Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Who put the world on fast forward ? Sunday again and I have read very little this week due to the craziness at work. One more week and hopefully things will start to settle down a little. There have been times this week when I have wondered if I have bitten off more than I can chew with this position, but really I think that’s just tiredness talking. I didn’t even manage to complete what I had planned on reading this week. I am only half way through

The Summer Children (The Collector, #3)

But  it is a really good read and as soon as I have finished posting today, I will be heading for my reading chair with a ‘do not disturb’ sign.

I am currently listening to

Then She Was Gone

I love this author, and the narrator is magnificent.

When  my Kindle is on the charger, I am reading the latest Stephen King, which I bought last week.

The Outsider

This week I am planning on reading

Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense

In the title story of her taut new fiction collection, Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense, Joyce Carol Oates writes: Life was not of the surface like the glossy skin of an apple, but deep inside the fruit where seeds are harbored. There is no writer more capable of picking out those seeds and exposing all their secret tastes and poisons than Oates herself―as brilliantly demonstrated in these six stories.

The book opens with a woman, naked except for her high-heeled shoes, seated in front of the window in an apartment she cannot, on her own, afford. In this exquisitely tense narrative reimagining of Edward Hopper’s Eleven A.M., 1926, the reader enters the minds of both the woman and her married lover, each consumed by alternating thoughts of disgust and arousal, as he rushes, amorously, murderously, to her door. In “The Long-Legged Girl,” an aging, jealous wife crafts an unusual game of Russian roulette involving a pair of Wedgewood teacups, a strong Bengal brew, and a lethal concoction of medicine. Who will drink from the wrong cup, the wife or the dance student she believes to be her husband’s latest conquest? In “The Sign of the Beast,” when a former Sunday school teacher’s corpse turns up, the blighted adolescent she had by turns petted and ridiculed confesses to her murder―but is he really responsible? Another young outsider, Horace Phineas Love, Jr., is haunted by apparitions at the very edge of the spectrum of visibility after the death of his tortured father in “Night-Gaunts,” a fantastic ode to H.P. Lovecraft.

Reveling in the uncanny and richly in conversation with other creative minds, Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense stands at the crossroads of sex, violence, and longing―and asks us to interrogate the intersection of these impulses within ourselves.

Deception Wears Many Faces

When Lyddie takes her sister to Devon to recover after a recent suicide attempt, it starts a train of events that will put their lives in grave danger.

Ellie has been the victim of a professional con artist, one who stole her savings, then disappeared from her life. Driven by her own history of failed relationships, Lyddie vows revenge on the man who broke her sister’s heart.

Soon she assumes a false identity and begins her hunt for a man she knows to be cold, calculating and ruthless. But who is fooling whom? And can Lyddie find the justice she seeks and heal her damaged sister?

I received only three ARCs this week

When Archie Met Rosie: An Unexpected Love Story

The Murder of My Aunt (British Library Crime Classics)

and Sins of the Fathers by Andrea Fraser, for which I don’t currently have a cover image.

So that’s my week all wrapped up, and next week’sreading mapped out ,but you know what they say about the best laid plans . . .

Happy reading my friends, and don’t forget to let me know what you are reading and what you think of it.






Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Here we are at Sunday and it’s time, once again, to take a look at what I’m currently reading, what I am planning on reading in the coming week, and what ARCS I have been approved for from NetGalley this week.

It’s been a busy week, non-reading wise. I started my new job which I am enjoying more than I expected. But I am having to develop a new routine. . . so at the moment I am all over the place, and will be until I settle into my job properly and get some regular hours organised. Because it is a seven day business, and I am trying to learn about everyone’s functions and place in the organisation, I seem to be at work at some very odd times. Another couple of weeks should see me settled in.

But onto what you really want to know about  –  books! Currently I am reading, well I haven’t actually started this yet, but will be later today-

The Key to Death's Door

and I am going to start listening to

Lessons in Love

This week I intend to read

The Fear

‘Grabs you by the metaphorical throat right from the start and doesn’t let up until the end.’ Heat

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

The million copy Sunday Times bestseller returns with a taut, compelling psychological thriller that will have you glued to the edge of your seat.

The Last Thing I Saw

The perfect family. A moment that will change everything.

Emma thought she had the perfect life: a beautiful home, a loving husband and a gorgeous son.

She was wrong.

She wakes up in hospital, with no idea how she got there or why her husband and son won’t come to see her. What happened to Emma’s family?

