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Murder's a Swine: A Second World War…
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Murder's a Swine: A Second World War Mystery (British Library Crime… (origineel 1943; editie 2021)

door Nap Lombard (Auteur)

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524440,321 (3.75)4
""I should imagine this was murder, too, because it would be very difficult to build yourself into a heap of sandbags and then die..." In the blackout conditions of a wintry London night, amateur sleuth Agnes Kinghof and a young air-raid warden have stumbled upon a corpse stowed in the walls of their street's bomb shelter. As the police begin their investigation, the night is interrupted once again when Agnes' upstairs neighbour, Mrs. Sibley is terrorised by the sight of a grisly pig's head at her fourth-floor window. With the discovery of more sinister threats mysteriously signed "Pig-sticker," Agnes and her husband, Andrew-unable to resist a good mystery-begin their investigation to deduce the identity of a villain living amongst them in their block of flats. A witty and light-hearted mystery full of intriguing period detail, this rare gem of Golden Age crime returns to print for the first time since its publication in 1943. This edition includes an Introduction by award-winning author Martin Edwards"--… (meer)
Lid:pamelad
Titel:Murder's a Swine: A Second World War Mystery (British Library Crime Classics)
Auteurs:Nap Lombard (Auteur)
Info:Poisoned Pen Press (2021), 275 pages
Verzamelingen:Gelezen, maar niet in bezit
Waardering:***
Trefwoorden:forties, WWII, Crime, Humour, KU, 2022

Informatie over het werk

Murder's a Swine door Nap Lombard (1943)

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Toon 4 van 4
The review by Janet Emson below says everything I would would to say about this very good read (and because it has been a few months since i read it, I won't try to go back and reconstruct my recollection.

Big Ship

! December 2022 ( )
  bigship | Dec 1, 2022 |
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss. ( )
  fernandie | Sep 15, 2022 |
‘’[...] but as Germany is unfortunately the enemy of our country, she must needs, however regrettable this may seem, be our enemy also. After the war is over, we shall reconsider our attitude.’’

Yes, this little extract is enough to make you utterly nauseous but the plot will compensate for that. I promise.

When a body is discovered in an air raid shed, Agnes and Andrew Kinghof find themselves in a chase that involves an entire squad of suspects and terribly malicious motives. The crime-solving duo meets inquisitive neighbours, suspiciously partying young men, secretive young women, French expatriates and a few pig heads.

"I should imagine this was murder, too, because it would be very difficult to build yourself into a heap of sandbags and then die..."

British Library Crime Classics and Martin Edwards offer us another delightful journey that takes us within the first stages of the Second World War and the atmosphere of urgency and inevitability. During a rather dark and cold winter, Agnes and Andrew come across machinations that show the depths of human ambition, malice and revenge, traits that can be found within us all, war or no war. It’s just a matter of whether we allow them to be expressed with dire consequences. Despite Nap Lombard’s light-hearted, clever, sassy and elegant tone, the underlying themes are quite profound as the daily life of the Londoners is illustrated to perfection in an era that brought us the worst moments in our species’ History. We see women surviving the absence of their loved ones, men serving their country and others exploiting the circumstances. We see members of a society that is about to receive a deadly blow siding with the Nazi monsters because politics, and money, and Anti-Semitism and plain evil. The ending will give you ample opportunity to contemplate the issue of the death penalty.

In other news, Agnes is an IDOL!

One more brilliant addition to my British Library Crime Classics collection.

Many thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.com/ ( )
  AmaliaGavea | Dec 10, 2021 |
When Agnes Kinghof discovers a body in an air raid shelter she’s more intrigued than shocked. The man appears to have been murdered and so Agnes and her husband Andrew decide to find out who the murderer is. Could the murder be linked to the pranks that have been occurring in the Kinghofs block of flats? Someone has been terrorising their neighbour, Mrs Sibley, a pig’s head knocking at her window. The Kinghofs are determined to find out who is behind the incidents.

Murder’s a Swine is a rediscovered Golden Age crime novel written by Pamela Hansford Johnson and Gordon Neil Stewart, a married couple who wrote under the name Nap Lombard. There is reference to their first novel and the first investigative jaunt for the Kinghofs, Tidy Deaths, but Murder’s a Swine is a standalone so can be read without having read Tidy Deaths.

Set during WWII, the threat of war is somewhat softened here. There is the threat that Andrew will have to be deployed but so far he comes and goes between stints training troops in England. There is mention of blackout blinds and rationing but other than that things appear to be as normal. Apart from the body of course and the pig’s head.

Agnes’ enthusiasm for investigation is hampered by the officer in charge, the unusually monikered Inspector Eggshell, who learns to accept the Kinghofs’ interference with something bordering good humour. Andrew’s cousin, a bigwig in the police force, however is not as encouraging, possibly because his nickname is Pig. Pig however has a soft spot for Agnes and she uses this to her advantage on more than one occasion.

The mystery itself is engaging. There’s a locked room feel to it, as much of the action revolves around the block of flats and the residents. There are clues here and there that the reader can follow to work out who the culprit is pretty much at the same time as the investigators do. There’s not much to tax the brain but that is part of the fun. It allows the reader to sit back and relax and follow in the wake of the intrepid Agnes and Andrew.

There is something wonderfully beguiling about this series. The reader feels that they are discovering treasure in stories that have faded from memory, only to be re-introduced to a newer audience in a world that looks very different. As well as entertainment, they allow us to have a glimpse into the everyday lives of people living over 80 years ago. It’s easy to imagine these Golden Age crime novels being eagerly read and passed from friend to friend or borrowed from the lending library.

The overall feeling I had when I was reading this book was how much fun it was. There’s a hint of amusement, of stifled laughter by Agnes and Andrew, enjoying their amateur detecting. The fact that the police officer in charge is called Eggshell, and his boss and Andrew’s cousin has the nickname Pig, shows that the authors had as much fun writing it.

As ever when finishing a British Library Crime Classic, I’m eager to see what other gems the series has in store. ( )
  JanetEmson | Mar 31, 2021 |
Toon 4 van 4
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» Andere auteurs toevoegen (1 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Nap Lombardprimaire auteuralle editiesberekend
Edwards, MartinIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd

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""I should imagine this was murder, too, because it would be very difficult to build yourself into a heap of sandbags and then die..." In the blackout conditions of a wintry London night, amateur sleuth Agnes Kinghof and a young air-raid warden have stumbled upon a corpse stowed in the walls of their street's bomb shelter. As the police begin their investigation, the night is interrupted once again when Agnes' upstairs neighbour, Mrs. Sibley is terrorised by the sight of a grisly pig's head at her fourth-floor window. With the discovery of more sinister threats mysteriously signed "Pig-sticker," Agnes and her husband, Andrew-unable to resist a good mystery-begin their investigation to deduce the identity of a villain living amongst them in their block of flats. A witty and light-hearted mystery full of intriguing period detail, this rare gem of Golden Age crime returns to print for the first time since its publication in 1943. This edition includes an Introduction by award-winning author Martin Edwards"--

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