British Library Crime Classics have regaled me for the past year or so. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these resurrected masterpieces from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. Mystery in the Channel is no different.
A mysterious yacht is found floating in the Channel. On closer inspection, it is revealed that there are two dead men, or rather, two murdered men on it. Two men are entrusted with the task of taking the boat back to harbor.
Another man turns up, claiming curiosity about the familiar looking boat. Turns out he can identify both the victims and knew them well. Back on the coast, the story is gradually revealed. The two dead men headed a well known financial securities firm which was about to go bust. Were they on the run? Were they killed for money or revenge?
Inspector French from Scotland Yard has the case, and he’s doing the footwork. There aren’t many clues, but good old police work gradually uncovers the layers.
What I find different about these books is that unlike the quaint feel of Agatha Christie books which were written around that time, these books very often have a more modern feel. They are set in urban environments, and the London depicted here, for example, seems different from the one in Miss Marple books. There are very few peers or vicars here. These are about people doing 9 to 5 jobs, busy in the grind of daily life.
If you are a mystery fan, you must read Mystery in the Channel. Although set almost 100 years ago, it will give you a familiar rush, and have you evaluating the crime, trying to solve it before Inspector French.