In Melchester, Thomas Littlejohn hunts the killer of a strangled poet
The war is over and blackouts are a thing of the past, except in the village of Melchester, where the local council has refused to sully its streets with unsightly lamps. The night is pitch black, but hardly quiet. Young lovers are rendezvousing, a police constable is helping himself to a few of his neighbor’s partridges, and a poet is going to visit his beloved, a new verse on his lips. She will never hear it, sadly, for the young man is stopped along his way—stopped forever, by the tight grip of the garrote.
The local constabulary wastes no time reaching out to Scotland Yard, which sends its best man: the easygoing detective-inspector Littlejohn. In Melchester he will find unspeakable secrets—and one citizen whose soul is as dark as the village night.
“Littlejohn achieves his goal spectacularly and successfully.” —Kirkus Reviews on Calamity at Harwood
“A leisurely but fascinating investigation.” —The Mystery Fancier on Corpse at the Carnival George Bellairs was the pseudonym of Harold Blundell (1902–1985), an English crime author best known for the creation of Detective-Inspector Thomas Littlejohn. Born in Heywood, near Lancashire, Blundell introduced his famous detective in his first novel, Littlejohn on Leave (1941). A low-key Scotland Yard investigator whose adventures were told in the Golden Age style of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, Littlejohn went on to appear in more than fifty novels, including The Crime at Halfpenny Bridge (1946), Outrage on Gallows Hill (1949), and The Case of the Headless Jesuit (1950).
In the 1950s Bellairs relocated to the Isle of Man, a remote island in the Irish Sea, and began writing full time. He continued writing Thomas Littlejohn novels for the rest of his life, taking occasional breaks to write standalone novels, concluding the series with An Old Man Dies (1980).