Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Morning After Death (Nigel Strangeways #16)

The Morning After Death is the 16th (and final) novel in the Nigel Strangeways series by Nicholas Blake. Originally published in 1966, this reformat and re-release from Agora is 229 pages and available in ebook format (other editions available in other formats). It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book (and the other Agora editions) are currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.

I hadn't read the Strangeways series for many years until Agora reformatted and re-released them in electronic format and made them easy to find and access for a new generation of readers. The series was released from the 1930s to the 1960s and presents a capsule glimpse into social mores and culture of the time. This entry sees Strangeways visiting an old friend from Oxford at an Ivy League school near Boston (fictive Harvard) when a murder is uncovered and Nigel is dragged unwillingly into the fray to uncover a murderer and clear up a clever crime. 

Nicholas Blake's amateur detective Strangeways stars in one of those classic civilized British series that I revisit again and again. I've reviewed a number of the books previously and they're always very entertaining. The situations are outlandish, the characters often caricatures, the dialogue is quippy, but despite all that, they're always fun to revisit. I'm honestly not sure if I had ever read this entry before, because I can't remember a Strangeways novel which wasn't set in Great Britain, but this one is a good addition with a cleverly plotted mystery, well written dialogue and finely rendered characters. 

I would recommend this one to lovers of golden and silver age mysteries. There are some bits of dialogue and prose which do show their age, but all in all it's a well engineered and satisfying read. It works perfectly well as a standalone, they all do.

Four stars. 

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

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