- format: Kindle (Amazon)
- File Size: 1357 KB
- Print Length: 368 pages
- Publisher: Dark Passage; Reprint edition (February 17, 2014)
first published 1948
- Publication Date: February 17, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00G1SRCG0
First published in 1948, when it was the best-selling mystery of the year in the author’s native Australia, Murder in the Telephone Exchange stars feisty young operator Maggie Byrnes. When one of her more unpopular colleagues is murdered — her head bashed in with a “buttinski,” a piece of equipment used to listen in on phone calls — Maggie resolves to turn sleuth.
Some of her coworkers are acting strangely, and Maggie is convinced she has a better chance of figuring out who is responsible for the killing than the rather stolid police team assigned to the case, who seem to think she herself might have had something to do with it. But then one of her friends is murdered too, and it looks like Maggie might be next. Narrated with verve and wit, this is a whodunit in the tradition of Dorothy L. Sayers and Daphne du Maurier, by turns entertaining and suspenseful, and building to a gripping climax.
There are a few hints in the story about the time frame of this novel. It is set in Melbourne very definitely after World War One and very likely after World War Two, about the time of publication. The initial murder victim, Sarah Compton, is described as middle aged, and has been working at the telephone exchange since 1917. Many people have cause to hate her: she is greedy, grasping, and not above using people's secrets for blackmail.
Another review to check: @arm chair reviewer
About the author
June Wright (1919 - 2012) was the Australian author of six detective stories, the last three featuring Mother Paul. Born in Melbourne, where most of her books are set, she had begun her writing career by winning a competition run by a London publisher. This ensured the publication of her first book, Murder in the Telephone Exchange in 1948. She herself had been working in a telephone exchange for four years. She was the mother of six children. Her last novel was published in 1966. She then retired from writing to help her husband with his business.