Death at One Blow (The Sally and Johnny Heldar Mysteries) by Henrietta Hamilton

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Despite reading these out of order, but I am nonetheless enjoying them. Although this narrative felt more streamlined, it paled compared to the other two (for me). If anyone is working their way through the series, this should be read to see how the husband and wife duo are sharpening their deductive skills.

This is the second book of the series with Sally and Johnny, who are now married. Sally has given up her job, which felt odd to me, given that it is a family establishment. Also, given that Johnny has a prominent role in the unravelling of the case, he does not feature on the cover in some capacity too!

Coming back to the plotline, the wedded couple is tasked with cataloguing a man’s library. There has been a few unexpected twists and turns in the fate of the estate in question, and their presence on site is preferable to them popping in and out. While there, they are given the full brunt of the swirling emotions around the current owner. One incident occurs and immediately after another happens, leading to the Heldars now part of a murder inquiry. It was quite refreshing to see the police being level-headed and on the right track. It is only insider information that the Heldars chance upon that leads them to the correct answer before the person in charge of the inquiry. 

It was a decent storyline, and although I guessed the culprit quite early on, I was not disinterested in the goings-on in the book. I liked the other two books better than this one, mostly because I enjoyed the rapport and the banter between the lead couple as much as I liked their sleuthing capacity. I, therefore, had to rate this one differently. It is not a big book, and reading it is quite an easy feat. I would not dissuade anyone from picking this up, if on the lookout for an older mystery written by a more unknown author. 

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my reading experience of this and the other books by the same author.

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