Death on the Riviera: A British Library Crime Classic
Poisoned Pen, 2016 (2016)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
eath on the Riviera
by John Bude is one of the English mysteries written in the period just after the Golden Age in crime writing, which is what the 1930s were called. Written in 1952, just five years before Bude's death in 1957, it definitely can be considered fine writing.
counterfeit currency racket comes to light as bogus bills are passed on the French Riviera. To top it off, cigarettes are being smuggled into France and coming to notice also on the Riviera. Detective Inspector Meredith, delighted to be sent to the warmth of the Riviera, sets his sights on Villa Paloma, owned by an eccentric Englishwoman with bohemian house guests. Her guests vary but are always welcome to stay as long as they choose. What a boon for anyone with empty pockets.
ll sorts of skullduggery go on under the poor hostess's nose. Murder tips the scale and sends the poor woman to bed. One guest throws over a suitor to concentrate her ardor on another man. It seems that almost everyone in the villa has something to hide. The thing most pressing for the guests is how to fall into a fortune without having to work for it. A perfect setting for murder.
h, yes, the setting!! This gives the reader the sense of the life lived on the French Coast in that era. It must have been lovely, but certainly would have cost a fortune to participate in the balls, the tennis matches, the rides in expensive cars and the clothes necessary to wear at these gay activities. This book gives the reader a feel for the times. And possibly a sense that it would have been nice to have tasted that life style just for a bit.
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