They Rang Up the Police

by Joanna Cannan
Rue Morgue Vintage Mystery first American edition – 1999

When murder strikes in the quiet English countryside
only Inspector Guy Northeast of Scotland Yard sees the vital clue.

  1553447When Delia Cathcart and Major Willoughby disappear from their quiet English village one Saturday morning in July 1937, it looks like a simple case of a frustrated spinster running off for a bit of fun with a straying husband.
   But as the hours turn into days, Inspector Guy Northeast begins to suspect that she may have been the victim of foul play. On the surface, Delia appeared to be a quite ordinary middle-aged Englishwoman content to spend her evenings with her sisters and mother and her days with her beloved horses. But Delia led a secret life-and Guy turns up more than one person who would like to see Delia dead. Except Delia wasn’t the only person with a secret…
   Never published in the United States, They Rang Up the Police appeared in England in 1939 and is the first of two books to feature young Inspector Guy Northeast, who, as critics Jacques Barzun and Wendell Hertig Taylor point out, “marks a departure from the norm of the thirties.”
   Here’s what critics said about the second Guy Northeast mystery, Death at The Dog, also published by The Rue Morgue Press.
   “Skilled writing and brilliant characterization.” – Times of London.
   “Worthy of being discussed in the same breath with an Agatha Christie or a Josephine Tey…anyone who enjoys Golden Age mysteries will surely enjoy this one.” – Sally Fellows, Mystery News.


Only two Inspector Northeast books and I read them backwards. Didn’t really make any difference, but I think I would like to revisit Death at the Dog now. I really did enjoy both books in this series and wish there were more to read!

So many wonderful suspects and quirky characters! Inspector Northeast, they’re always poking fun at his name:), goes over the clues and even makes a lovely little chart of suspects and rates them…

IMG_4870

But what if the murderer isn’t someone on the list? Hmm… I did ultimately guess correctly who did it, but it didn’t by any means detract from the fun of the journey getting there!

You can check out my thoughts on the other two Cannan mysteries I read HERE and HERE.


This book fulfills the What category (Title contains two words beginning with same letter) in the Gold Era for Just the Facts M’am over @ My Reader’s Block.

5 thoughts on “They Rang Up the Police

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