In the first story a set designer is found dead near a lake dressed in white pyjamas and ,of course, almost everybody has a sound reason to hate her. And ” everybody ” means a troupe of actors,a director and a wealthy supporter. The setting,a country house,and the colourful characters are part of the charm. However when it comes to suspense it did not quite deliver the goods. It was really not difficult to guess who the culprit was.
As for the second story,it was basically a locked room mystery. A rather fearsome woman ,who had more than her share of enemies,is found murdered in her locked studio in the garden. Here again it was not really difficult to find the murderer. But once it was established who the miscreant was the amateur sleuth, in this case a Major Boddy,needs to find proof and this drags on and on…The solution to the murder or more precisely the “how” is impossible to guess as the reader does not get any clues.
All in all,two charming stories (country house, quirky characters, English summer garden…) but not quite successful ones when it comes to mystery and suspense.
John Bude has better stories to tell…