Death on the Cherwell is a British Crime Classic, brought to you by Poisoned Pen Press. If you haven’t read the many delicious mysteries they are resurrecting, you need to find out more.
Set in Oxford in a girls’ or ladies’ college, Death on the Cherwell has shades of Malory Towers. It seemed like a grown up Malory Towers with similar elements. Imagine Darren or Alicia in college, all prim and proper, but with a vestige of their curiosity still intact, with the propah English code of honor.
There is the requisite eccentric foreigner in the form of Draga , a Yugo-Slav. She is excitable, has peculiar habits and a value system that is certainly not British. Most girls have a beau or gentlemen friend in the neighboring men’s college, St. Sims.
by Mavis Doriel Hay
Series: British Library Crime Classics
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: British Library; Reprint edition (June 15, 2014)
Secret societies are a must in college, and it seems they were so almost a 100 years ago too. The bursar, a woman much hated, is spotted in her canoe on a winter day. She’s not much liked, and when she turns up dead, shock exceeds sorrow. The girls take it upon themselves to solve the mystery and start sleuthing. Local police and Scotland Yard allow them to assist. Clues are unearthed, alibis are checked, people are interviewed – the wheels of investigation are set in motion.
The mystery here may not be unsolvable for seasoned readers. We get an inkling of who or what may be at the root of the crime early on. But reading how the police actually uncover the truth, and then how they set about proving it is worth a read. The end may not really please you, but once again, is a common enough culmination in mystery stories.
Death on the Cherwell has an adequate pace, and you can blitz through it or enjoy it as a comfortable pace. Either way, it is a good read for mystery lovers.