"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Monday, April 18, 2011

Book Review: The Town Cried Murder by Leslie Ford

The Town Cried Murder
Author:  Leslie Ford
Copyright:  1938  Charles Scribner's Sons
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Pages:  191
Source:  I purchased this book at my favourite second-hand bookstore "Never Without a Book"

(from the back cover) "The Town Cried Murder...Lovely Faith Yardley's betrothel to a man from the north is abruptly followed by murder--and more murder.

Transformed by terror, quaint and beautiful Williamsburg, Virginia, waits for the killer to strike again, and wonders:

This time, will it be Faith Yardley herself?"

My review: 
In her attempts to save their home, Faith Yardley's aunt, Melusina, will stop at nothing...even if it means using her niece as a pawn to bring money into the family via the betrothal of her young niece to a man she does not love but has the means to keep Yardley Mansion in the family.  Melusina announces the betrothal before the couple have even made it official which sets off a stream of events, including murder.  Many are suspect...many have motive...two people are dead. 

Cleverly written so the reader is unsure of the identity of the killer, our focus is drawn from one individual to another as the main character, Lucy Randolph, contemplates motives and unwittingly becomes involved.  Leslie Ford wrote this novel in the first person character of Lucy Randolph which makes it quite fun as we follow this Victorian type spinster in her ponderings and sometimes foolish actions as she attempts to solve the mystery, protect her cousin, Faith Yardley, and her new young border gentleman Bill Haines.

Once I got into this novel, I was caught up in the excitement and drama of it all.  I did find, however, the first couple of chapters to be rather dry as they were given to covering background information of the area of Williamsburg and the residents thereof.  Upon the introduction of Bill Haines, Miss Lucy Randolph's new boarder, though, the story picked up pace and moved rapidly so I found I did not want to put it down.  I really enjoyed The Town Cried Murder and recommend it to any who enjoys a good mystery.  Character development is superb and the story development was keenly accomplished with twists of plot.  I like a mystery that keeps you guessing and Leslie Ford has achieved that with The Town Cried Murder.

Leslie Ford has been an important and highly successful author of mystery novels since 1928.  Her books have been translated into nine languages, winning a world-wide audience for her colorful characters an effective story backgrounds.  Leslie Ford, Brenda Conrad, and David Frome are pseudonyms for Mrs. Zenith Jones Brown (nee Jones) according to detectivefiction.com.  She is an American author - December 8, 1898-August 25, 1983 (Golden Gate Mysteries:  A Bibliography of Crime Fiction).
The Town Cried Murder is a Vintage Mystery, with its first publication date being 1938. As such, it will be counted as my third in the Vintage Mystery Challenge hosted by Bev at My Readers Block.

1 comment:

  1. I've got a Leslie Ford book sitting on my TBR shelves. I hope it's as good as you make this one sound. Glad you enjoyed it!

    I've got you updated.


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