As Emma tries to piece her memories back together, she remembers that her husband was hiding something from her, and that someone was watching their house.

She remembers that she was afraid.

Emma is desperate to find out what happened – and that her loved ones are safe – but remembering the truth could be the most dangerous thing of all…

An addictive and page-turning psychological thriller that will having you looking over your shoulder and checking the doors are locked. If you love B.A. Paris, Shari Lapena and K.L. Slater, The Last Thing I Saw is for you.

The Girl With No Name (Detective Josie Quinn, #2)

Detective Josie Quinn is horrified when she’s called to the house of a mother who had her newborn baby snatched from her arms.

A woman caught fleeing the scene is Josie’s only lead, but when questioned it seems this mysterious girl doesn’t know who she is, where she’s from or why she is so terrified…

Is she a witness, a suspect, or the next victim?

As Josie digs deeper, a letter about a mix-up at a fertility clinic links the nameless girl and the missing child to a spate of killings across the county. Josie is faced with an impossible decision: should she risk the life of one innocent child to save many others… or can she find another way?

And five  (yes! 5!) approvals this week. I think I was feeling a little apprehensive about the new job, so I indulged in my version of a shopping spree for stress relief!

Blood on the Tracks: Railway Mysteries

11 Missed Calls

One Little Lie


The Fear

Realistically, I don’t know how much reading time I will get this week, so I may be a little overexpectant about what I can actually achieve. But hey, aim high! I can always lower my sights.

Please don’t be shy about letting me know what you like and don’t like. I love getting your feedback. And I love hearing about what you are reading, or if you have read something that is on my list, what you thought of it.

Have a lovely week and  happy reading.

Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Here we are at Sunday and it’s time, once again, to take a look at what I’m currently reading, what I am planning on reading in the coming week, and what ARCS I have been approved for from NetGalley this week.

Currently I am reading

The Next Girl (Detective Gina Harte, #1)

and listening to

Lessons in Love

This week I plan to read

Portrait of a Murderer

“Adrian Gray was born in May 1862 and met his death through violence, at the hands of one of his own children, at Christmas, 1931.” Thus begins a classic crime novel published in 1933, a riveting portrait of the psychology of a murderer.

Each December, Adrian Gray invites his extended family to stay at his lonely house, Kings Poplars. None of Gray’s six surviving children is fond of him; several have cause to wish him dead. The family gathers on Christmas Eve – and by the following morning, their wish has been granted. This fascinating and unusual novel tells the story of what happened that dark Christmas night; and what the murderer did next.


At approximately 09.00hrs on the 15th June 1996, an unassuming white lorry was parked on Corporation Street in the city centre of Manchester, England; it contained over 3000 pounds of high explosive.
At 11.15hrs the same day, Manchester witnessed the detonation of the largest device on the British mainland since the second World War … The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

Based around actual events, LETTERBOX tells the story of Liam Connor, an ordinary boy brought up in Manchester by a seemingly ordinary family. He goes to the local school, loves football and has a best friend called Sean … an ordinary life!
Unbeknown to Liam, his father, Michael Connor, harbors a dark historic secret, following a life a lot less ordinary … as a furtive, yet high ranking soldier within the IRA.

As a result of extraordinary circumstances, Liam’s innocent and carefree world is shattered when he is exposed to the truth about his family’s heritage and then learns about the tragic death of his father at the hands of the SAS.

Consumed with both hate and the need to seek retribution, Liam is taken to Ireland where he is intensively trained to become a highly skilled and efficient soldier within the Irish Republican Army … He is 16 years old!
Some years later, following the drug-induced death of his beloved sister, Liam is given the opportunity to exact his revenge on those he believed should truly be blamed for the tragedies in his life … The British Government!
Thus, on the 15th June 1996, it was Liam’s responsibility to drive the bomb laden lorry into the unsuspecting city of Manchester and let the voice of the IRA be clearly heard … And listened to!!

Deadly Secrets (Detective Erika Foster, #6)

To commit the perfect murder, you need the perfect cover. 

On a cold icy morning, a mother wakes to find her daughter’s blood-soaked body frozen to the road. Who would carry out such a horrific killing on the victim’s doorstep?

Straight off her last harrowing case, Detective Erika Foster is feeling fragile but determined to lead the investigation. As she sets to work, she finds reports of assaults in the same quiet South London suburb where the woman was killed. One chilling detail links them to the murder victim – they were all attacked by a figure in black wearing a gas mask.

