Mystery Review

1 Mar

The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy

By James Anderson

Allison & Busby Ltd (UK) / Poisoned Pen Press (USA)

 

Perhaps the greatest mystery concerning this volume is why I have only just recently become aware of it when it was originally published way back in 1975! The first of three Inspector Wilkins Mysteries, it really does deserve to be much better known!

The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy is a mystery in the vein of Agatha Christie, set in an English country house in the 1930s and told with a wry sense of humour. Within the walls of Alderly, the Earl of Burford is entertaining a fellow gun-collector, whilst his brother handles vital secretive diplomatic talks in the face of the looming German threat and other guests gather, most of whom bring with them secrets of their own. Even before anyone is murdered – and it is, of course, a murder mystery – we are presented with several mysteries and more follow as the hapless Inspector Wilkins is summoned to try and make sense of what has happened and catch the culprit(s).

The story is a delight in itself, so that you will enjoy reading it as much as you will enjoy attempting to resolve the fiendishly complex whodunnit. James Anderson is certainly a trickster when it comes to writing a mystery – very little is at all obvious based upon what we learn during the story – yet he is no cheat (or maybe just the barest of cheats!). As the revelations were made at the end – and even then we are kept guessing for a time! – everything fell into place and made perfect sense. I got close to solving a couple of the mysteries, but most escaped me, yet I didn’t feel cheated. By making the final revelations as exciting and fascinating as the main story, I was kept guessing till the end.

If you like your murder mysteries (egg) cosy and with a dose of humour, then you are bound to enjoy The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy – I know I did!

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