dead that morning - stabbed to death. His friends, of course, want him to find the killer.
Mordecai is a quiet, sometimes pretentious man, but a romantic at heart. He's a quiet detective, watching, listening, having conversations. He's a little different from the other bachelor detectives of the era. He unabashedly reads...
It's probably no surprise that I enjoyed Murder for Christmas. It ticks off all the boxes:
√ Vintage murder mystery
√ English manor house
√ Eccentric set of characters
√ Christmas celebrations
√ Amateur detective with a romantic streak
Benedict Grame always throws a large house party for Christmas and this year is not exception. It's an interesting collection of people. There's the usual household, Grame and his assistant Nicholas Blaise, his old friend Jeremy Rainer and Rainer's ward, a lovely young woman and her suitor. Grame also has a spinster sister who lives with them and another relative he assists, a gambler with a penchant for practical jokes. There's also a visiting scientist, a politician, a glamorous woman who both Grame and Rainer are attracted too, a couple from the village, and of course Mordecai Tremaine, our amateur detective who has been specially invited. It should be a fun, traditional Christmas.
Of course the merriment is interrupted by murder - Father Christmas dead under the decorated...