Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Review 32: The Hog's Back Mystery

The Hog’s Back Mystery. Freeman Willis Croft. 1933/2015. [July] Poisoned Pen Press. Pages 328. [Source:Publisher]

First sentence:  “Ursula!  I am glad to see you!”

Goodreads.com:  Dr James Earle and his wife live in comfortable seclusion near the Hog’s Back, a ridge in the North Downs in the beautiful Surrey countryside. When Dr Earle disappears from his cottage, Inspector French is called in to investigate. At first he suspects a simple domestic intrigue – and begins to uncover a web of romantic entanglements beneath the couple’s peaceful rural life.
The case soon takes a more complex turn. Other people vanish mysteriously, one of Dr Earle’s house guests among them. What is the explanation for the disappearances? If the missing people have been murdered, what can be the motive? This fiendishly complicated puzzle is one that only Inspector French can solve.
Freeman Wills Crofts was a master of the intricately and ingeniously plotted detective novel, and The Hog’s Back Mystery shows him at the height of his powers.

My thoughts:  This wasn’t my first foray into the world of British mysteries; I have been a long time fan of the great Agatha Christie.  This book had good points and bad points for me.  It was told from the perspective of the Scotland Yard inspector working the case.  There was very minimal action it was definitely written to be a brain buster to see if you could work out what had happened BEFORE the last two chapters of the book where they spell it all out for you.  It was definitely a book to take you back to a much, much simpler time which I appreciated.  I would have to say that the best aspect of this book was the complete lack of forensic options due to the time period, I loved the fact that it was all brain power on the part of the inspector.

Rating 8/10

Recommendation: If you like a lot of action in your books than this is not the book for you.  If you are looking for a more intellectual read where you look for the clues than, yes you should give this book a whirl.

*I received a digital review copy for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

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