Fell Murder by E.C.R Lorac

I will add this as my first book for the year for #BritishCrimeClassicsChallenge

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This book felt like a breath of fresh air. I know that this is an extremely odd way to begin the review of a book that is at its core a murder mystery. The descriptions of the people, the land (as the preface very obligingly points out) and the interactions between these two main focuses. It was a surprisingly quick read, at least for me.

We are introduced to a hard-working family, the primary landowners in the area. Even before we meet the Patriarch, we meet the prodigal son who has come back just to feast his eyes on the land that would technically pass on to him. He says some very profound things like the use of the word ‘owning’ that land and it sets the tone for the rest of the book. The murder occurs well into the narrative almost as an afterthought, and we are given a view into two different types of police enquiries and what each method brings forth. We have the leisure to get a feel for every character and meander through the tale. This does not mean that the story itself consisted of lying about or slow anything. There was back-breaking work described in impressive detail to keep the farms going. Since we all have to eat and farming is losing the land it needs all over the world, these kinds of stories might actually inspire people who have the capacity or the chance to work with land directly.

This edition also had a short story that was very brief but mildly entertaining. This is not for those who want a graphic mystery with a lot of things happening but for all other types of mystery readers, this will be a treat.

One of my favourite dialogues

“You remind me of my dentists a bit” (in speaking of the Chief Inspector)she answered unexpectedly, “He’s always very polite but he pulls my tooth out just the same”

I received an ARC of the reprint thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but this review is entirely based on my own reading experience and my love of the beauty of outdoors.

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