Thirteen Guests : A British Library Crime Classic
Overview - No observer, ignorant of the situation, would have guessed that death lurked nearby, and that only a little distance from the glitter of silver and glass and the hum of voices, two victims lay silent on a studio floor. On a fine autumn weekend, Lord Aveling hosts a hunting party at his country house, Bragley Court. Read more...
More About Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon; Martin Edwards
No observer, ignorant of the situation, would have guessed that death lurked nearby, and that only a little distance from the glitter of silver and glass and the hum of voices, two victims lay silent on a studio floor. On a fine autumn weekend, Lord Aveling hosts a hunting party at his country house, Bragley Court. Among the guests are an actress, a journalist, an artist, and a mystery novelist. The unlucky thirteenth is John Foss, injured at the local train station and brought to the house to recuperate but John is nursing a secret of his own. Soon events take a sinister turn when a painting is mutilated, a dog stabbed, and a man strangled. Death strikes more than one of the house guests, and the police are called. Detective Inspector Kendall s skills are tested to the utmost as he tries to uncover the hidden past of everyone at Bragley Court. This country-house mystery is a forgotten classic of 1930s crime fiction by one of the most undeservedly neglected of golden age detective novelists."
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in:
- Review Date:
The prolific Farjeon (1883–1955) remains a master of the English country house mystery, as shown by this entry in the British Library Crime Classics series. First published in 1936, it plays with the unlucky 13 superstition. When John Foss, a young man with a secret, injures his ankle while getting off a train, a charming young widow, Nadine Leveridge, brings him to Bragley Court, the estate of Lord Aveling, a politician. The 12 other guests include an actress, a novelist, an athlete, a painter, a gossip columnist, and an opposition politician. It turns out they all have emotional baggage as well as agendas. There’s murder, mutilation, and mayhem aplenty until the redoubtable Detective Inspector Kendall reveals his clever conclusions with a timetable of mischief. The book holds up remarkably well, though readers should be prepared for some racial and class stereotyping (e.g., an Asian cook is referred to as “the Chinaman”). (Sept.)