Thomas Littlejohn investigates a murder committed by the glow of a lighthouse
The waterfront pub is closing up and the sailors are staggering home. World War II means a blackout in the English port town of Werrymouth, but the locals have no trouble finding their way over the Halfpenny Bridge, where a small toll shaves a mile off their drunken walk. A group of them are about to cross when a ship comes into the channel, and the lighthouse snaps on to guide its way. As the beams rake across the harbor, the sailors see two men struggling by the shore. One overpowers the other, killing him in the surf.
The murderer escapes, and Detective-Inspector Littlejohn ventures down from London to find him. Two more murders follow, bringing this center of shipping to a halt just when England needs it most.
“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).