While I was away recently, I downloaded a few novels to my Kindle, and a couple of these e-books were by an author I had not read before, Clara Benson. After reading my way through the delightful, albeit predictable, amateur sleuth style novels 'The Murder at Sissingham Hall', and 'The Mystery at Underwood House', I was hooked!
The books are set in the 1920s, mainly in England, and centre around Mrs Angela Marchmont and her ability to get herself into the middle of many an intrigue and manage to solve crimes while she is there.
The first novel is written in first person, and Angela Marchmont does not have such a lead role as it were, but the following books in the series are in third person and Angela is most definitely the protagonist.
Angela Marchmont appears to live the life of the idle rich, and along with her chauffeur William, tends to arrive in the middle of crime and mayhem wherever she goes. She has the trust of British Intelligence and Scotland Yard, and is a bit of a mystery herself. The mysteries are predictable, but still a great adventure read and very entertaining.
I had not seen the biography of the author until after I had read all the books out so far, and was surprised to see that these novels are purported to be written by a lady in the 1920s and her manuscripts had been found in the mid-sixties and worked on for publishing well after her death. When reading these stories I felt the syntax to be of a 21st Century author writing in the style of Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie, and even Enid Blyton, but I did not get the impression from the books that they had actually been authored by someone of that time.
This could be because the author was:
- anachronistically ahead of her time;
- the books are heavily edited; or
- they have been written by person or persons unknown in the 21st Century and given a cute back story of a fictional 1920s author.
The fact is however, that I thought the books were great fun and it doesn't matter to me who the author is or when the books were written. love them all!
I really enjoyed reading these delightful novels. They are a charming old fashioned yarn, the kind of novel you take with you to the seaside and read while sun bathing! They do not ask too much of the reader, instead they take you for a rollicking ride of mystery and amateur detection!
You can download them via the Amazon store for Kindle, and also ibooks and they are really cheap. Why not give them a try?