Tuesday 28 February 2012

Francis Beeding - The Norwich Victims (1935)

For the most part, The Norwich Victims is an agreeable "inverted mystery". Miss Haslett, a matron at an English preparatory school, is in possession of a winning ticket in the French lottery and makes plans to travel to Paris to claim the prize money. Unfortunately for her, she also makes plans to visit John Throgmorton, an unscrupulous bucket shop investor who plans to murder Miss Haslett and have his female secretary assume Miss Haslett's identity in order to cash the ticket and obfuscate the time of Miss Haslett's death. An entertaining but somewhat undistinguished storyline at least until the ending. I felt that there must be something more to the story but dismissed one possibility as being too outlandish until I realized that it was the conclusion to which the authors (as Francis Beeding is a pseudonym for two male writers) were leading so that the book manages to be both benign and audacious. I'll let the two aspects cancel each other out and call the book "pleasant". (The plot summary at the beginning of the book hints broadly at the ending but fortunately I didn't read it until after I'd completed the book).

Thanks to John at Pretty Sinister Books for awarding me this book in his trivia challenge!


  1. I have yet to sample a Francis Beeding book--it's on my long TBR list. Glad to know this one was at least pleasant.

  2. I never read this one (I have another copy of the US edition, this one with a DJ, stowed somewhere in my organized mess) but I always thought it would be another serial killer story along the lines of DEATH WALKS IN EASTREPPS. Thanks for reading/reviewing. And no need to thank me - you were the big winner!

  3. And the dust jacket makes it look like a village murder mystery.