Erika is on the hunt for a killer with a terrifying calling card. The case gets more complicated when she uncovers a tangled web of secrets surrounding the death of the beautiful young woman.

Yet just as Erika begins to piece the clues together, she is forced to confront painful memories of her past. Erika must dig deep, stay focused and find the killer. Only this time, one of her own is in terrible danger…

This week I have received only one ARC from NetGalley

The Perfect Mother

But I have received a proof from author June Rousso for a children’s book titled The Little Book of Character Strengths. You may remember I reviewed another title by this author, We All Live On This Planet Together, earlier this year.

I am starting a new job this week which is going to be quite time consuming for the first month or two. So if my posts are a little erratic in the next few weeks, I apologise in advance and ask that you bear with me.

Please don’t be shy about letting me know what you like and don’t like. I love getting your feedback. And I love hearing about what you are reading, or if you have read something that is on my list, what you thought of it.

Have a lovely week and  happy reading.

Whisper the Dead: A Cotsworld Village Mystery by Stella Cameron

Whisper the Dead by Stella Cameron
Reviewed by


EXCERPT: “This is going to be a conversation we should have had years ago, but Lily wasn’t ready. I had begun to believe she never would be.”

Alex served Mary and took tea for herself. She didn’t feel like eating.

“So,” Harriet said, resuming her seat, “what don’t you know?”

“Everything,” Alex replied. “I don’t know a thing.”

ABOUT THIS BOOK: When Alex Duggins comes across a terrifying scene at the site of a new housing development, once again she is drawn into a case of brutal murder.

A new year arrives and winter holds Britain’s Cotswold Hills in its icy grip once more. But it’s the construction of a new housing development that’s causing the residents of Folly-on-Weir most concern. As she passes the site late one afternoon, pub owner Alex Duggins is confronted by the terrifying scene of a construction trailer on fire and a man desperately trying to break the door down.

Her efforts to help – and the subsequent findings of the police forensic pathologist – draw Alex and her friend Tony Harrison into a major murder investigation whose tentacles will reach right to the heart of the tight-knit Folly community – and into Alex’s own past …

MY THOUGHTS: This is the second book I have read in this series, the first being Out Comes the Evil.

The premise for the plot was good, but I failed to become involved in this dialogue driven novel. When I say dialogue driven, I mean there is a lot of dialogue. A LOT.

This series is purported to be character driven, but I would strongly disagree. The characters have little depth, and although we learn quite a bit about Lily’s background in Whisper the Dead, it is not enough to carry the novel.

Not everything in the sub-plots makes sense. The author dwells on irrelevancies, trying to make them seem important in an effort to create suspense or red herrings, but it doesn’t work.

The ending uses exactly the same format as the earlier book in the series that I read – a clichéd ending where the killer confesses all and explains their actions to those about to be killed – which knocked a good 1/2 star off my final rating. In addition to this, I didn’t find anything much to like about the ending. It was clumsily executed, and not well thought out. In fact, it made the rest of the book look quite good.

I had hoped that this series would develop both character and plot wise, but this hasn’t happened. And while, after the first book that I read, I was prepared to give it another chance, I definitely won’t be reading any more in the Alex Duggins mysteries. 2.5 reluctant stars

Just because I found this to be an unsatisfying read doesn’t mean that you won’t love it. This is my personal opinion, my reaction to the book. Most reviews for this book are positive, so if you enjoyed the excerpt and like the summary of the plot, please go ahead and read Whisper the Dead by Stella Cameron. You may be one of the many who enjoy this book.

Thank you to Severn House via Netgalley for providing a digital copy ofWhisper the Dead by Stella Cameron for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my page

When In Rome and Opening Night by Ngaio Marsh

When in Rome and Opening Night by Ngaio Marsh
Reviewed by


EXCERPT: (From When in Rome) Barnaby Grant looked at the Etruscan bride and bridegroom who reclined so easily on their sarcophagal couch and wondered whether they had died young and whether, they had died together. Their gentle lips, he thought, might easily tilt into the arrowhead smile of Apollo and Hermes. How fulfilled they were and how enigmatically alike. What signal did she give with her largish hands? How touchingly his hand hovered above her shoulder.

” –from Cerveteri,” said a guide rapidly. “Five hundred and thirty years before Christ.”

