They Rang Up the Police
(Inspector Guy Northeast #1)
by Joanna Cannan
I read the second book in the series a few years ago after its re-release and always meant to go back and read the first book. With a theme of British Cozy Mysteries for book bingo this year, I knew the time was right to dive in. There were only 2 books in the Inspector Guy Northeast series, which is a shame, I would’ve liked to know more about Inspector Guy Northeast; a likeable guy, part Beaton’s Hamish and part Poirot, he’s portrayed as being smarter and more savvy than his superiors, and yet is frequently ridiculed and admonished as not being up to the task, which he takes in stride as he works to close the case.
This was a banger of a plot though; Delia Cathcart is a spinster living with her mother and spinster sisters at Marley Grange and tending to her beloved horses. After her family realizes she’s gone missing, they raise the alarm. Upon investigating, it turns out that a local resident also went missing at the same time. Did they run off together? Or did something more sinister occur?
This was rather like peeling an onion, where the layers slip off one by one until you’re left with the root and Northeast does a great job of paring down to the heart of the matter. This was written in the same time period it was set, so while contemporary at the time of publication, it now reads as a quaint, almost civilized murder mystery, and that was a lot of its charm for me and I found it easy to time travel back to England in the 1930s.
If you love classic mysteries, don’t miss this gem of a series!
Published September 14th 2017 by Endeavour Press (first published 1939)