Murder Underground Book Review
|Author:||Mavis Doriel Hay|
|Published:||November 1, 2016, Poisoned Pen Press|
|No. of Pages:||270|
|Cover Price:||$35.50 Hardcover, $12.95 Paperback, $6.95 Kindle|
Sometimes it’s nice to see old books republished so that new generations can enjoy them. Murder Underground, by British author Mavis Doriel Hay, is one such mystery/thriller that seems to be a cross between a British comedy and an Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers novel. First published in 1934, the story is told of an old British spinster, Euphemia Pongleton, who has just been found strangled on the steps leading to the Underground. Her strangler used her beloved dog, Tuppy’s leash, and the boyfriend of the maid in the boarding house where Euphemia lived, has been arrested for the murder. However, Bob, the boyfriend, has no motive to kill Euphemia, and there are others who do. Basil Pongleton, who is Euphemia’s nephew, is not a good businessman and is hurting for cash; it is thought that he would be Euphemia’s heir, so the police are looking at him, as well as her niece’s fiancé as the murderer.
As British comedies often do, the story doesn’t stop being surprising, and oddly, even though there is much humor in the story, it’s also suspenseful. The characters are fascinating, and it is easy to imagine them as real people.
The writing is excellent, and Hay is skilled at bringing scenario after scenario together. The book is a fun read, and is hard to put down, not only because of the unique characters and the storyline, but also because Hay captures the charm of Britain in days gone by. The language is very British, the scenes are very British, and the idioms are very British.
Even though Murder Underground is not a serious thriller with graphic violence and murders, it is an historical thriller where the suspense builds throughout. The victim wasn’t loved by anyone, it seems; she was difficult, to say the least, so readers will focus on the solving of the murder rather than being sad that she was the victim. It always makes us feel better when murder victims in novels aren’t beloved members of society. This novel is easy to read, and suitable for all ages.
Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.
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