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The Black Stage by Anthony Gilbert
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The Black Stage (1945)

by Anthony Gilbert

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A collection of snobs, conmen and people with chips on their shoulders all collide in an old country house in England just after World War II. Foolish, gullible Aunt Tessa Goodier announces her intention to marry fortune-hunting Lewis Bishop. During a confrontation in the library at midnight, the power goes out in a violent storm, a shot is heard, and Lewis Bishop is killed. When the police arrest his cousin, Alistair Vereker hires flamboyant London lawyer Arthur Crook to exonerate her.

I guessed the murderer fairly early in this one, but I enjoy Arthur Crook's shenanigans so much, I was still interested in his reconstruction of the crime and his explanations. These old books run on at a fast pace, and the dialogue is always amusing, especially when Mr. Crook is holding forth. ( )
  booksandscones | Apr 20, 2016 |
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