An enjoyable and fun debut featuring a 1920s sleuth and a cursed jewel.
Posie is a feisty private detective in 1920’s London with a gorgeous male assistant who thankfully doesn’t do all the dirty work. She plunges dangerously into situations without always thinking it through and they often go awry, but she makes it up in pluck.
The characters all stand out, which is a feat when juggling so many. The friend and ditzy young heir who is accused of murder (think Freddie Threepwood from Wodehouse’s ‘Leave it to Psmith’) has in fact fallen prey to a stunning femme fatale (think ‘Maltese Falcon’). Inspector Lovelace is the smart, helpful one and Inspector Oates is the grumpy, don’t-tell-me-how-to-do-things one, recognizable from many a Marple. The mastermind behind it all comes across as very Moriarty.
The setting is reasonably developed, picturesque without being over the top and immerses you in London. Every once in a while it lacks detail that would plant me more firmly in the era but overall it did the job well.
There were plenty of twists and turns as to how Posie would navigate her way through, although seasoned readers may be able to guess some pieces earlier.
3 thoughts on “Murder Offstage by LB Hathaway”
I remember solving Christies’ “The Sittaford Mystery” almost as soon as the murder happened. After that, it was only a matter of looking out for the motive … in spite having caught on so quick, I still enjoyed it a fair bit.
I have every once in a while been lucky in guessing due to some tiny clue, but most of the time I’m so impatient to find out the ending and read the book that I won’t slow down to digest clues.
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