Republished: March 2014 by The British Library Publishing Division
Category: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Police Procedural, Book Review
The Reverend Dodd, vicar of the quiet Cornish village of Boscawen, spends his evenings reading detective stories by the fireside – but heaven forbid that the shadow of any real crime should ever fall across his seaside parish.
This classic mystery of the golden age of British crime is set against the vividly described backdrop of a fishing village on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast. It is now republished for the first time since the 1930s with an introduction by the award-winning crime writer Martin Edwards.
Reverend Dodd, vicar of St Michael’s-on-the-Cliff, enjoys his Monday evening dinner engagements with Doctor Pendrill. Boscawen is a small isolated fishing village on the Cornish coast and both the vicar and the doctor look forward to their weekly meetings. Over an after dinner coffee they open the crate of library books each takes a turn in choosing, most commonly crime stories which they’re both addicted to, and are discussed in detail. Reverend Dodds has become quite good at solving mysteries by recalling previous twists, traps and detection methods, whereas they are proving a little more difficult for the doctor.
One stormy Monday evening there’s an urgent phone call to the vicarage from Ruth Tregarthan, looking for the doctor. Her uncle has been shot at his house. For all the enjoyment he has reading about it, Reverend Dodds never imagined there could ever be such a crime as murder committed in this quiet little village. Julius Tregarthan wasn’t an easy man to like but what could have made someone shoot him? Inspector Bigswell is the investigating officer but Reverend Dobbs can’t help but put his amateur detecting skills to the test, giving the inspector valuable help along the way.
Never, even in his most optimistic moments, had he visualised a scene of this nature — himself in one arm-chair, a police officer in another, and between them . . . a mystery.