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.