“Murder Underground,” by Mavis Doriel Hay

Novel, 1934

Genteel crime novel set not in some country estate, but the nonetheless leafy environs of Belsize Park in London, with a trip up to Coventry thrown in for good measure. While this, and the quite revealing look at life in a boarding house provide a different backdrop, the plotting and mystery are fairly run of the mill. Still, the book works quite well as an entertainment and the characters, if a little thin, engender some sympathy and empathy. Hardly a nailed on classic, but perfectly readable, evolving from the period’s stuffiness and relocating to a suburban location, while not really looking with any depth at the perversities and lunacy which drive murder.

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