“Christ,” said a tourist on a note of exhaustion.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Two full-cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisations of Ngaio Marsh short stories.

In Opening Night, a leading actor is found gassed in his dressing room. It looks like suicide, until it transpires that he was widely detested. Inspector Alleyn quickly realises that almost everyone in the theatre had a motive for his murder.

Jeremy Clyde stars as Inspector Alleyn.

When In Rome finds Inspector Alleyn joining a group of highly suspicious tourists on a visit to a Roman catacomb. The corpse he finds in an ancient sarcophagus has been very recently murdered…

MY THOUGHTS: I just love these full cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisations of Ngaio Marsh’s murder-mysteries. While they may be severely abridged in content, the professionalism with which they are produced more than compensates.

Both mysteries are well plotted, with no obvious suspects and a well balanced cast of characters.

Highly recommended.

I listened to When In Rome and Opening Night by Ngaio Marsh, recorded with a full cast and featuring Jeremy Clyde as Inspector Alleyn, produced by BBC Radio and published by AudioGO via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my page

Aunt Bessie Believes by Diana Xarissa

Aunt Bessie Believes by Diana Xarissa
Reviewed by


EXCERPT: Bessie never minded not having children of her own. Instead she had happily taken on the role of honorary maiden aunt to just about every child in Laxey. Once those children reached school age, parents could count on every one of them running away to ‘Aunt Bessie’s’ at least once in a while. Bessie usually had biscuits, frequently had cake and usually had a sympathetic ear for children who felt misunderstood or under-appreciated at home.

In all her years of opening her door to the neighborhood children, there had only ever been one child that she had ever asked to leave. Disagreeable and difficult even as a teen, Moirrey Teare had never forgiven Bessie for the slight, a fact that bothered Bessie not even the tiniest bit.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Aunt Bessie believes that Moirrey Teare is just about the most disagreeable woman she’s ever had the misfortune to meet.

Elizabeth Cubbon, (Aunt Bessie to nearly everyone), is somewhere past sixty, and old enough to ignore the rude woman that does her best to ruin the first session of the beginning Manx language class they are both taking. Moirrey’s sudden death is harder to ignore.

Aunt Bessie believes that Moirrey’s death was the result of the heart condition that Moirrey always complained about.

The police investigation, however, suggests that someone switched some of the dead woman’s essential medications for something far more deadly.

Aunt Bessie believes that she and her friends can find the killer.

But with Doona suspended from work and spending all of her time with the dead woman’s long-lost brother, Hugh caught up in a brand new romance and Inspector Rockwell chasing after a man that might not even exist, Bessie finds herself believing that someone might just get away with murder.

MY THOUGHTS: I discovered Aunt Bessie last year when I needed an author whose surname began with an X for an Author’s Alphabet Challenge. I purchased Aunt Bessie Assumes, and enjoyed it so much that I went straight on to read the second book in the series, Aunt Bessie Believes.

I love the characters of Aunt Bessie and Doona. They are good friends who spend a great deal of time together, but still live their separate lives. They have an insatiable curiosity, great senses of humour and a wonderful appreciation of food. Plus they ascribe to my belief that chocolate makes everything better!

I had the solution to this mystery figured out early on, but only because I thought ‘If I was the author, who would I make guilty and how?’ I was not always convinced that I was right. . .

3.5 stars. This was actually a 4-star read, but I deducted 0.5 of a star for a technical error. I will be reading more of this delightful series suitable for fans of M. C. Beaton and Christie’s Miss Marple.

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my page

Aunt Bessie Assumes by Diana Xarissa

Aunt Bessie Assumes by Diana Xarissa


EXCERPT: Elizabeth Cubbon, known as Bessie to her friends, rubbed her eyes and checked the clock by her bed. It was 6:06, which meant her internal alarm was a few minutes off today. She frowned as she sat up in bed and pushed back her warm duvet. Slippers in place, she padded over to the window and looked out. The glow from the nearest street lamp gave her just enough light to see the sheets of rain that were falling. She would definitely have the beach to herself this morning.

Half an hour later she was dressed and waiting impatiently for the sky to lighten up a bit. Sunrise, this early in March, was still half an hour away. As rainy and overcast as it was, the sun wasn’t going to make much difference, but she waited for it anyway. A hot cup of tea and toast with honey and homemade strawberry jam helped to pass the time as she watched out the window for the sun to come up.

