E. C. R. Lorac

Two-Way Murder

"An Incredibly Clever Golden Age Mystery"


It happened on a dark and misty night; the night of the ball at The Prince’s Hall, Fordings. Abuzz with rumours surrounding the disappearance of Rosemary Reeve on the eve of last year’s ball, the date proves ill-fated again when two homebound partygoers, Nick and Dilys, come to a swerving halt before a corpse on the road.

Arriving at the scene to the news that Nick has been attacked after telephoning for the police, Inspector Turner suspects there may be more to the case than deadly accident. It’s not long before Waring of the local C.I.D. is drawn into the investigation, faced with the task of unravelling an increasingly tangled knot of misleading alibis and deep-rooted local grievances.

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'Two-Way Murder is a first for the Crimesquad Classic Crime page in the fact that this is in fact the first printing of this novel. No one can quite explain why this novel, delivered just before her death, was never published. However, it is a huge achievement and dogged detective work on behalf of Martin Edwards and the British Library that over sixty years later, this book is finally in print! It makes one wonder what other crime treasures are out there to be uncovered. 'Two-Way Murder' is livelier and more frivolous and has a totally different feel from her MacDonald novels. The cast is young and it feels that Lorac was striking out in a new direction. I know this was written in the late 50s, but I couldn't help getting the vibe that this story was more based in the 1920s. This is Inspector Waring's only outing, but to be honest he doesn't have much to do with proceedings. In fact, Lorac focuses more on those who become embroiled in the case. Saying that, Lorac by this time was a mistress of her craft and is adept at throwing in red herrings a plenty to keep me off the trail. Everyone is a potential killer, but it wasn't until near the final reveal that I latched on to who the culprit was! Having read so many crime novels in my time, it is always a pleasure when a writer can keep me discombobulated for so long! This is a perfect gift for anyone who loves a classic crime as you know they've never read it before! Martin Edwards has definitely made me a fan of Lorac's through the British Library series. I know it has been a complete surprise by how hugely successful this series has been, and I hope it continues for a long time to come. There is nothing more comforting than reading a crime story without any of today's modern technology and 'Two-Way Murder' is just that - a comfort read and one to be savoured.

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