Antidote to Venom: A British Library Crime Classic
Poisoned Pen, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
ntidote to Venom
by Freeman Wills Crofts is another of the British mysteries from the 1930s – the Golden Age of British Mysteries. Poisoned Pen Press is republishing them now in the United States, giving them new life. Each and every one is different but compelling with various areas of England chosen for the nasty crimes, and the police detectives work with above average detecting skills.
eorge Surridge is not a happy man. He should be. He is the director of the Birmington Zoo. Has a nice home not far from the zoo in a prestigious neighborhood. Has a car that needs replacing but will do for the scant use he gives it. Has a wife – ah, but there's the rub. He can't stand her. Can't understand why he married her. On the other hand, his wife can't stand him either!
o when he meets a younger, attractive, single woman, George falls for her immediately. He plays the old game – the one played the world over – of seeing this woman on the sly. He goes so far as to buy her a small cottage as somewhere out of the way to meet. He is short of money – he likes to play poker and is not the best of players. But he is heir to his old, sick aunt's money and works on the assumption that he will pay back his debts on her death.
eorge falls into the wrong hands and life takes a sudden turn. The plot of
Antidote to Venom
is tightly written – cleverly so. Easy to follow and I found myself hoping the character's scheme works out for him. I did wish, though, that some descriptive wording would have snuck in from time to time. England is such a beautiful land that it would be a bonus to be able to wallow in descriptions of its countryside.
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