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The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake
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The Beast Must Die (1938)

by Nicholas Blake

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212None54,928 (3.93)12
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Clever mystery with plenty of twists. I did suspect the guilty party at several points and was strongly tempted to skip to the end & check but refrained. I'm glad I didn't cheat because Blake (or Cecil Day-Lewis to use his real name) did keep me second guessing myself and threw several very plausible red herrings across the trail.

I would recommend it to any fans of the Golden Age mysteries such as those written by Agatha Christie, Margerie Allingham, Josephine Tey, Rex Stout, etc. One thing I like about this style of crime story is it is relatively short without a lot of extraneous stuff about the detective's home life or romantic problems. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
Nicholas Blake made the CWA top 100 with his Nigel Strangeways novel The Beast Must Die. The novel begins with crime writer Frank Cairnes hunting down the killer of his infant son, with deadly revenge on his mind. Cairnes is a sympathetic character despite his murderous intent and you end up hoping he succeeds. There’s a largish twist in the middle and a big one at the end. Only the improbability of Cairnes’ success in finding his victim keeps it from getting five stars.

Full review ( )
  westwoodrich | Mar 30, 2013 |
Nicholas Blake made the CWA top 100 with his Nigel Strangeways novel The Beast Must Die. The novel begins with crime writer Frank Cairnes hunting down the killer of his infant son, with deadly revenge on his mind. Cairnes is a sympathetic character despite his murderous intent and you end up hoping he succeeds. There’s a largish twist in the middle and a big one at the end. Only the improbability of Cairnes’ success in finding his victim keeps it from getting five stars.

Full review ( )
  westwoodrich | Mar 30, 2013 |
Good mystery by Daniel Day Lewis's father ( )
  brone | Sep 7, 2009 |
This book opens with a twist - the narrator confesses to be planning a murder. The reader soon learns that the narrator is Frank Cairnes, also known as writer Felix Lane, and the man he is planning to murder is the hit and run killer of his only son, Martie. Cairnes doesn't know who the man is yet, but he makes some pretty accurate deductions and soon has his victim in his sights.

You might think with a beginning like that, the rest of the book would be rather anticlimactic, but it's not. The first part is written in as a diary that Cairnes keeps, but the rest of the book is sort of catching up to what really happened. It seems that the reckless driver, George Rattery, was indeed murdered, but did Cairnes do it or did someone else beat him to the job? Nigel Strangeways comes in to investigate and finds plenty of motives for murdering Rattery, but the evidence is inconclusive about the identity of the murderer.

This was a good solid mystery that I really enjoyed. I liked the beginning and had fun following along and trying to guess, Did he really do it? (I guessed wrong, but I don't think that will help you!) ( )
  cmbohn | Jun 10, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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FOR EILEEN AND TONY
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I am going to kill a man.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Determined to find the motorist who killed his son, crime writer Frank Cairnes decides to commit a crime of his own, but his quest takes an unexpected turn, and amateur sleuth Nigel Strangeways, accompanied by Georgia, sets out to separate fact from fiction.
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