Tuesday, 08 November 2011

The Will and the Deed

This was published as Where There's a Will in the US, for reasons that escape me, given how many other works there are with that title. And, really, what is wrong with the original title that it needs to be translated into another English? Unfortunately this was first published in 1960, or I'd have kept it back for next year's Vintage Mystery challenge. I know you're wondering how this fits with either of my VM challenges, so I will tell you. This would have been a Lethal Location book. It starts off with the poor dying diva in Vienna. Once she's dead, the rest of them get into a private plane to fly back to England where they will read the will and so on. But their plane has to make an emergency landing, which strands them in a snowbound valley in a German-speaking country. Given that they were close to Zurich, they're most likely somewhere in Switzerland. They're going to be stuck there for days, possibly longer. They might as well read the will.

And so the fun begins. And by fun I mean the horror of the will not containing the bequests it was expected to and the ensuing murder and speculation. Especially given the fact that the local police force is snowbound out of the village. It's a fairly standard murder mystery, but it's well-written (when is Ellis Peters anything else?), well-timed and manages to keep one guessing. I had my suspicions from the start, but I could never be completely sure until the end. In my books, that makes this a great mystery read.

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