Humour, Mystery

He’d Rather Be Dead by George Bellairs

I have only read one other book by this author, and I had not previously stumbled onto the reason why a few of my blogging friends (Rekha @Book Decoder) to be particular were so fond of Bellairs. I think I finally found the attraction. 

I have to begin with the fact that struck me the most, although it has nothing to do with the mystery itself. Almost all the major characters introduced to us, including the victim and the detective have so much about them said to us, that it makes them vividly human. This particular feature is extended to the perpetrator as well. In the regular detective mystery style, there is so much gossip floating around that the victim seems like an irredeemable person and everyone having a motive to commit the crime since they all have secrets. Towards the end of the narrative, however, there was so much included about the leading players that I chastised myself for completely sorting them all out into black or white positions. 

After that extra-long description, I move on to the story. The mayor of a (not so) small seaside town dies abruptly in a party in his honour and dramatically too, considering his last words. The local constabulary decided to bring in outside help because of the nuances of the interpersonal relationships. Then Inspector Littlejohn comes onto the scene. The way the story unravels after his arrival, along with all the asides that translate into quite a humourous narrative was quite pleasing. Finally, I would not have guessed the culprit until the very end solely because we see the clues as and when the Inspector does and not a moment before. Overall this has me interested in tackling more of the author’s works soon.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley but the review was entirely based on my own reading experience.

6 thoughts on “He’d Rather Be Dead by George Bellairs”

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