This book is the 9th in Catherine Aird's 'Inspector C. D. Sloan' series, and was originally published in 1979. My husband and I both enjoyed these ingenious British mysteries starring Inspector C.D. Sloan and his clueless side-kick, Detective-Constable Crosby, and I was happy to see them come out on Kindle so I could read them all over again.
The procedurals are set in the fictional County of Calleshire, England which very much resembles the County of Kent where Catherine Aird (the pseudonym of novelist Kinn Hamilton McIntosh) lives.
Detective Sloan has a lot on his mind, including his very pregnant wife, and a deceased Chemistry mistress at the local Girls' Grammar School. Miss Wansdyke was 59 years old and a year away from retirement. She was diabetic but otherwise healthy. Her only unusual aspect: a quarter-of-a-million pounds in her bank account that no one seemed to be able to account for. Even though the autopsy revealed no suspicious cause of death, Dr. Dabbe is mistrustful:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a middle-aged woman in possession of a fortune will attract people anxious to part her from it."
The only flaw in his theory: no one knew about the money.
When the blood tests come back, they reveal that there was no trace of insulin in Beatrice Wansdyke’s body. It appeared as though she'd been without it for several days, even though she had been complaining to her physician about feeling ill and he had upped her dosage of the drug.
She was indeed murdered.
"Some Die Elequent" isn't my favorite Catherine Aird mystery. It lacks much of the sparkle and wit of her earlier Sloan novels. A little bit of Superintendant Leeyes goes a long way, and in this novel he practically hogs the dialogue. The only bit of excitement occurs when Constable Crosby is bopped over the head in the hospital linen closet.
These Calleshire Chronicles have been labelled 'cozies' by some reviewers, but I find them a bit too edgy to easily fit into the 'cozy' category. Catherine Aird's humor has many hidden barbs. I'd classify her Inspector Sloan books as police procedurals, with interesting dollops of village life in not-so-cozy postwar England.
- Paperback: 159 pages
- Publisher: Rue Morgue Press (15 June 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 160187071X
- ISBN-13: 978-1601870711
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 204 g
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