Discover the captivating treasures buried in the British Library's archives. Largely inaccessible to the public until now, these enduring crime classics were written in the golden age of detective fiction.
"Never make trouble in the village" is an unspoken law, but it's a binding law. You may know about your neighbor's sins and shortcomings, but you must never name them aloud. It'd make trouble, and small societies want to avoid trouble.
When Dr Raymond Ferens moves to a practice at Milham in the Moor in North Devon, he and his wife are enchanted with the beautiful hilltop village lying so close to moor and sky. At first, they see only its charm, but soon they begin to uncover its secrets—envy, hatred, and malice.
Everyone says that Sister Monica, warden of a children's home, is a saint—but is she? A few months after the Ferens' arrival her body is found drowned in the mill-race. Chief Inspector Macdonald faces one of his most difficult cases in a village determined not to betray its dark secrets to a stranger.
Also in the British Library Crime Classics:
The Body in the Dumb River
Blood on the Tracks
Surfeit of Suspects
Death Has Deep Roots
Checkmate to Murder
In this welcome entry in the British Library Crime Classics series featuring Scotland Yard Chief Insp. Robert Macdonald (originally published in 1952), Lorac (1894 1958) does a fine job evoking the insular dynamics of life in a village whose residents are reluctant to share any information with outsiders. The Yard is called in after the police in North Devon are stymied in their investigation into the death of Monica Torrington, known locally as Sister Monica, who ran a children's home, Gramarye. Torrington was found drowned in a millrace after apparently being hit in the head with a blunt instrument. Her death occurred in the same spot where one of Gramarye's maids took her own life a year earlier after becoming pregnant, a circumstance that led to her being treated harshly by Torrington. Despite Torrington's facade of benevolence and rectitude, Macdonald learns that she was widely unpopular and a poisonous gossip-monger who had surprising financial resources for someone on a fixed income and reputed to live frugally. This is a top-notch, tricky whodunit.