Thirteen Guests J.Jefferson Farjeon

cover64653-medium Pub: Poisoned Pen Press

On a fine autumn weekend, Lord Aveling hosts a hunting party at his country house, Bragley Court. Among the guests are an actress, a journalist, an artist, and a mystery novelist. The unlucky thirteenth is John Foss, injured at the local train station and brought to the house to recuperate – but John is nursing a secret of his own.

Soon events take a sinister turn when a painting is mutilated, a dog stabbed, and a man strangled. Death strikes more than one of the house guests, and the police are called. Detective Inspector Kendall’s skills are tested to the utmost as he tries to uncover the hidden past of everyone at Bragley Court.

This is a book that could be easily be mistaken for an Agatha Christie classic..

It has all the right elements, a murder, a ruined painting, a dead dog and a terribly upper class vibe.

Set in a country house, John Foss unexpectedly finds himself one the thirteen guests at Lord Avelings weekend party.

The other twelve guests are a mixture of people, a widow, a painter and a gossip columnist among the few. When one guests suggest the old superstition that death befalls the thirteenth person to enter the room at dinner it does get very entertaining.

Poor old John, holed up on a couch in the next room, due to his injury after falling from a train can only see what’s happening through the doorway and from what the guests tell him while they fleetingly visit him to stop him getting bored finds himself falling for the beautiful widow.. Nadine Leveridge.

Thirteen Guests is a brilliant crime drama. originally written in 1936, again this British Crime Classic has lost none of it’s edge, and I think in another 100 years it will still be a brilliant and fresh read.

There are a lot of characters, it’s quite difficult keeping up, and a few clues as to what is going on, and I do think that this would a perfect TV drama.  It is a fun and solid tale and is the 4th in the series that I have read…. onto number 5



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