Monday, 22 February 2010

Desmond Reid - Murder by Moonlight

Desmond Reid - Murder by Moonlight - Sexton Blake Library - 4th Series, Number 482 - August 1961

One of the attractions of books by `Desmond Reid` is seeing if you can guess who really wrote it.

In this case, I guessed at W Howard Baker and was wrong - it`s by Wilfred McNeilly.

This is what I would call a `mid-Blake`; there`s nothing really wrong with it - I enjoyed reading it and will no doubt read it again with pleasure -  but somehow I don`t think it will ever become a personal favourite.

In part, the problem is that a couple of very imaginative early chapters - including a dolphin`s-eye view of a corpse in water - raised my expectations a little.

Truthfully, I probably shouldn`t `damn it with faint praise`. The plot is ludicrous, certainly, but I`m prepared to enter into the spirit of things, and in any case, the way in which the story unfolds means that the reader is roughly half-way through before the scenario becomes apparent.

There is no very bad writing (though after the first couple of chapters, no very good writing either). It is exciting, and humorous in places, but all in all I have to say I like it but I don`t love it.

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