The Diehard by Jean Potts

This is another book which I bought second-hand purely because it is a vintage Penguin crime book. I had never even heard of the author Jean Potts before I picked this one up. Jean Potts was born in St Paul, Nebraska but she moved to New York. In 1954 she wrote her first mystery novel Go, Lovely Rose for which she won an ‘Edgar’ award.

The Diehard was first published by Gollancz in 1956. On the Penguin cover it says: American small-town hatred makes murder a certainty.

Lew Morgan is the top dog in the small town of Turk Ridge, he has plenty of money and when old friends find themselves in need of financial help it’s Lew that they turn to.

But Lew had married for money, he didn’t love Olive but her father had been the one who ran everything in the town in his day and Lew just took over when Olive’s father died.

Lew is a domineering bully, in control of everything and everyone, under the impression that his family and friends all admire and love him, but his controlling behaviour has made just about everyone despise him.

This isn’t exactly a murder mystery but I did enjoy it and its surprising ending.

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