Twice Round the Clock by Billie Houston

Twice Round the Clock by Billie Houston was originally published in 1935 but it was reprinted by British Library in 2023. This one is my kind of murder mystery as Billie Houston gets to the murder immediately. By the time the reader gets to the bottom of page one a body has been glimpsed in a flash of lightning. It’s draped across a table and has something white and gleaming sticking out of its back!  It’s Bill Brent who has made the discovery at 4 a.m. He had been one of several guests at the home of scientist Horace Manning. They had been celebrating the engagement of his daughter Helen to Anthony Fane. Surprisingly her father had agreed to the match.

But Helen lives in fear of her father, as did her now dead mother and she knows that her father must have a plan to sicken their happiness. Mrs Geraint the housekeeper has only stayed in the job to try to protect Helen from the cruelties of her father. He had enjoyed torturing people mentally.

I enjoyed this one which is a classic country house whodunnit with a small cast of possible culprits – the staff and the house guests. The murder victim is shown to be a despicable character that nobody would feel sorry for, not even if he was mad rather than just bad.

Billie Houston was born in the east end of Glasgow into a theatrical family and she followed her parents onto the stage as an actress and dancer. Sadly Twice Round the Clock is the only book that she wrote.


6 thoughts on “Twice Round the Clock by Billie Houston

    • Constance,
      Yes the cover is great too, but it isn’t from one of those old BR travel posters as they often are. It’s from the Mary Evans Picture Library.

    • Paula,
      I love the cover too. With some of these British Library publications the cover is the best thing about it but the story in this one is good too!

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