Fell Murder by E.C.R. Lorac

 Fell Murder cover

Fell Murder by E.C.R. Lorac was first published in 1944 but I borrowed a British Library Crime Classics reprint from the library. This is the first book by Lorac that I’ve read and I really enjoyed it. Lorac was the pseudonym of Edith Caroline Rivett who also wrote under the name of Carol Carnac.

The setting is during World War 2 and the north of England Lake Country, an area that the author obviously loved. Garthmere Hall is an ancient pile which is far too big for the Garth family to be able to maintain. Over the generations they must have become progressively poorer and they’re now just a hard working farming family. But they’re all ruled by their elderly father who is miserably mean and doesn’t even pay wages to his off-spring.

My favourite kind of crime fiction is the sort where a body is found almost immediately, so the fact that murder isn’t committed until page 66 should have been a problem for me, but I enjoyed the scene setting. The local police in the shape of Superintendent Layng manage to rub all of the locals up the wrong way but when Macdonald of Scotland Yard is called in his attitude to them and his obvious appreciation of the surroundings gets better results. I’m really looking forward to reading more by the author.

Although the setting is wartime there’s no rationing of food! Those in rural communities who were actually growing food did have ways and means of dodging such things. Something that Macdonald appreciated.

The cover of this book was taken from an LMS travel poster of Shap Fell and it does look a bit dull compared with some of the covers in this series, but the contents are better than many of those ones.

6 thoughts on “Fell Murder by E.C.R. Lorac

  1. Oh, I’ve been loving the ECR Lorac books that the BL has been republishing but I’ve missed this one – it must have been from before I got into reading them as they came out. Glad you liked it – the other ones are treats too so you have that to look forward to. Meantime I’m off to hunt this one down… 😀

    • FictionFan,
      I got this one from the ‘new books’ shelf in Dunfermline library and it was just published earlier this year. I’m definitely going to track down her other books.

  2. I bought two Crime Classics when I was in Scotland and one was a Lorac. I don’t think it was this one but I am too lazy to put my tea and computer down to go check. I have heard good things about Lorac and it is nice to know you agree.

      • I just checked and it is Murder by Matchlight. I did buy it at Waterstones–one of the two books I allowed myself from there. I barely managed to squeeze my suitcase shut!

        • Jennifer,
          The next time you come you should wear clothes with big pockets – or even an elasticated waist so you can saunter on the plane with books all about your person. They can’t ‘do’ you for book smuggling! I’ll look out for Murder by Matchlight.

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