Murder Anonymous

by E.X. Ferrars
first published 1978

2737073‘Matthew Tierney unexpectedly comes into a tidy sum of money. Reason: the bonds of his marriage are broken by murder. He discovers his wife’s strangled body on the living room floor, and after long minutes of numbing shock, he phones the police – and quickly learns that his less-than-perfect marriage has made him the perfect suspect. To get away from it all he travels to the lovely seaside resort where his wife often vacationed. But Matthew did not travel alone. His companion was murder number two and all the evidence points again toward Matthew Tierney.’

 

This was an excellently plotted mystery with believable characters and good suspects. I read it in one day. Very absorbing. I expect nothing less from Ferrars. Every book I’ve ever read by her is excellent! I did not guess whodunnit!

This fulfills the Jewelry category on the Silver Vintage Cover Scavenger Hunt @ My Reader’s Block.

 

 

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A Tale of Two Murders by Elizabeth Ferrars

A witty man, quietly charming, could be good company: that was Stephen Gazeley.

and yet… And yet…

His sister Hilda, housekeeping for him since the  tragic death of his wife, had to admit that people did turn against him. Even his own wife in the year before she died. Daughter Katherine’s fiancé and his parents. His oldest friend. Even the gardener…

But it was only after the first murder that Hilda began to see things as they were, rather than as she wished they could be.

And found the process very, very uncomfortable…

Another solid page turner by Elizabeth Ferrars. I haven’t read one yet that I didn’t enjoy!

Peggy Ann

Fear the Light by Elizabeth Ferrars

First Published in 1960

Home of Horror
Peggy Robertson thought she had left the small town where she was raised for behind her. Peggy had won honors at college, settled in the city, and now, despite her good looks and comparative youth, already had launched a brilliant career as a scholar and teacher.

But now Peggy was coming home…back to a house haunted by violent death and strange mystery…back to a man who was a genius or a devil or both…back to a love that could not be spokeand to a deadly danger that would not be denied…

This synopsis on the back of the book is a bit deceiving as Peggy’s cousin Charles is really the main character and her named is spelled differently inside the book! It’s Peggie in the book. Hmm…

Peggie makes a minor appearance in the first part of the book after her granny is found dead on the stairs and then goes back home (or does she?). But she does play a bigger part in the last quarter of the book as does a secret romance.

Charles’ Aunt Alice, Peggie’s granny, is found dead on the stairs when Charles returns from a short walk to the mailbox the first evening he is home after a 3 year absence. He stayed away all that time as he was in love with the neighbor’s wife, but she loved her husband. In that three years a lot had changed mostly his Aunt Alice’s health. She’d had a bad fall. Alice never attempted the stairs since her fall. What was she doing on them? Why was the attic door open when Charles is sure David Baldrey, the odd jobs man, had closed it earlier in the day? Who is this Professor Stacey thats been writing Aunt Alice about researching long dead relatives and why is he here a week before he was expected? Then there is a second murder!

Well plotted, lots of good suspects, secrets and illicit love affairs and a grand old house. Good read. Never disappointed by Elizabeth Ferrars.

This book qualifies for Bev’s Vintage Mystery Cover Scavenger Hunt Silver Age Mysteries for the category A Statue. That brings me up to a total of 6, 4 for Silver Age and 2 for Golden Age.

Also qualifies for Gothic Fiction Reading Challenge @Book of SecretsT his is my second book for this one.

And of course Read Scotland 2016 as Ms. Ferrars is Scottish! 7 of 21 books needed for this one.
3 birds with one book!

Peggy Ann

 

Thy Brother Death by E.X. Ferrars

From the book cover…
‘From the grand dame of British crime fiction comes a delightfully wicked tale of backbiting, deception, and murder in a small university department with a most unsavory secret.
  As a rule, bigamists don’t gravitate to the biochemistry department of sleepy Knotlington University, and Dr. Patrick Carey, senior lecturer, is, it would seem, no exception. Eyebrows are raised, however, when a letter addressed simply to “Professor Carey, Knotlington U.” ends up on his desk – a letter that comes, it is widely known, from a woman claiming to be Dr. Carey’s wife. Dr. Carey has abandoned her to a state of abject poverty, she claims, and she is none too happy about it.
  Patrick immediately suspects the involvement of his unstable younger brother, David, a chronic liar who has been known to assume identities other than his own, and he fears trouble. Trouble duly arrives when the woman turns up on Patrick’s doorstep. Someone in the department must have given her he is address. But who among his colleagues could dislike Patrick and his wife enough to cause them such embarrassment?
  Just when things seem to be settling down again, someone sets fire to Patrick’s boss’s house, and the deserted wife is found dead in the ruins, actually locked in the study. Then the boss herself is murdered, practically on Patrick’s doorstep. The key to the locked room is found in his flat, and the blunt object that killed his boss came from his own laboratory.
  Could David be the killer? Or perhaps one of Patrick’s colleagues? Could at least one of the murders have been a mistake? Patrick must find out if he is to save his career and clear his brother from blame.’

Not a ‘complicated’ mystery to solve. I guessed who, but not the why. A really good, twisty, mystery with lots of good characters and possibilities for the culprit. I especially liked Patrick’s wife, Henrietta. Never disappointed with Ms. Ferrars books. Fun light read.

Peggy Ann

Frog in the Throat by E.X. Ferrars


Virginia Freer is enjoying a brief holiday at the cottage of old friends Helen and Andrew when her estranged husband Felix comes knocking at the door. Painful memories turn up with the irrepressible Mr. Freer – as does his penchant for prevarication, petty theft and amateur sleuthing. Virginia is suspicious of Felix’s sudden appearance. But she never suspects his lighthearted snooping into the secret sins of a pair of literary sisters, a wealthy widow, a popular poet and a love-struck bachelor will turn so deadly serious…until murder gives Virginia and Felix a FROG IN THE THROAT.

