The Cheltenham Square Murder
Overview - 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 and unusual death - an arrow to the head, shot through an open window at no. Read more...
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More About The Cheltenham Square Murder by 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 and unusual death - an arrow to the head, shot through an open window at no. 6. Unfortunately for the murderer, an invitation to visit had just been sent by the crime writer Aldous Barnet, staying with his sister at no. 8, to his friend Superintendent Meredith. Three days after his arrival, Meredith finds himself investigating the shocking murder two doors down. Six of the square's inhabitants are keen members of the Wellington Archery Club, but if Meredith thought that the case was going to be easy to solve, he was wrong... The Cheltenham Square Murder is a classic example of how John Bude builds a drama within a very specific location. Here the Regency splendour of Cheltenham provides the perfect setting for a story in which appearances are certainly deceiving.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
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Originally published in 1937, this reissue in the British Library Crime Classics series is a clever closed-circle-of-suspects whodunit. The setting, a residential square in the town of Cheltenham Spa, consists of 10 houses arrayed in a U shape. Bude (190157) sets the stage for murder by introducing the residents, including a clergyman, a doctor, and a bank manager, who are engaged in a passionate debate about whether a large ancient elm tree in one of the squares corners should be cut down. The enclave is known as Archery Nook, because so many of the residents are skilled archers, which becomes significant when one of them is shot through the head by an arrow. Fortuitously, Superintendent Meredith of the Sussex County Constabulary is in the square at the time, visiting an old friend whos a mystery writer, and is able to lend his skills to the local police. That the shooter used a barbed arrow suggests the killing was intentional. Meredith may not be a particularly memorable lead, but Bude keeps the surprises coming. (Jan.)