2014: 77. The Old Fox Deceiv'd

"She came out the fog, her face painted half-white, half-black, walking down Grape Lane."

The Old Fox Deceiv'd, Martha Grimes

So, this one is out of print - look at the only sad image I could gin up on Amazon.  It's a mystery - one of a series written by Martha Grimes, all of which (I believe, though this is the only one I've read) are named after pubs which have some relation to the crime.  This one was written (and, I assume, set, though it's a little hard to parse from the plot) in 1982.  It's set in a coastal English town, in the dead of winter, where what seems charming in the summer becomes grim and scary.  It's your basic cosy mystery - a mysterious woman is found dead on Twelfth Night, dressed in a fancy costume.  Half her face was painted white, half black - a dramatic corpse indeed.  And she is tangentially related to the first family in town - she may or may not be their missing ward. The local police are baffled - so, of course Scotland sends it's darling, Inspector Richard Jury, to solve the case.

What can I say? I actually think I bought this about twenty years ago at a book sale and never got around to reading it.  But I got desperate for something new (I'm blogging out of order, a bit - I have about twenty books in my backlog to write about, still), and this was undemanding.  And the solution is reasonably clever, which is all you can ask for a formulaic cozy novel.


© Carrie Dunsmore 2017