Review 2016: Post after Post-Mortem

The over-achieving Surray family is getting together for a birthday when oldest brother Richard learns that both his sister Ruth and his youngest sister Naomi may be involved romantically with the same man—a famous mountain climber named Keith Brandon. He knows Brandon for a womanizer but warms Naomi away on other grounds.

Later the Surrays have a small house party that includes Vernon Montague, Ruth’s publisher; Geoffrey Stanwood, a writer for whom Ruth helped get recognition; and Charlton Fellowes, an essayist. The next morning Ruth is found dead in bed, an apparent suicide.

After the inquest rules the death a suicide, Richard receives a letter from Ruth that she mailed the night of her murder showing she was in good spirits. Richard goes to Inspector Robert Macdonald hoping he will look into it unofficially. Macdonald refuses to do it unofficially but ends up assigned to the case.

He finds the case frustrating because he has an idea that the death is a murder but isn’t getting any cooperation from the witnesses, who are more concerned about protecting Ruth’s legacy than finding her killer. Fellowes said at the inquest that he had heard no one moving around the house after he went to bed but confesses to Stanwood that he thought he heard Montague talking to Ruth downstairs. Macdonald learns that Fellowes lied, but Stanwood refuses to repeat what he said and then Fellowes is injured after having a talk with Montague. Montague also refuses to say what Fellowes said.

Macdonald thinks someone cut a page from the end of a short story that Ruth was writing and then trimmed it to look like a suicide note written on her notepaper. But finding proof is difficult. He also hasn’t lost sight of Keith Brandon, who proves to have been in the area that night and has lied about his relationship to Ruth.

This novel is one of the best of the British Library Crime Classics series that I’ve read so far. It has an intriguing setup and interesting characters. The solution was difficult to guess. If I have any critique, it’s that the motive was fairly unbelievable. However, the novel is interesting and cleverly written.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and fair review.

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6 thoughts on “Review 2016: Post after Post-Mortem

  1. Helen August 25, 2022 / 3:35 pm

    I haven’t read this one yet, but if you think it’s one of the best in the series it must be good!

  2. FictionFan August 26, 2022 / 1:51 am

    I loved this one too. It’s a bit darker – more psychological – than some of her other books, and I felt it really showed her versatility.

  3. Jane August 26, 2022 / 10:57 am

    I was hooked at Lorac and then Macdonald, sounds excellent and I’m looking forward to reading it!

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