So, in a failed effort to finish another book during the Bout I focused on Unexpected Night by Elizabeth Daly, the first Henry Gamadge story. I found it while looking for books worried I was going to finish all the Christies. This now seems unlikely or at least not imminent. I’ve slowed down a lot on my Christie intake, but I’m glad I found Henry Gamadge if this one is anything to go by. Daly’s an American who wrote in the 40s and 50s. Supposedly one of Christie’s favorites. Gamadge is an expert in old books, inks and papers apparently although in this one he’s on vacation in Maine. He meets a family in which the young man is about to come of age and inherit a fortune. This is a great relief to the family because he has a terrible heart condition and could drop dead at any time. He has his will all made out and ready to sign… but then they find his body at the bottom of the cliff and the will is missing.
Henry Gamadge is an appealing detective, not too eccentric. I sometimes think both with Gideon Fell and Gervase Fen that the personality of the sleuth overwhelms the story. The plot here seemed fair to me. Though I gotta admit the tendency to try to sweep aside certain behaviors as harmless eccentricities did get to me after a while. I thought afterward I ought to have guessed parts that I didn’t. Felony & Mayhem seem to be rereleasing all the Gamadge books. I’m sure I’ll read more of them.