A body in a trunk draws Thomas Littlejohn of Scotland Yard to a peculiar English village
On a cobblestoned street almost too quaint to be believed, two antique dealers named Grossman and Small have set up shop. Grossman is short and meek, while Small is large and brutish, but their partnership seems happy enough until the day when old Miss Adlestrop purchases the large oak chest in the window and finds Mr. Grossman stuffed inside it—stone dead.
The cozy English hamlet is thrown into an uproar, overwhelming the local constabulary and requiring the services of Detective-Inspector Thomas Littlejohn. Cool-headed and never in a hurry, Littlejohn has solved his fair share of village murder cases. But when the key to the fatal chest goes missing, Littlejohn discovers the community to be so infested with jealousies and secrets that he begins to envy the dead man.
“Nicely characterized, neatly plotted, for those in not too much of a hurry.” —Kirkus Reviews
“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).