THE BLURB: Aunt Bessie assumes that she’ll have the beach all to herself on a cold, wet, and windy March morning just after sunrise, then she stumbles (almost literally) over a dead body.

Elizabeth (Bessie) Cubbon, aged somewhere between free bus pass (60) and telegram from the Queen (100), has lived her entire adult life in a small cottage on Laxey beach. For most of those years, she’s been in the habit of taking a brisk morning walk along the beach. Dead men have never been part of the scenery before.

Aunt Bessie assumes that the dead man died of natural causes, then the police find the knife in his chest.

Try as she might, Bessie just can’t find anything to like about the young widow that she provides tea and sympathy to in the immediate aftermath of finding the body. There isn’t much to like about the rest of the victim’s family either.

Aunt Bessie assumes that the police will have the case wrapped up in no time at all, then she finds a second body.

Can Bessie and her friends find the killer before she ends up as the next victim?

MY THOUGHTS: I have never been a great fan of the ‘cosy’, but every now and then I stumble across one that whets my appetite, and Aunt Bessie Assumes certainly did that. So much so, that I went straight on to read the second book in the series, Aunt Bessie Believes.

Xarissa’s Aunt Bessie is a warm hearted, independent woman who has spent the majority of her life on the Isle of Man where this series is set. She is a great fan of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and in the enviable position of knowing everyone and everything about them. But if, as they say, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, then does having a lot of knowledge place her in even more danger?

The writing is very descriptive, which I enjoyed, and the characters a mixed bunch. I gave up trying to figure out who dunnit early on, and just went along for the very enjoyable ride.

If you are looking for a start to reading ‘cosy’ mystery series, I can recommend the Aunt Bessie series. I have the rest of the series on my TBR list.

I read the Kindle edition of Aunt Bessie Assumes by Diana Xarissa. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my page

Death Makes a Prophet by John Bude

Death Makes a Prophet by John Bude
Reviewed by


EXCERPT: . . . a ferment was at work; small hostilities were growing; vague jealousies were gaining strength; little intrigues swelling into obsessions. And far off, no more than a dark speck beyond a distant horizon, wasn’t there a nebulous hint of approaching tragedy in the air? Big oaks from little acorns grow, and viewing events in retrospect there seems little doubt that the jumping off point of this tragedy was Alicia Hagge-Smith’s “vision”. Without her “vision” circumstances favorable to a murder would never have materialised. And without a murder, Inspector Meredith would never have heard of the Children of Osiris. As it was, he always considered it to be one of the most interesting, bizarre, and exacting of all his cases.

THE BLURB: Welworth Garden City in the 1940s is a forward-thinking town where free spirits find a home – vegetarians, socialists, and an array of exotic religious groups. Chief among these are the Children of Osiris, led by the eccentric High Prophet, Eustace K. Mildmann. The cult is a seething hotbed of petty resentment, jealousy and dark secrets – which eventually lead to murder. The stage is set for one of Inspector Meredith’s most bizarre and exacting cases.

MY THOUGHTS: I have read and enjoyed two of John Bude’s previous novels, the very first novel he wrote in 1935, The Cornish Coast Murders, and the first of his Inspector Meredith novels, The Lake District Murder.

Although Death Makes a Prophet is the 11th in the series, don’t feel you need to read the back books. Unlike the detectives in our modern novels, we learn little, if anything, about Meredith’s private life. The focus is entirely upon the events leading up to the crime, the crime itself, and the steps taken to solve it.

Bude is an author from the ‘Golden Age’ of detectives who is guaranteed to provide you with a reliable and atmospheric read. In Death Makes a Prophet, Bude gives rein to his sense of humour, providing the reader with a few chuckles along the way, but never does he overstep the mark, as some authors do, into stupidity.

Bude’s descriptions of both his characters and the scenery are delightful, e.g. Irish, tough, blue-eyed, broad humorous mouth, and a lilt in his voice that would have made poetry of the telephone directory.

John Bude wrote more than 30 detective novels, and I look forward to reading more of them.

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Death Makes a Prophet by John Bude. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my page

Unnatural Causes by Dawn Eastman

Unnatural Causes by Dawn Eastman
Unnatural Causes (A Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery #1) 
by Dawn Eastman (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by

EXCERPT: There was one thing that bothered her about Ellen’s death. Katie had no memory of writing that prescription.

