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The Moonflower by Beverley Nichols
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The Moonflower (original 1955; edition 1956)

by Beverley Nichols

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172587,099 (3.5)1
Member:miss_read
Title:The Moonflower
Authors:Beverley Nichols
Info:The Popular Book Club (1956), hardcover
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:murder, mystery, fiction, tbr, 1950s, UK, England, suspense, thriller, detective

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The Moonflower by Beverley Nichols (1955)

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To be very blunt, I'd never heard either of this book or this author before, and I found it through a website called www.detective-fiction.com when researching which locked room mysteries to read. After reading this one, I'm probably going to try to track down other mysteries featuring the main character of Horatio Green. Mr. Green is like an amateur sleuth who has a gift for smells. This is the second book in the series.

The basic premise of this novel is that Green has been invited to witness a rare event: the opening and blossoming of a very rare moonflower, found by one Hilary Scole in Uruguay. Scole's expedition to bring back the moonflower was financed by a Mrs. Faversham, a very undelightful woman who does mean things to people for her own entertainment. Green is told upon his arrival that it would be two more days before the opening of the flower, and while he's waiting, Mrs. Faversham is killed. While a friend of his from Scotland Yard (Waller) is in the area, they team up to solve the crime. With a houseful of suspects who had motives to kill, this isn't going to be easy. That's it in a really compact nutshell, but I can't say anything, really, about the plot or I'll wreck it for anyone who may wish to read this one.

Horatio Green is a very sensitive sleuth, so if you're looking for a lot of hardcore detective action you won't find it here. Nichols' writing is very old style...a bit meandering here and there, but let us not forget that this book was written in 1955. Modern readers may be a bit taken aback by his use of racially-charged language, but again, if you try to keep it in perspective timewise, you can overlook it.

Overall, it was a decent read, nothing too exciting but still a good mystery. You really won't realize why this book is in the genre of "impossible crime" until the end, so be patient. I would recommend it to serious mystery readers who mix in the older novels along with the newer, but it may be a bit too much for those who want the quick crime fix. ( )
  bcquinnsmom | Apr 10, 2009 |
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Oli raaka ilta.
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