Thursday, May 24, 2018

Bats in the Belfry

Bats in the Belfry is a re-release of a classic golden age mystery by E.C.R. Lorac published in the British Library Crime Classics series by Poisoned Pen Press.

I must admit I was unfamiliar with this gem of an author going into this book.  I had taken a chance on poisoned pen titles before and I hadn't got a 'stinker' yet in the crime classics series, so I requested it and I'm so glad I did.

For fans of classic British golden age mysteries this one has it all.  The characters are charming and well written with a touch of wry humour.  I absolutely love interwar mysteries.  There's a sort of lack of cynicism and guile which is missing from later periods.  This isn't gritty.  It isn't even particularly realistic... there's a LOT of is he/isn't he... with red herrings and potentially fake beards galore.  I found myself giving up trying to figure out 'whodunnit' and just really enjoying the read.

I enjoyed the diverting plot, somewhat silly characters and mixed up clues.  The pacing was a trifle slow compared to 'modern' procedurals and gritty crime novels, but perfectly within acceptable parameters considering the time period.  It's a book to be enjoyed and, yes, savored a bit.

The place setting (London and environs) was a tangible part of the book and very well written.

Just a wonderful undiscovered (for me) gem.  Enjoyed it very very much!

Available in ebook and paperback in this edition (also hardbound originals, apparently).

Four and a half stars.  Enjoyed it enough that I'm making an effort to locate and read her other works- high praise indeed from me since my TBR pile is neverending.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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