Sir Wilfred Saxonby is travelling on a 5 o’clock train from Cannon Street, but when the train reaches it’s destination he is found shot dead. Initially everyone suspects suicide, but because Sir Wilfred was an important figure Inspector Arnold from Scotland Yard is called. He initially agrees with the suicide theory, but there are some small details bothering him – for example, where is Sir Wilfried’s ticket?
Arnold consults his friend Desmond Merrion and together they work the case. It is a well written whodunnit, it doesn’t go deep into the characters, because it’s not necessary. Who and how did it is the question.
I liked the dynamics between Arnold and Merrion, Arnold being a bit grumpy and skeptical and Merrion usually enthusiastic and not at all concerned by the fact that all his theories will have to be proved at some point, this is Arnold’s job in the end. I also liked the slightly ironic exchanges.
“Upon my word, Merrion, your imagination gets more vivid every day!” – Arnold exclaimed. “Don’t let any doubting attitude on my part cramp your style. Can’t you deduce the identity of the murderer in the same brilliant fashion?”
I usually read modern crime, so one thing that surprised me in this book was how much time everything takes, how the fact that something will be done tomorrow is not an issue (no mobile phones, no car chases, I don’t think there was even any running). In Agatha Christie books I read this is usually less obvious because suspects are at hand, here Merrion and Arnold had to travel quite a bit and it did take time so the investigation took days, which is probably more like it works in reality. Merrion and Arnold go through many theories, come across many false suspects and as much as the culprit may be obvious for someone who really wants to know it is still great fun.
I really enjoyed this book, it was a nice light, entertaining read.
Thanks to Poisoned Pen Publishing for providing me a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska