The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude

The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude, also known as Ernest Elmore, was first published in 1935 but my copy is one of those British Crime Library Classics reprints.

I quite enjoyed this book but again I think that there must have been better British vintage crime books which could have been reprinted before this one. I think that if I had been given this book to read but not told that it had been written by a man it wouldn’t have been long before I realised that the author was indeed male. They always seemed to concentrate more on teeny details and timing, at the expense of character and background. Or is that me madly generalising?

The setting is Boscawen, a small village in Cornwall, where Mr Dodd the local vicar and his friend the local doctor are in the habit of meeting once a week to have a meal and choose crime fiction books from a parcel of six which they have ordered from the library. They like to talk over the books they read and fancy themselves as connoisseurs of crime.

When Julius Tregarthen a local magistrate and landowner is murdered in his own sitting-room the local police are baffled. Inspector Bigswell (I had a real problem taking that name seriously!) really hopes that he won’t have to call in Scotland Yard but with few clues as far as he is concerned, he needs help from someone, and that turns out to be Reverend Dodd.

Bigswell is happy to have Dodd point him in the right direction and more or less solve the case. Completely different from poor Miss Marples’ experiences with police detectives of course – sexism no doubt. There’s also a policeman called Grouch, I don’t know if the names were meant to be amusing or what, anyway, I would give this one a 3 out of 5. I do love the cover though.

4 thoughts on “The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude

  1. You make some interesting points about this book (which I have not read). The author is unknown to me. I only have a couple of the British Crime Library Classics reprints on my TBR. They are getting to the U.S. later.

    • tracybham,
      I’m lucky that I’ve picked up the 4 or so that I have in second-hand bookshops or charity shops, so I haven’t paid out much. I really prefer to buy the original old books, although I know that isn’t much use to the modern publishing industry.

  2. I hope the library gets some of these, because I don’t want to buy all of them. The quality seems to vary quite a bit, and while I’d like to read them, I’m not sure they’re “keepers.”

    • Lisa,
      They do look lovely with the 1930s covers, but as you say they probably aren’t all keepers, which is probably how I ended up buying them from charity shops. I haven’t seen any in my local libraries yet, they don’t seem to buy many books like that, they only have a very few Persephones which has been a disappointment to me. I’m trying to use the libraries more so as not to be drowning in books at home!

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