It’s the 11th. I have finished one book. Right on schedule for the #8booksofsummer! What do you mean I signed up for 20? Why would I do that? I know I don’t read 20 books in three months. I’m not a complete idiot. Okay, well, back to the book. The Bath Mysteries by E.R. Punshon was chosen as one of the eight, er, twenty books and because it has the word Mysteries in the title so that like Master of Mysteries, it continues this chain of reading through the year. E.R. Punshon, a man I’d never heard of, published quite a few books in the first half of the 20th century, many of them starring Bobby Owen, at this point in his career a junior at Scotland Yard. He’s called upon to set aside his regular work to investigate the death of his cousin who died in a grim accident in his bath while living incognito after a scandal. Highly irregular, all this. Generally I thought they didn’t want family members investigating cases, although I suppose it gives you a leg up if you can maintain your professional integrity. Bobby does, of course. He and his family have only just found out this accident, which as you’ll guess is no accident, has taken place after a year. Bobby points out cold cases are notoriously difficult to solve. He then continues to point it out twice a chapter until almost the end. Generally, it is true, once time has past it is difficult to get the facts, people have forgotten, moved away, the scene no longer provides evidence, etc. However, two days of investigation causes Bobby to realize this is just one in a series of murders by bath. So, it’s not exactly a cold case any more. There could be a new victim any day now and still Bobby goes on about how difficult it is to solve cold cases.
So, aside from all the cold case fake worry it’s not a bad story. A complex crime, very little evidence, a somewhat ludicrous climax. I did guess halfway through whodunnit. It’s not like there are a lot of options. It’s barely clued. And yet, I was entertained enough. I’ll probably try another Punshon at some point. Now, for a change of pace, The Confidence Man and/or Wilkie Collins bio which has not arrived yet.
So, as I mentioned this is the next in the chain of books for Bev. And the first of the 8-#20booksofsummer