Excellent who dunnit! I especially enjoyed the relationship between Virginia and Felix. You find yourself liking him and rooting for him. A good look into relationships and what we ‘see’ in people and what lies beneath!

Peggy Ann

The Seven Sleepers by Elizabeth Ferrars

 

1970
1907-1995

Elizabeth is a Scottish mystery writer and this book came to me all the way from Scotland, from my sweet friend Katrina!
Elizabeth was born Morna Doris MacTaggart in Burma to a Scottish family. She attended school in Berlin and was raised by a German nanny. As the war was ramping up she was moved to Britain for safety and finished her schooling there. She is listed as a British Crime Writer. Her first two books were published under her real name with following novels written under the pseudonym Elizabeth Ferrars. In the States she was published under E.X. Ferrars. Ferrars was her mother’s maiden name. She was a prolific writer with about 75 books published, including 3 series! Her first book was published in 1932 and the last posthumously in 1995.

from the back cover:
‘The late Professor Garvie-Brown of Edinburgh University had departed this life full of honours, professional esteem and leaving a considerable estate.
  But now, many years later, evidence has emerged of a skeleton in his cupboard. Seven skeletons, actually. Seven wives, four bigamous and all murdered.
  His legitimate descendants include a judge, a doctor, another academic, an architect – and an elderly widow with a conscience. it is this inconvenient quality that it is to drag the young Luke Latimer, along with a devious private detective, into the ambit of a family desperately-even murderously-determined to prevent public scandal.’

I enjoyed this. It was 222 pages and a nice light easy read. I liked the writing style, it pulled me in pretty quickly and I had to get to the end to see who did it. I did not guess who did it. Full of interesting characters and an interesting scenario in which the murder occurs.

Luke Latimer is the main character, his grandmother was one of the seven wives that were murdered. I liked Luke. There were 2 female interests and I enjoyed trying to guess who he would end up with in the end, if either one of them. The ‘family’ was full of interesting people. Would they welcome Luke into the family and gladly share the wealth with him or would they go to any length to keep him out of the loop and preserve the family honor? Did Grandpa really kill all those wives? How did his 8th wife and widow find out the truth? How about the private detective Gilbert Arne? Did he or didn’t he? Could Luke trust him?

I’m looking forward to reading more by her.

Novels written as Morna MacTaggart
Turn Single (1932)
Broken Music (1934)

Toby Dyke series
Give a Corpse a Bad Name (1940)
Remove the Bodies (1941) (published in the US as Rehearsals for Murder)
Death at Botanist’s Bay (1941) (published in the US as Murder of a Suicide)
Don’t Monkey with Murder (1942) (published in the US as The Shape of a Stain)
Your Neck in a Noose (1942) (published in the US as Neck in a Noose)

Virginia and Felix Freer series
Last Will and Testament (1978)
Frog in the Throat (1980)
Thinner Than Water (1981)
Death of a Minor Character (1983)
I Met Murder (1985)
Woman Slaughter (1989)
Sleep of the Unjust (1990)
Beware of the Dog (1992)

Andrew Basnett series
Something Wicked (1983)
The Root of All Evil (1984)
The Crime and the Crystal (1985)
The Other Devil’s Name (1986)
A Murder Too Many (1988)
Smoke Without Fire (1990)
A Hobby of Murder (1994)
A Choice of Evils (1995)

Novels
I, Said The Fly (1945)
Murder Among Friends (1946) (published in the US as Cheat the Hangman)
With Murder in Mind (1948)
The March Hare Murders (1949)
Milk of Human Kindness (1950)
Hunt the Tortoise (1950)
The Clock that Wouldn’t Stop (1952)
Alibi for a Witch (1952)
Murder in Time (1953)
The Lying Voices (1954)
Enough to Kill a Horse (1955)
Always Say Die (1956) (published in the US as We Haven’t Seen Her Lately)
Murder Moves In (1956) (published in the US as Kill or Cure)
Furnished for Murder (1957)
Unreasonable Doubt (1958) (published in the US as Count the Cost)
A Tale of Two Murders (1959) (published in the US as Depart this Life)
Fear the Light (1960)
Sleeping Dogs (1960)
The Wandering Widows (1962)
The Busy Body (1962) (published in the US as Seeing Double)
The Doubly Dead (1963)
A Legal Fiction (1964) (published in the US as The Decayed Gentlewoman)
Ninth Life (1965)
No Peace for the Wicked (1965)
Zero at the Bone (1967)
The Swaying Pillars (1968)
Skeleton Staff (1969)
The Seven Sleepers (1970)
A Stranger and Afraid (1971)
Breath of Suspicion (1972)
The Small World of Murder (1973)
Foot in the Grave (1973)
Hanged Man’s House (1974)
Alive and Dead (1974)
Drowned Rat (1975)
The Cup and the Lip (1975)
Blood Flies Upwards (1976)
Pretty Pink Shroud (1977)
Murders Anonymous (1977)
In at the Kill (1978)
Witness Before the Fact (1979)
Experiment with Death (1981)
Skeleton in Search of a Cupboard (1982) (published in the US as Skeleton in Search of a Closet)
Come and Be Killed (1987)
Trial by Fury (1989)
Danger from the Dead (1991)
Answers Came There None (1992)
Thy Brother Death (1993)
Seeing is Believing (1994)
A Thief in the Night (1995)

Short story compilations
Designs on Life (1980)
Sequence of Events (1989)
The Casebook of Jonas P. Jonas and Other Mysteries (Crippen & Landru, 2012)