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British Library Crime Classics

March's Half-Price Book

 

Death of a Busybody

The eponymous nosy parker in Death of a Busybody is Miss Ethel Tither. She has made herself deeply unpopular in the quintessentially English village of Hilary Magna, since she goes out of her way to snoop on people, and interfere with their lives. On being introduced to her, the seasoned reader of detective stories will spot a murder victim in the making. Sure enough, by the end of chapter one, this unpleasant lady has met an extremely unpleasant fate. She is found floating in a cesspool, having been bludgeoned prior to drowning in the drainage water.This is, in every way, a murky business; realising that they are out of their depth, the local police quickly call in the Yard. Inspector Thomas Littlejohn, George Bellairs' series detective, arrives on the train, and in casting around for suspects, he finds that he is spoiled for choice. The amiable vicar supplies him with a map showing the scene of the crime; maps were a popular feature of traditional whodunnits for many years, and Bellairs occasionally included them in his books, as he does here.

I loved this book. A beautifully written and really rather funny account of the local busybody in the garden of the Reverend Ethelred Claplady, M.A. (Cantab.) Great fun and a damned fine crime novel to boot!
JC

 

£8.99 £4.49 throughout March 2017. 

 

 

 

Crime Classics

Murder Underground
(Paperback)
Mavis Doriel Hay
When Miss Pongleton is found murdered on the stairs of Belsize Park station, her fellow-boarders in the Frampton Hotel are not overwhelmed with grief at the death of a tiresome...
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A Scream in Soho
(Paperback)
John G. Brandon
 
When a piercing scream rends the air and a bloodied knife is found, Detective Inspector MacCarthy is soon on the scene. He must move through the dark, seedy Soho underworld...
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The Cornish Coast Murder
(Paperback)
John Bude
The Reverend Dodd, vicar of the quiet Cornish village of Boscawen, spends his evenings reading detective stories by the fireside - but the peace is shattered one stormy...
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The Lake District Murder
(Paperback)
John Bude
 
When a body is found at an isolated garage, Inspector Meredith is drawn into a complex investigation where every clue leads to another puzzle: was this a suicide, or...
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Serpents in Eden: Countryside Crimes
(Paperback)
Martin Edwards
 
An eclectic mix of crime stories written over half a century. From a tale of poison-pen letters tearing apart a village community to a macabre mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle...
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Murder at the Manor: Country House...
(Paperback)
Martin Edwards; Martin Edwards
 
This new collection gathers together stories written over a span of about 65 years, during which British society, and life in country houses, was transformed out of all recognition. It...
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Quick Curtain
(Paperback)
Alan Melville
 
When the show opens at the Grosvenor Theatre to a packed house, Brandon Baker is killed by a real bullet. When another member of the company is found dead, initial...
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Thirteen Guests
(Paperback)
J. Jefferson Farjeon
 
Lord Aveling hosts a hunting party at his country house, when events take a sinister turn. A painting is mutilated, a dog stabbed, and a man strangled. Death strikes more...
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Death on the Riviera
(Paperback)
John Bude
 
This classic crime novel from 1952 evokes all the sunlit glamour of life on the Riviera, and combines deft plotting with a dash of humour
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Resorting to Murder: Holiday Mysteries
(Paperback)
Martin Edwards
 
A collection of 14 vintage mysteries from the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle, GK Chesterton, Anthony Berkeley, Phyllis Bentley among others.
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Murder in the Museum
(Paperback)
John Rowland
 
A man dies under suspicious circumstances in the British Museums reading room, another plunges to his death into a reservoir on a Yorkshire moor. What can be the connection...
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Antidote to Venom
(Paperback)
Freeman Wills Crofts
 
George Surridge, director of the Birmington Zoo, is a man with many worries: his marriage is collapsing; his finances are insecure; and an outbreak of disease threatens the animals in...
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Death of a Busybody
(Paperback)
George Bellairs
The eponymous nosy parker Miss Ethel Tither, who has made herself deeply unpopular by going out of her way to snoop on people, is found floating in a cesspool, having...
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Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm
(Paperback)
Gil North
 
Amy Snowden, in middle age, has long since settled into a lonely life in the Yorkshire town of Gunnarshaw, until - to her neighbours' surprise - she suddenly marries a...
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Death of Anton
(Paperback)
Alan Melville
 
When fealess trainer Anton is found lying dead in the tigers' cage, it seems that he has lost control and been mauled by the tigers - but Detective-Inspector Minto of...
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The Poisoned Chocolates Case
(Paperback)
Anthony Berkeley
 
Graham and Joan Bendix have apparently succeeded in making that eighth wonder of the modern world, a happy marriage. And into the middle of it there drops, like a clap...
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The Notting Hill Mystery
(Paperback)
Charles Warren Adams
 