THE BLURB: Katie LeClair has finally settled down as the new doctor in Baxter, MI. After years of moving, schooling, and training, she wants nothing more than to find a place she can call home, and a small town outside of Ann Arbor seemed perfect.

Katie quickly gets to work in building a life for herself in Baxter, and beyond reviving her love life, she also finds a pair of business partners in a team of father and son family practitioners. But that idyllic dream is immediately shattered when one of her patients is found dead. That wouldn’t be the worst thing, except the death is ruled a suicide, and as evidence has it, the suicide was a result of the medication Katie had prescribed. But she doesn’t remember writing it.

When a closer investigation reveals it was murder, Katie is catapulted into an off-the-books investigation that leads her down a dark path of past secrets. But someone is willing to kill to keep part of the town’s history in the shadows, and Katie must race to find out who before it’s too late in nationally bestselling author Dawn Eastman’s riveting series debut Unnatural Causes.

MY THOUGHTS: I mostly enjoyed Unnatural Causes, # 1 in a new series from Dawn Eastman. Although I found it a little light-weight, (I prefer my murder mysteries a little darker), it certainly didn’t stop me from turning the pages rapidly. I would classify Unnatural Causes as a ‘cosy’, which is not a criticism, but personally I would have liked a little more suspense. There was certainly plenty of opportunities for this to happen.

I do have one major gripe which spoiled my reading experience, but I am probably being a bit OCD here. … (view spoiler) I hate loose ends!

3.5 ☆ for Unnatural Causes by Dawn Eastman, downgraded to 3☆ due to the issue above.

Will I read more in this series? Yes, I will.

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Unnatural Causes by Dawn Eastman for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my page

Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate

Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate
Somebody at the Door 
by Raymond Postgate

Reviewed by

EXCERPT: “The German, too, is a possible line. Refugees are a Home Office matter, and Inspector Atkins deals with them. But I remember him telling me one, who sounds very like this man, whom Grayling was making a dead set at. I can’t remember the name, but Atkins will when he comes in. Grayling had written both to us and to the Home Secretary charging the man with being a spy, possessing a bicycle and a radio, and passing himself off falsely as a refugee, using the name of someone the Nazis had, in fact, killed. We didn’t pay much attention, because Grayling had recently become very violent about such things and talked rather wildly. But I seem to remember Atkins spoke as if an arrest wasn’t unlikely.”

THE BLURB: One bleak Friday evening in January, 1942, Councillor Henry Grayling boards an overcrowded train with £120 in cash wages to be paid out the next day to the workers of Barrow and Furness Chemistry and Drugs Company. When Councillor Grayling finally finds the only available seat in a third-class carriage, he realises to his annoyance that he will be sharing it with some of his disliked acquaintances: George Ransom, with whom he had a quarrel; Charles Evetts, who is one of his not-so-trusted employees; a German refugee whom Grayling has denounced; and Hugh Rolandson, whom Grayling suspects of having an affair with his wife.

The train journey passes uneventfully in an awkward silence but later that evening Grayling dies of what looks like mustard gas poisoning and the suitcase of cash is nowhere to be found. Inspector Holly has a tough time trying to get to the bottom of the mystery, for the unpopular Councillor had many enemies who would be happy to see him go, and most of them could do with the cash he was carrying. But Inspector Holly is persistent and digs deep into the past of all the suspects for a solution, starting with Grayling’s travelling companions. Somebody at the Door,” first published in 1943, is an intricate mystery which, in the process of revealing whodunit, “paints an interesting picture of the everyday life during the war.”

MY THOUGHTS: Oh dear. I was so looking forward to reading Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate. I usually love these old murder mysteries with their ambience. Unfortunately, this falls a little short.

Somebody at the Door, and I really can’t see the relevance of the title, could easily have been a short story, or novella. The actual mystery itself, although a little obvious, is entertaining. What killed the book for me was the interminable back stories for each and every suspect in Grayling’s death. Each one examined and relayed every minute detail starting from the suspect’s childhood through to the present time. Each one could have been a book on its own. And most of it was irrelevant to the plot. ‘Filling’ I think they call it. I skimmed large tracts of text.

I could not make up my mind between 2 or 3 stars, so 2.5 it is.

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. A lot of people will like this book more than I did, therefore if you enjoyed the excerpt and like the sound of the blurb, please take a chance and read Somebody at the Door. I will enjoy reading your reviews.

Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’page on for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my page