Today I’m delighted to be reviewing “Death of an Old Girl”, by Elizabeth Lemarchand. Originally published in 1967, it’s being reissued tomorrow.
About the book:
A classic cosy mystery from a master of the genre! Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, M C Beaton, Sophie Hannah and Faith Martin.
How do you solve a village murder when everyone is under suspicion…?
1966, Rural England
Shockwaves are sent through the sleepy village of Trill when a woman’s body is discovered in a local school.
Beatrice Baynes – interfering, overbearing and spiteful – was not well liked. But no one expects a body to be found on their doorstep… And how did the annual festival at Meldon School turn from a light-hearted celebration to a gruesome crime scene?
With the local constabulary completely stumped, Scotland Yard’s Chief Detective Inspector Pollard and Detective Sergeant Toye are called in to investigate.
But the further Pollard & Toye delve into their inquiries, the more complicated the case becomes…
Death of an Old Girl is the first cosy village mystery in the Pollard & Toye crime series: an intriguing police procedural set in rural England.
The story opens with the annual festival at Meldon school. It’s open to Meldon’s “Old Girls” and Sixth Form – a kind of open day with an AGM.
Most of the “Old Girls” are happy with the changes that the relatively new Headmistress, Miss Renshaw, has made. Beatrice Baynes leads a small group of those that don’t. She’s spiteful, interfering and overbearing – and she has it in for both Miss Renshaw and the new art teacher, Miss Cartmel.
After the Festival, Beatrice is nowhere to be found… until her body is discovered several days later. Chief Detective Inspector Pollard and Detective Sergeant Toye from Scotland Yard are called to take the case.
I took to the book straight away. It was a very easy enjoyable read. The plot had enough twists to keep me going but not too many suspects, making it easy to keep track of who was who. As the Detectives get into working out a timeline, the author very helpfully provides their notes.
Whilst the main and recurring Detectives, Pollard and Toye, were likeable characters -authoritative but able to get on well with anyone from Miss Renshaw to the caretaker – what I particularly liked about the author’s way of writing was that you really felt you got to know several of the other characters well – I particularly took to Miss Renshaw.
I would highly recommend this – 5*