This week I am recuperating in Broadgate, a pleasant little seaside resort town in Kent. OK. Not really. But, I am doing the next best thing and reading a tale about a young journalist who is recovering in the south of England after surgery.
It is June. Jimmy London takes his morning stroll along the boardwalk before breakfast at Mrs. Cecil's boarding house. But one morning calamity strikes and he comes across a murder scene. You have most likely heard of the locked room mystery? Well, this is a locked lift puzzle.
The operator of the lift (elevator to those of us in America) that takes bathers from the boardwalk down the cliff to the beach has opened the cage for the day and discovered the body of a man. With a knife in his back. The operator swears he locked the lift doors the night before and the locks had not been tampered with.
Jimmy is young and ambitious and sees this as his opportunity to wrangle a job with The Daily Wire, a Fleet Street paper. He is the man on the spot. And, as luck would have it, his friend from Scotland Yard, Inspector Shelley is also visiting the town. He asks Jimmy to do some side investigating thinking that people might be more apt to share information with a journalist than the police.
Jimmy will get his scoop and Shelley will get his murderer.
That's the plan anyway in Calamity in Kent another of those wonderful books from the British Library Crime Classics series (here and here).
This is the second one written by John Rowland that I have read that features Inspector Shelley. The other was Murder in the Museum that I didn't write about here. It was a good one, too.
I love that in the day, recovering souls were sent off to the seaside to rest and relax. I wish someone would send me. I also have a fondness for mysteries set in this time (before a bunch of technology) and place - England, of course.