At the height of World War II, Thomas Littlejohn investigates a factory boss’s murder
Once, Henry Worth’s sprawling factory was filled with looms and textile workers, but since the onset of World War II, the space has been given over entirely to military production. Worth is walking the grounds late one night when he smells gas coming from an unused shed. When he enters to investigate, the door slams and locks behind him. He is dead in minutes.
Detective-Inspector Littlejohn is called down from London to investigate the murder and finds the entire town upended by the question of Worth’s inheritance. Three children and a wife are feuding over the man’s fortune, and they are not afraid to kill to get their share. As British troops fight and die overseas, Littlejohn finds that the fiercest battlefield of all may be on the home front.
“A leisurely but fascinating investigation.” —The Mystery Fancier on Corpse at the Carnival
“Littlejohn achieves his goal spectacularly and successfully.” —Kirkus Reviews on Calamity at Harwood 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).