I had never even heard of Delano Ames when I picked up this book in a secondhand bookshop in St Andrews, and neither had the shop owner. As you would expect from someone with Delano as a first name he was American, you can read about him here.
It’s a vintage Penguin Crime, and I can’t resist them.
First published in 1952 this book features a husband and wife sleuthing team in the shape of Dagobert Brown and his wife Jane. As characters I loved them both and especially enjoyed what was a witty and realistic husband and wife relationship.
The setting is the Pyrenees where the Browns are travelling on a tandem, an enthusiasm of Dagobert’s, Jane is less enamoured. They are on their way to meet up with friends at an hotel and then attend the Puig d’Aze Musical Festival. When they realise that someone is shooting and one of the shots almost hits them they’re understandably worried. Was it just a stray hunter’s bullet, were they the targets or was the driver of the red Bugatti which passed them the target? Dagobert is determined to get to the bottom of it.
It’s all go and I was surprised more than once at the turn of events, so as usual I don’t want to say too much about the storyline.
Suffice to say that the blurb on the back of the book says:
‘If there is a more engaging couple in modern fiction than Jane and Dagobert Brown, we have not met them.’ – Scotsman newspaper.