'For God's sake don't get the idea that you're Miss Marple. It could quite conceivably lead to your being whacked on the head.'
The narrator of this classic mystery is fashionable young actress, Tessa Crichton-obliged to turn private detective when murder strikes in the rural stronghold of Roakes Common. Leading hate-figures in the community are Mr. and Mrs. Cornford - the nouveaux riches of the local Manor House - suspected by some of malicious dog killing.
Tessa however has other things on her mind when she goes to stay with her cousin Toby and his wife Matilda. There's her blossoming career, for one thing, not to mention coping with her eccentric cousins. Also the favourable impression made by a young man she meets under odd circumstances in the local pub. If it wasn't for that dead body turning up in a ditch . . .
The murder mystery will lead Tessa to perilous danger, but she solves it herself, witty, blithe and soignée to the last. The story is distinguished by memorable characterisation and a sharp ear for dialogue, adding to the satisfaction of a traditional cunningly-clued detective story.
Death in the Grand Manor was originally published in 1970. This new edition features an introduction and afterword by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
'A charming whodunit . . . full of unforced buoyance . . . a remedy for existentialist gloom.' Edmund Crispin
'It provides a modern version of the classical type of detective story. I was much taken with the cheerful young narrator . . . and I think most readers will feel the same way. Warmly recommended.' Francis Iles
'Entrancingly fresh and lively whodunit . . . Excellent dialogue.' Observer