Poison in the Pen by Patricia Wentworth

This is another gift from Peggy Ann who is a keen vintage crime fan, much like myself. I’m sure I read some books by Patricia Wentworth way back in the year dot but I’m fairly certain that they weren’t Miss Silver mysteries. This book was originally published in 1955.

Miss Silver is Wentworth’s equivalent to Miss Marple, a spinster who manages to knit as she solves crimes. The twist is that Miss Silver is valued by Detective Inspector Frank Abbott of Scotland Yard and in fact it is he who sends her to the small English village of Tilling Green where someone is sending poison pen letters to the inhabitants, leading to tragedy in at least one case.

Miss Silver is a retired governess and she finds it easy to pose as a lady on holiday in the village and quickly immerses herself in the social scene. She’s soon able to hear all the local gossip and realises that there has been a murder and that there is a vicious and demented killer at work.

It’s absolutely years since I read an Agatha Christie but I think that this book was every bit as good, if not better than a Christie. I didn’t guess who the culprit was, which is always a plus. Miss Silver managed to finish knitting a blue twinset and start a red cardigan whilst she solved the case – not bad going! I’ll be reading more of Wentworth’s books in the future.

Book Beginning on Friday

I decided to participate in Book Beginning on Friday which is being hosted by Rose City Reader, join in here, if you feel like it.

My book beginning is from Poison in the Pen by Patricia Wentworth and was first published in 1955.

Miss Silver looked across the tea-tray a good deal in the manner of the affectionate aunt who entertains a deserving nephew, but the young man who leaned forward to take the cup of tea which she had just poured out for him was not really related to her in any way. He was in fact Detective Inspector Frank Abbot of Scotland Yard, enjoying a Sunday afternoon off duty and very much at his ease.

Well it’s not exactly what you would call an exciting beginning but it’s a vintage crime book and what with that and the book title, it tells me that I’m going to be involved in a cosy mystery, most likely including anonymous letters and murder.

Don’t ask me why vintage crime books and murder equal cosy comfort reading – they just do and hopefully I’ll be inhabiting a village in 1950s Britain whilst I’m reading this one.