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Death at the Dog

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Joanna Cannan

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Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Joanna Cannan
Publisher: Rue Morgue Press
1 review about Death at the Dog

Interesting reprint from Golden Age of mysteries

  • May 20, 1999
A Colorado mystery bookstore, The Rue Morgue, has been on a mission to reprint long-forgotten mysteries of the 1930s and 1940s, and their latest is "Death at The Dog," a tale of a murder in a rural British pub. World War II has just started and the first hints of change to their quiet life have started to appear: blackouts, army mobilization, and those older men left behind wondering how they can get into the war before its over. When the hated local squire is found dead in the corner after a night of drinking, an alert doctor discovers he had been injected with nicotine, and Scotland Yard inspector Guy Northeast is called in to investigate. The plotting is intricate and fair in the Golden Age tradition. But "Death" is only 156 pages long, which means there's not an ounce of fat on the story, but also no room for a depth of characterization and viewpoint that powers Sayers and Christie's works. But Cannan slowly builds interest in Northeast, and he becomes a compelling character. After the mystery is solved, it's not so much the story we remember, but the yearning, sad figure of Inspector Northeast. One would like to know what became of him.

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