Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate

Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate was first published in 1943 but British Library has reprinted it in 2017 in their Crime Classics series. He also founded The Good Food Guide.

The setting is the south of England, Winter 1942.

Councillor Grayling gets on the train at Euston, it’s a really busy train and his carriage is full, some of the people he knows, but doesn’t particularly like. He has £120 in his briefcase and he’s a bit worried about carrying so much money. When he gets off the train he walks the short distance from the station to his home, through the snow covered streets, but when he reaches his home he falls through the door as his wife answers it, in no time he’s dead. His briefcase is missing.

Inspector Holly investigates, looking into the backgrounds of all Grayling’s fellow passengers, apart from two young workmen who can’t be traced. It seems a lot of them have good reasons for not liking Grayling.

For this reason the story seems to go off at strange tangents, but it all makes sense eventually and I didn’t guess what was going on.

Raymond Postgate was the father of Oliver Postgate, who created Bagpuss, The Clangers, Noggin the Nog, and Ivor the Engine. Not many people remember Noggin the Nog, it was before my time on children’s TV but it’s a favourite with Jack. Peter Firmin was also involved in making that one. I was more of a Bagpuss fan. Sorry, that’s me going off at a tangent now.



4 thoughts on “Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate

  1. I was able to get a free copy of this book a couple of years ago. I had never heard of the author, but I’ve enjoyed other books released by the same publishers and this one too. It took me a little while to get engrossed in the story, but as you said, it all made sense in the end. Whenever books don’t have me engaged from the first page, I am pleasantly surprised to find myself really satisfied by the end of the book.

    • Paula,
      That’s why I rarely give up on a book early on as so many have turned out to be really enjoyable when I got into them, I must admit this one seemed a bit slow to begin with.

  2. I liked this one despite the strange format – it’s almost like a collection of short stories. I thought some of the stories were great and as you say, it all comes together in the end.

    • FictionFan,
      I actually turned to the front of the book thinking it might be a short story collection. I would read more by Postgate if I find any.

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