Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Book of the Crime by Elizabeth Daly

Who is your favourite author? And your favourite author's favourite author? Would you love to read a book by your favourite writer's favourite writer? I wanted to read Elizabeth Daly when I heard that she is Agatha Christie's favourite mystery writer. I couldn't find any of her books in my local library. But was thrilled to find one in Opelibrary and immediately borrowed it.

Walking the dog Aby, Rena Austen would rather not go home. She didn't have anybody to tell her tale. If she had this is what she would have to tell

"My husband was an Airman, he wil always be lame from a war wound, he walks with a brace. I met him on a bench in Central Park, while I still had the good job you got me; I fell in love with him, and we were married in a month. That was about a year ago. He had plenty of money, because his uncle left him an income for life, an old house here; he and his brother and sister came from Oregon to live here, after the war. I have everything, and I had nothing and nobody. I wasn't a child, I was nineteen years old- it was a love match.
And in three weeks- three weeks!- I decided that we had both made a fearful mistake. "

There is nothing concrete but she feels her married home is oppressive. Why are her husband's sister and brother staying put. Her husband is injured in war, so she can understand that he doesn't do anything else except enjoy his inheritance. What about her sister-in-law and Brother-in-law? Why don't they do anything? Do they have nothing better to do?

Dragging herself home after the walk, her husband catches her with an old book and he flies into a murderous rage and locks her up. She just took the book to wedge to keep the windows from rattling and she didn't read the title. What was in the book that made her husband fly into a rage? She doesn't stay back to investigate. She manages to flee from this oppressive home. But she has nowhere to go. Nobody to really help her. Where will she go and what will she do? Is it madness to run away from home? He was angry and hurt her. But was it something for which she had to run away? What is really wrong with the Austens? Would anybody believe her and provide her a refuge? Was she right to run away on her instinct?

A simple plot that kept me interested to the end. I didn't guess what was coming. If this isn't enough for you to give it a go, there is a murder and of course a Crime. After all it is the Book of the Crime. There are some nice twists and some fun.

Published in 1951, it features Henry Gamadge and is the sixteenth book in the series. Now I know why Agatha Christie loves Daly. I go hunting for her books. Oh yeah, trust your instincts.

My post for Letter D for the Crime Fiction Alphabet.


Anonymous said...

Valli - An innovative choice for D! Not a lot of people know that Christie was a big admirer of Daly's work, so I'm glad you mentioned that. Now you've made me want to go and look some of her other work up...

TracyK said...

Elizabeth Daly is a great choice for D. That one does not sound familiar, so I must have read it a long time ago. I have read all of her books except for a couple I got recently. Need to read those for a Vintage Mystery challenge.

Bev Hankins said...

Love Daly. I've read most of hers...but you've found one that I haven't been able to get my hands on yet.

Good choice for "D"!

Peggy Ann said...

I have read one and thoroughly enjoyed it. My library only had the one. I can get more I think if I use the interlibrary loan for the whole state. Can't wait to get my hands on more!

Unknown said...

It does sounds like a good book. An oppressive family and a crime as well. What's not to like?