This light mystery was fun and another look at a sleuthing couple. (Last week's post was on Fast Company with a husband and wife sleuthing team who are rare book dealers.) In this book, Dagobert Brown is encouraging his fiancé, Jane Hamish, to write a mystery novel using the lawyer's office she works in as background. This is his new passion. As Jane says,
It has not occurred to Dagobert to write this himself--his style is to conceive great works rather than execute them. He will inspire me, and correct my spelling. In any case his latest hobby is my writing a thriller.Unfortunately, after they have spent some time in research for the book, someone connected to the office actually dies. Only Dagobert suspects that it is murder, not an accident.
At first I found Dagobert very annoying, too eccentric, too flip, a man who was always looking for a job but never finding one. Yet he grew on me as the book moved along and Jane and Dagobert quickly became candidates for my favorite detecting couple in Golden Age fiction. This is the first in a series of 12 books about the pair, and it will be interesting to see how they continue falling into situations with murders to solve. I should note that I read several of the series when I was much younger, and I remember enjoying them. But tastes change, so we shall see.
She Shall Have Murder also provides a very interesting look at post-war life in London with its privations, for example rationing and feeding gas meters with shillings. The characters in the law office are interesting and the plot has enough complexity to keep it interesting. Romances abound in this story but they contribute to the plot and do not take it over.
My husband is from Ohio so I was interested to see that the author, Delano Ames, was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio in 1906. Per the Knox County Historical Society site, Ames "left the United States about 1935 and spent most of the rest of his life in Europe."
There are several other good reviews and overviews of this book:
- Yvette's review at In So Many Words
- B.V. Lawson's review at In Reference to Murder
- Annie's review at A Bookish Type
Publisher: Dell, 1949. Orig. pub. 1948.
Length: 224 pages
Series: Jane and Dagobert Brown
Source: I purchased my copies.