Cover Image: Death on a Quiet Day

Death on a Quiet Day

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Death on a Quiet Day by Michael Innes
An Inspector Appleby Book #16

Originally published in 1956 this murder mystery was written over seventy years ago. I have to say that as I began reading I realized once again that books written long ago have much more description and less dialogue and action...or it often seems so. And yet, there is something to be said for the style of Innes writing. He may tend to tell the story more than have it unroll like a modern movie filled with special effects but once I got into the rhythm of the story I was definitely intrigued and wanted to find out what would happen. 

As I read I realized that this book takes place only a few years after the austerity of WWII in England. I just looked up to find out when food rationing was discontinued and it was in 1954. It put this entire story in a different light for some reason. Many of the characters had been in the military or perhaps even spies but were back to “real” life again. Gettinga glimpse of that time period was a treat. 

David Henchman was an intriguing character. When he realizes his life is in danger he runs...and uses his brain to find a way to stay alive until he eventually runs into Inspector Appleby. Sir John Appleby may be on holiday in the area but his experiences before and now working for Scotland Yard have him seeing that David’s situation requires some looking into. As the two talk and David tells Sir John what he has experienced that morning the two realize that not only a murder or two have occurred but there is a mystery surrounding the deaths that needs to be looked into. 

I found the process Appleby used to find out what was going on very interesting in deed. There were no cell phones or computers or forensic tools as modern as now exist but find the reason and the murderer Appleby did. 

Did I like this book? Yes
Would I read more of this series? I might
Does this story stand the test of time? Yes
Do you need to read other books in the series before this one? No

Thank you to NetGalley and Agora Books for the copy to read – This is my honest review.

4-5 Stars
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I haven't come across a story that has such a spectacular and nail-biting beginning. It just doesn't end there. Until the end, the reader is in for a whole lot of twists and turns and surprises. Totally entertaining and mind-blowing story this!

The storytelling is absolutely brilliant and entertaining. The plot to story development and character portrayal is magnificent.  The ending is, again, full of twists and surprises. The identity of the rogues - unexpected. If I have to sum it up in two words then I would say Literary Indulgence!
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I really enjoyed this book.  It has great main characters and a really good story line.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
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Death on a Quiet Day by Michael Innes is a welcome reissue of an Inspector Appleby book and one that I throughly enjoyed.

The story starts off with a game of dare or chicken that then moves into a chase across Dartmoor before its excellent conclusion

As with other Appleby books that I have read the writing and storytelling are brilliant and engaging and Death on a Quiet Day is definitely recommended
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Death on a Quiet Day was originally published as Appleby Plays Chicken in 1956. In one respect it is not a typical Appleby novel.  Appleby doesn’t appear until over a third of the way through the book. Yet, in another respect, it IS typical. We get lots of quotations from Shakespeare and other poets.

David Henchman is a student forming part of a reading party, i.e. a bunch of students and their tutor are staying on Dartmoor, reading and exchanging views. David is a bit of a loner and goes for a long walk.  He finds a corpse in the middle of the moor with a bullet hole in its forehead. David then finds that a chap appearing a few minutes later really doesn’t want David to publicise this and David must flee for his life. We are then treated to a highly exciting well-written chase sequence that is six chapters long. 

Appleby is staying in the area with relations of his wife, Judith. However, when David leaps upon a riderless horse at a Point to Point in his efforts to evade pursuit, Appleby’s interest is piqued. When he sees the stray bullet embedded in David’s shoe, that interest deepens significantly.

Whilst, as I say, Appleby appears after the chase sequence, this is still a most enjoyable book. The chase is highly suspenseful with David’s safe escape always in doubt. The students provide light relief and act as a useful source of helpful assistants when Appleby needs them. There is perhaps a lot more tense action in this novel than in many, more cerebral, Appleby books – and the novel only covers 24 hours, so the action is highly compressed.

I consider this a faultless Appleby novel and strongly recommend it.

#DeathOnAquietDay #NetGalley
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Wonderful fun led by a literate, intelligent and cultured inspector, John Appleby. Such good writing and such an unexpected villain. Spies, brave university boys, blackmail, and impersonation. More, please.
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While this isn't a typical Appleby mystery - after all, about 60% is a chase over the moors - it does display all of Innes' wonderful qualities: his smooth and literate prose, his love of whimsy and absurdity, There's a bit of a feel that things wind up rather perfunctorily but fans of this eccentric series know what the expect. So not a good place to start if you're new to Appleby (best to begin with one of the classic murder cases) but another ridiculously fun read which is intelligent and characterful.
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