The Notting Hill Mystery has been widely described as the first detective novel. The story is told by the insurance investigator Ralph Henderson, who is building a case against the...
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Murder in Piccadilly
(Paperback)
Charles Kingston
 
Bobbie Cheldon falls in love with a pretty young dancer at the Frozen Fang night club in Soho. When Chief Inspector Wake of Scotland Yard enters the scene, he uncovers...
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Mystery in the Channel
(Paperback)
Freeman Wills Croft
 
Two wealthy business men are found shot dead on a Yacht with no murder weapon in sight. Inspector Joseph French is called onto the scene uncovering a business on...
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The Sussex Downs Murder
(Paperback)
John Bude
 
Two brothers, John and William Rother, live together at Chalklands Farm in the beautiful Sussex Downs. Their peaceful rural life is shattered when John Rother disappears and his abandoned car...
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The Z Murders
(Paperback)
J. Jefferson Farjeon
 
Richard Temperley sets off in pursuit of a mysterious woman and finds himself embroiled in a cross-country chase - by train and taxi - on the tail of a sinister...
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Death in the Tunnel
(Paperback)
Miles Burton
 
On a dark November evening, Sir Wilfred Saxonby is travelling alone, in a locked compartment. The train slows and stops inside a tunnel; and by the time it emerges again...
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The 12.30 from Croydon
(Paperback)
Freeman Wills Crofts
 
The body of a wealthy retired manufacturer, is found dead in his seat on the 12.30 flight from Croydon to Paris. Rather less orthodox is the ensuing flashback seen...
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Capital Crimes: London Mysteries
(Paperback)
Martin Edwards
 
Capital Crimes is an eclectic collection of London-based crime stories, blending the familiar with the unexpected in a way that reflects the personality of the city. Alongside classics by Margery...
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The Methods of Sergeant Cluff
(Paperback)
Gil North
 
An attractive young woman is found dead with a handbag of more money than she would've earned in wages. Sergeant Cluff is bought in to gradually find out the...
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Secret of High Eldersham
(Paperback)
Miles Burton
 
When the new landlord is stabbed to death in his pub, and Scotland Yard are called to the scene, it seems that the veil dividing High Eldersham from the outside...
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The Dead Shall be Raised and Murder ...
(Paperback)
George Bellairs
 
Two classic cases featuring Detective-Inspector Littlejohn
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The Cheltenham Square Murder
(Paperback)
John Bude
 
In the seeming tranquility of Regency Square in Cheltenham live the diverse inhabitants of its ten houses. One summer's evening, the square's rivalries and allegiances are disrupted by a sudden...
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The Female Detective: The Original...
(Paperback)
Andrew Forrester
 
The Female Detective introduces the first professional female detective in British fiction, Mrs Gladden. She uses similar methods to her male counterparts - enterring scenes of crime incognito...
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Death on the Cherwell
(Paperback)
Mavis Doriel Hay
For Miss Cordell, principal of Persephone College, there are two great evils to be feared: unladylike behaviour among her students, and bad publicity for the college. So her prim and...
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Murder of a Lady
(Paperback)
Anthony Wynne
 
Duchlan Castle is a gloomy, forbidding place in the Scottish Highlands. Late one night the body of Mary Gregor, is found in the castle, stabbed to death in her bedroom...
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Calamity in Kent
(Paperback)
John Rowland
 
In the peaceful seaside town of Broadgate, an impossible crime occurs. The operator of the cliff railway locks the empty carriage one evening; when he returns to work, a dead...
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Death of an Airman
(Paperback)
Christopher St John Sprigg
 
When an aeroplane crashes, and its pilot is killed, Edwin Marriott is not convinced that it was accidental. In due course, naturally, he is proved right!
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The Hog's Back Mystery
(Paperback)
Freeman Wills Crofts
 
Dr James Earle and his wife live in comfortable seclusion near the Hog's Back, a ridge in the North Downs in the beautiful Surrey countryside. When Dr Earle disappears from...
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The Santa Klaus Murder
(Paperback)
Mavis Doriel Hay
 
Aunt Mildred declared that no good could come of the Melbury family Christmas gatherings at their country residence Flaxmere. So when Sir Osmond Melbury, the family patriarch, is discovered...
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Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries
(Paperback)
Martin Edwards
 
This book introduces readers to some of the finest Christmas detective stories of the past. Martin Edwards' selection blends festive pieces from much-loved authors with one or two stories which...
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Crimson Snow: Winter Mysteries
(Paperback)
Martin Edwards
Crimson Snow brings together a dozen vintage crime stories set in winter
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Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime...
(Paperback)
J. Jefferson Farjeon
 
Heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt. The passengers trapped together for Christmas, seek to unravel the secrets of an empty house when a murderer strikes in their...
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