Blood on the Wood
What a delightful protagonist I have just met in Nell Bray! Suffragette, translator in early 20th century London, she is bright, resourceful, realistic, independent, unburdened by romantic inclinations yet fully developed and truly of her time. Travelling to the Cotswolds to recover a painting bequeathed to the movement, Nell becomes involved in a country house type murder. Contrary to this classical form of mystery however, the story is embedded fully in the social life and beliefs of that era which Linscott excels in transforming as the present for the reader. Using her wits, Nell will manage to solve the crime, allowing us at the same time to encounter a panoply of interesting characters, settings and ideas, while building a fascinating story.
The only drawback for me is inherent in amateur sleuth mysteries – when one wonders how many corpses a non-professional person can encounter and why so many people readily confide in the heroine. However, these are very ministerial in light of fun and well-written novel Linscott has written. Highly recommended, whether or not you’re a mystery fan.