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The Z Murders: A British Library Crime Classic    by J. Jefferson Farjeon order for
Z Murders
by J. Jefferson Farjeon
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2015 (1932)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Richard Temperley, feels much put upon, having to share a train compartment with a fellow passenger who snores during the whole trip to Euston Station. Temperley debarks the train, finds the smoking room of a nearby hotel and discovers the snorer dead in an upholstered armchair! Obviously shot to death.

He then has an encounter with a beautiful young woman who flees the scene. Inspector James arrives at the hotel to find the dead man as well as a piece of enameled red metal in the shape of a Z. Temperley finds himself caught up in the crime and the immediate flight of the young lady - he has been taken by her beauty and charm. Readers then follow Temperley across England in pursuit of not only a killer (who is leaving dead bodies in his wake), but also the young lady.

The Z Murders by J. Jefferson Farjeon is another in the books resurrected by British Library Crime Classics and Poisoned Pen Press. There are a number of them all from the 1930s and written in the golden age of crime writing. While most give a lovely view of England and its wee towns and villages, I find that they can be tedious, and sometimes hard to follow.

I have been to England a number of times and feel at home with these books but occasionally find them stilted. The plot of The Z Murders is clever and I do like the characters, but I found the ending disappointing. It just didn't do it for me. But maybe the book will be your very own cup of tea. You won't know until you try.

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