EXCERPT: Like all people who get their own way always, when she found herself thwarted, her rage was terrific. Curiously enough, she started on my last remark; my reference to So-so apparently stung her – conscience trouble I suppose. She thundered over this. How dared I remind her of the death of that lap-dog? (Lap-dog indeed! My poor So-so!) She would have thought I would have tried to have forgotten that by now. But then I was always rather like that dog myself, “a poor-spirited yapping little cur always prepared to bite the hand that feeds you”, “a mean, greedy fat little slug thinking only of your own comfort and how much you can eat – ever since you were born”.
“Well, you brought me up,” I managed to interject.
“Yes, but you don’t often seem to remember the fact.” Good heavens, as if I could ever forget it! I should like to give her my version of my childhood. But my aunt’s voice went booming on, her nose, always red and uncared for, was by now shining like a beacon with her excitement, while her complexion had gone past the turkeycock stage and assumed the cold white of ungovernable fury. Indeed, she clearly was out of control. She went back to my schooldays. She cast in my teeth my early departure from that grim establishment, about which she was obviously cheerfully, and without question, ready to believe the worst; she abused my friends, my books, my tastes, my clothes, my morals (oh yes, we had all the Mary business over again with some new chapters founded on an alleged incident of the last few days); she slated me like a fishwife for being a lazy slacker, a ne’er-do-well, an idler, “a sponger on my bounty who hasn’t even the decency to admit that he is sponging”; she descended to personalities even. I was fat, I was pimply, my hair was too long, my face was too puffy, and my clothes were those “of a namby-pamby little pansy boy. If that alone had been said, I should have sought revenge.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: Edward Powell lives with his Aunt Mildred in the Welsh town of Llwll.
His aunt thinks Llwll an idyllic place to live, but Edward loathes the countryside – and thinks the company even worse. In fact, Edward has decided to murder his aunt.
A darkly humorous depiction of fraught family ties, The Murder of My Aunt was first published in 1934.
MY THOUGHTS: I didn’t much enjoy the first three-quarters of this book. I didn’t much like Edward, nor his Aunt Mildred. It was, up until this point, a long-winded and monotonous narrative by a disgruntled nephew who should be standing on his own two feet rather than relying on his aunt to provide for him. I dozed off while reading. I got up and went off to do other things. I debated not finishing.
So why the 😄😄😄.5? Because the ending is worth reading the book for. It brought a sparkle to my eyes, and a smile to my face.
It is interesting to see how our language has changed over the years since 1934. Not only in how we speak, but how we use the words, how the meanings have evolved in less than one hundred years. But it is also interesting that some things don’t change, like the ‘idlers’ and ‘slackers’ who seem to believe that the world owes them a living.
Overall, I am glad that I read this book. While it didn’t set my world on fire, it amused me.
THE AUTHOR: Richard Henry Sampson FCA (6 September 1896 – 1973), known by the pseudonym Richard Hull, was a British writer who became successful as a crime novelist with his first book in 1934.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Murder of My Aunt by Richard Hull for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2418957910