Murder Take Three

Written by Eric Brown
Review by Beth Turza

The Ryland and Langham Detective Agency has an interesting case in this murder mystery set in 1956. Donald Langham is hired by a young actress, Suzie Reynard, who is involved with her bad-tempered movie director. He has been receiving death threats. The Americans are staying and filming at Marling Hall, a 14th-century Norfolk estate. Shortly after Donald and his fiancée, Maria, arrive at the house as Suzie’s guests, an unexpected murder occurs in the director’s trailer. No doubt the victim was not the intended target. As Donald and his partner begin the investigation, they find that nearly every actor involved in the film, as well as the owners of the estate, have a past history and good motives for wanting the director dead. Two more murders will occur before the detective team, with Maria’s help, discovers the culprit.

The characters are well fleshed out, all having diverse personalities. Eric Brown sends us on quite an adventure by delving into how many of the houseguests’ paths crossed during the recent war, which keeps the reader guessing about who had a strong enough motive to kill three times. A cleverly written mystery, and I highly recommend this author.