Thursday, June 04, 2009

Michael Innes: Appleby at Allington and The New Sonia Wayward

I was very surprised at our local library branch to come across these two books, I thought I'd read everything the library had to offer during my last Innes phase. But not so. Goodie.

(After writing those sentences there was an eight-hour pause, during which Minimus and I watched trains on YouTube and splashed in puddles (PLASS IN DE PUDDEL!) and made dinner etc. FYI.)

Appleby at Allington is a bit of a classic whodunnit, featuring the retired Inspector Appleby solving crimes in his neighbourhood. He is invited to Allington Hall to dine with the owner, a former scientist. Towards the end of the evening they go out to admire the son et lumière show that has been set up in the ruins of the original hall, and come across a dead body. Then there is a village fête, and another dead body is found, fished out of the lake. I liked this one, it was funny and well-planned. I enjoy this kind of dry humorous old-school British bantering. The New Sonia Wayward is a stand-alone, more psychological thriller, about a man who finds his successful writer wife dead, and tries to pass her off as being alive but out of the country so he won't lose her money. The tangled web of lies grows ever more dense and complicated for him, and his staff start to blackmail him. It's not at all bad, but unfortunately we see where it's going the minute he spots his wife's doppelgänger on the train.

I'd love to have a Michael Innes collection though, perfect feeling-a-bit-down reading.

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