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.
This sounds like a good one. I recently finished reading Love for Lydia by H. E. Bates. In it, two young girls spent months in a bucolic rest home, recovering from living life too fast. I think I could use a rest by the sea to recover from mental exhaustion just from life!ReplyDelete
Bucolic. What a wonderful word, Joan. I, too, am yearning for some rest for my weary, over-informed mind. Sometimes, it's all too much! Are there even rest homes around anymore? If you hear of one, let me know.Delete
The closest I can come is my annual Thanksgiving week retreat to the Abbey of Gethsemani. But, I just got word that the guest house is going to be renovated and will be closed from November through March 2018. Woe! I am very disappointed. I will have to come up with a Plan B.
P.S. I can't believe I had to type 2018! A first.Delete
Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that you won't be able to go to the Abbey. I know from your posts how much you look forward to that and how it restores you.Delete
We're in the middle of some surely stress related problems, both of us. Neither of us feels well. We're also attempting to leave the city, to buy a house and sell this one. But that, too, is never as easy as it seems. We have a two week vacation by the sea in Maine coming up right in the middle of all this. I'm not sure how much we'll be able to relax! I think we could use a posh rest home for at least a few months!
Good grief, Joan. Lots going on with you. Two weeks in Maine sounds heavenly - even in the middle of all selling and moving! Just breathe.Delete
I want to go to the seaside to rest and relax! Oh, well. Guess I'll just have to read this book instead. :)ReplyDelete
Well, Lark, I don't know how much relaxing Jimmy London is getting in the book - he is tracking down a murderer! But yes, anywhere - mountain, lake, sea, or even desert getaway sounds lovely about now.Delete
I just had a doctor's appointment, and I should have asked him to write me a prescription for a rest cure! (He did say I could skip vacuuming as I have tendinitis in my right wrist that I can't seem to get rid of--better than nothing, I guess.) I'm sorry to hear your guest house will be closed for renovations. Hope you can find an alternative. I'm sure you look forward to it all year long, and there's something very peaceful about returning to the same place over and over again.ReplyDelete
Oh, Kathy. Sorry to hear about the tendinitis, but lovely about not having to vacuum! Yes, the guest house news was quite disappointing. There is another retreat place (the Archabbey at St. Meinrad) that is near. Not quite the same, but it is a place I have visited often. Just for the quiet! So that is an option. Sometimes it's good to shake things up a bit.Delete