The Man Who Wasn’t There by Henrietta Hamilton

I have been waiting out my semi-lazy phase before pushing myself to find comfortable seating, good typing arrangements before I attempted to write a half-decent review. I know what I sound like when I am trying to write a review for the sake of one, and even if I fall behind on my count for the year, I felt like I should put out better work, something I can actually read next year and remember what the reading experience actually felt like. Anyway, it remains to be seen how good this new plan of mine will turn out.

I have read and reviewed three other books by the author at different stages of the relationship between Sally and Johnny Heldar (although it was not in the right order).

The Two Hundred Ghost
Death at One Blow
Answer in the Negative

The Heldars are a very traditional family, even with the dabbling in mysteries that they do. They even conform to the roles of their genders for the most part, and despite that, Sally and Johnny are a team that one can cheer, even in this era. The book was written in the 1950s, and as with the others in the series, reading about the author and how these books found their way to be printed again was fun and a whole experience in itself.
In this book, we find the couple in yet another stage of family life. They now are semi-sleep deprived parents who like the idea of a change in their routine. They speculate as people are wont to do, regarding slightly younger, single, family members’ relationship status. As they rightly suspect, a younger cousin comes forward with information about the woman he wants to marry. All of this occurs in the first chapter itself to ensure our attention is well kept. This young woman is in trouble. The hows and whys are what they have to unravel.
It feels like a reasonably short investigation with a lot of leads and possibilities to follow. There’s a steady drip of information that provides us with an emerging, changing picture of the deceased(obviously, there’s one) and all the people who could have done him in.
I like the writing style, the picturization of the leading characters, the steadiness of them all. I believe there are more books to come in this series, and I am looking forward to reading them in a leisurely fashion.
I may not have mentioned anything about the plotline with regards to the mystery itself, and this is on purpose. It is not a large volume, and a significant part of it deals with the mechanics of the investigation and the elimination of suspects. It is something I feel is best encountered within the tale. It is not an exceptionally convoluted plotline, but the combination of factors make it a worthwhile addition to the series.

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

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