Thirteen Guests by J Jefferson Fargeon

ISBN: 9781464204890

Genre: Mystery/Thriller 

My source: Netgalley


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.

I really enjoyed this fun mystery! Loads of interesting characters and possible suspects. I especially enjoyed the banter between the artist, Pratt, and the journalist, Bultin. Sneaky blackmailer, ruthless politician, simpering actress and strong, gorgeous socialite among the guests. And poor John Foss, the stranger from the train station, laid up in the ante-room on a couch missing all the action but hearing everything! Inspector Kendall is a grand detective and the culprit was not who I thought! I never would have guessed this one. Good puzzler and several sub-plots woven in!

After the disappointment that was The Z Murders I was really pleased with this book. Mystery in White was not the odd one out it seems! 
Warning for animal lovers, a dog does get killed in this story. Very sad, but thankfully not described in any detail! In the summing up of the chain of events when Inspector Kendall gets to the bit about the dog he states: ‘The death of a dog may not by some be regarded as a tragedy, but some dogs are more worthy than some men, and can be more justly mourned.’
I highly recommend you try a J Jefferson Farjeon novel if you love mystery!
Here’s a sample from the book:
“I don’t kill,” said Pratt. Then he recalled the moment when he had seen red in the passage, and again when he had found himself trembling in the studio. He held up his hand. It was perfectly steady. He smiled. “No; I don’t kill. The murder may appear in Miss Fermoy-Jones’ shocker, but it won’t be reported in Monday’s newspaper. I’m afraid I won’t be giving you that paragraph. Just the same, Lionel,” he went on contemplatively, “theres a lot beneath a quiet surface. The person who spoilt my picture may have been a quiet sort of person. He may have been more surprised than any one at his action. A sudden moment of passion, eh? A sudden dizziness? It can happen.” He raised a slender finger. “Listen! Dead quiet, isn’t it? Not a sound! But if we could really hear, Lionel? Storms brewing in the silence? There’s silence in the passage outside this door here – silence in the hall below – silence on the lawn, silence in the studio – silence in a room where an invalid lies. A brooding silence, my boy – that’s not going to last!”
Thanks to Poison Pen for allowing me the chance to read this book for my honest review!

Peggy Ann

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