The Incredible Crime
A Cambridge Mystery
Mystery crime fiction written in the Golden Age of Murder
"This British Library Crime Classics reissue features richly evocative settings, an appealing romantic subplot, and sly nods to other fiction, including that of the author's illustrious ancestor." —Publishers Weekly
Prince's College, Cambridge, is a peaceful and scholarly community, enlivened by Prudence Pinsent, the Master's daughter. Spirited, beautiful, and thoroughly unconventional, Prudence is a remarkable young woman.
One fine morning she sets out for Suffolk to join her cousin Lord Wellende for a few days' hunting. On the way Prudence encounters Captain Studde of the coastguard—who is pursuing a quarry of his own.
Studde is on the trail of a drug smuggling ring that connects Wellende Hall with the cloistered world of Cambridge. It falls to Prudence to unravel the identity of the smugglers—who may be forced to kill, to protect their secret.
This witty and entertaining crime novel has not been republished since the 1930s. This new edition includes an introduction by Kirsten T. Saxton, professor of English at Mills College, California.
The bland title doesn't capture the liveliness or wit of this well-plotted cozy, first published in 1931, by Austen-Leigh (1883 1968), Jane Austen's great-great-niece. Prudence Pinsent, the independent single daughter of the master of Cambridge University's fictional Prince's College, lives amid academics, including her distant cousin, toxicologist and poisons expert Francis Temple. Just before making a visit to the country, Prudence learns that a destructive new drug is being smuggled into the area and that both Cambridge University and Wellende Old Hall, her destination, are suspected distribution points. Initially skeptical, she becomes sure that something is amiss at the remote coastal home of the unpretentious Lord Wellende. Its fabled ghost has grown suddenly noisy, two senior men from Scotland Yard make ostensibly social visits, and Lord Wellende falls ill immediately after Francis unexpectedly ends their long-standing estrangement. This British Library Crime Classics reissue features richly evocative settings, an appealing romantic subplot, and sly nods to other fiction, including that of the author's illustrious ancestor.