By John Rowland
Rating 4/5 Stairs
Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press, we have another fun outing in the wonderful British Library Crime Classic series. Originally published in 1938, this is a classic whodunit with carefully planted clues and a lot of twists and turns along the way.
Mr. Rowland immediately begins the mystery with the murder occurring in a crowded, public room right away in chapter one. Scotland Yard’s Inspector Shelley is on the scene at once, collecting evidence, interviewing suspects, and doggedly following clues.
What makes this book stand out from your typical classic Scotland Yard inspector mystery is Henry Fairhurst. Henry was in the British Museum Reading Room at the time of Professor Julius Arnell’s death, and fancies himself to be a bit of a sleuth. (In truth, he really is not, but he is observant and eager to help.) Henry pops up several times with new information that keeps the case moving along.
From an armchair detective point of view, I will tell you I found this mystery almost impossible to solve, and was glad when Mr. Rowland spelled things out for me in the end. True to the golden age of detective fiction, Mr. Rowland does provide the reader with the pieces needed to put the puzzle together, but looking back, this one did seem to be a bit unfair to the reader in that respect.
I always enjoy reading a story written and set in the late 1930’s, and Murder in the Museum is no exception.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.