The Affair of the Thirty-Nine Cufflinks

Written by James Anderson
Review by Doug Kemp

This is the third and final instalment (the author died in 2007) of the 1930s Golden Age murder mystery series, all set in the 12th Earl of Burford’s Alderley House. As with the previous books both of which have been reviewed in the HNR, this is a highly entertaining and well-plotted murder mystery, steeped in the conventions and form of 1930s crime fiction. Following the death of a distant relative, the family descends upon Alderley to attend the funeral and to learn of the contents of the will. There are surprises, recriminations and then the not entirely unexpected murder of the unpleasant Clara the same night. A combination of the deceptively astute Detective Chief Inspector Wilkins and Lady Geraldine solve the murder, after negotiating all manner of red herrings and distracting sub-plots. A delightful read.