Gilbert, who also wrote Death In Captivity, is a good find. This is yet another hit for the BLCC stable. I rather fancy the editors might be getting more discerning. A classic Golden Age closed circle set-up, with a murder in a firm of solicitors, which gives it a faint resemblance to Murder Must Advertise. The firm, and its varied inmates, are amusingly and convincingly portrayed, and the story itself is well-constructed, drily funny, and smartly clued. Our point-of-view character, Henry Bohun, is as a very attractive amateur sleuth, and one might wish he had featured in further novels. A slight weakness, perhaps, in the murderer's motive. But in real life people do apparently kill for very odd reasons.
The Loss of The Jane Vosper
Freeman Wills Crofts
Crofts was not, in my view, one of the greats. He could be a ponderous storyteller, and he often ends his stories with a leaden and moralistic tying up of loose ends, presenting a solution with a dutiful but rather dull third-person account of who did what and when and why. His books are also not really fair-play mysteries in any sense. Nevertheless, they generally remain worth reading. They are well-constructed and engrossing, and his focus on the realistic mechanics of detection makes for a good read. This is a pretty solid Crofts. Through patient and dogged police work, Chief Inspector French runs to earth a nasty gang of thieves and murderers, who have conceived a daring but ruthless scheme. The opening chapter, set on board the eponymous Jane Vosper, is genuinely tense, and the climax is pretty exciting too.