7 January 2022

Review: MURDER AT MONK'S BARN, Cecil Waye

  • this edition from Amazon on Kindle
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08PG19931
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dean Street Press (February 1, 2021)
  • Originally published 1931
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 219 pages
  • The 'Perrins, Private Investigators' Mysteries Book 1'

Synopsis  (Amazon on Kindle)

Burden, who had served in the war, and had considerable experience of death in its violent forms, took a pace forward. He saw at once that Mr. Wynter was beyond mortal aid.

Gregory Wynter is shot dead through the window of his dressing room. There is no apparent motive for the crime, and it seems impossible for the murderer to have escaped before the police arrive. The dead man's brother, Austin, enlists the help of Christopher and Vivienne Perrins, a brother-and-sister team of private investigators.

In this classic puzzler, the Perrins piece together the complex relationships within the Wynter household and beyond. What they discover leads surprisingly to romance, not to mention the unravelling of an "impossible" murder which also involves a box of poisoned chocolates . . .

Murder at Monk's Barn was originally published in 1931. This new edition features an introduction by crime fiction historian Tony Medawar.

My Take

This novel from a prolific writer who used a number of pseudonyms has a surprisingly modern feel to it. Private investigators Christopher and Vivienne Perrins are commissioned by Austin Wynter to investigate the murder of his brother, shot through the head while shaving. He is concerned that the local police have arrested the wrong man and that a miscarriage of justice will occur.

The private investigators try to focus on those who had the motive and opportunity to commit the crime and they agree that the suspect that the police have in custody is the wrong person. However the evidence seems to point towards their own client, and after a second murder occurs, he is arrested.

This is a really well constructed classic "who-dunnit" and is an enjoyable read. It is the beginning of a series of 4, all of which have been republished recently. The introduction by Tony Medawar made interesting reading.

My rating: 4.4

About The Author
Cecil Waye was a pseudonym of Cecil John Charles Street (1884-1964), who, after a distinguished career in the British army, became a prolific writer of detective novels. He produced two long series of novels; one under the name of John Rhode featuring the forensic scientist Dr. Priestley, and another under the name of Miles Burton. As Cecil Waye, Street also produced four mysteries in the early thirties: Murder at Monk’s Barn, The Figure of Eight, The End of the Chase
and The Prime Minister’s Pencil.

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