At Night to Die
A Sally and Johnny Heldar Mystery
by Henreitta Hamilton
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Pub Date 25 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 19 Dec 2021
At Night to Die is the fourth title in Henrietta Hamilton’s bibliophile mystery series featuring amateur sleuths Sally and Johnny.
When the Laird Charles Buchanan dies suspiciously in his remote mansion-house in rural Scotland, the Heldars step in to help investigate. But as they explore the House of Affray, Sally and Johnny uncover more mysteries and family secrets than they anticipated.
Can the crime-solving duo determine if this was a burglary gone wrong, or might they discover something far more sinister is going on at Affray?
A Note From the Publisher
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Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 16 members
Another Clever Puzzle At Its’ Heart....
The fourth in the Sally and Johnny Heldar series of mysteries and the duo are off to Scotland at the bequest of friends concerned about a local death which seems suspicious. The Laird Charles Buchanan has passed away and all is not well surrounding the circumstances of his death. When they arrive it becomes clear that things are afoot within the big house. This puzzle is about to get complicated. The sometime amateur sleuths, Sally and Johnny, are both likeable and amenable and make an enjoyable duo. Hugely enjoyable classic crime with another clever puzzle at its’ heart, fully entertaining with well drawn characters and an engaging plot. A very worthy reissue from Agora Books (and part of their ‘Uncrowned Queens of Crime’ series). Highly recommended.
Wow, this was a great addition to the series of the Heldars. It has a touch of the Baskeville in it with a wicked family curse and other tips of the hat to a few other classic mysteries. Very well done and extremely recommended.
The fourth in the Sally and Johnny Heldar series, At Night to Die is set in enchanting Scotland. Sally and Johnny like nothing better than to sleuth which just happens to be what is needed after Laird Charles Buchanan is discovered dead. They flit through the stunning countryside (lovely descriptions take me back instantly to several places mentioned) and are determined to use their mental adroitness to flush out the culprit. Other characters are intrigued by the whole thing, too, and wish to get their fingers dirty. Secrets swirl about like mist and the police are unsuccessful and, frankly, untrustworthy, so they rely on themselves. The story reminds me of a castle's stone twisty staircase...
Written with wit and brilliance, Henrietta Hamilton (pseudonym for Hester Denne Shepherd) was a fabulous, fabulously compelling author. She clearly drew on her WWII experience as she penned her Golden Era books (called that for very good reason). She had a knack for storytelling which fills me with nostalgia.
Mystery readers, particularly those who hanker after the writing of this era, please read this series. Well worth it.
My sincere thank you to Agora Books and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this wonderful book. Republishing Golden Era books is an important and honourable endeavour and fills me with gratitude.
Henrietta Hamilton at her best! A gripping, twisty and highly entertaining story.
I read it as fast as I could and loved to read this excellent story.
There's a lot going on, twists and surprises. I loved the big reveal (that surprised me) and the end.
Ms Hamilton could surely write gripping plot and this is one of her best.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
For me this is the best of the Sally and Johnny Heldar Mysteries, so far.
The settings, characterisation and dialogue are what made it for me as I found the "whodunnit" and "why" aspects of the plot not overly difficult to fathom. Here that did not much matter, as the flow of the writing propelled me happily on to the denouement.
The Scottish Highlands and 1950s Edinburgh are really well-evoked, The author lived in Edinburgh later in life and, incidentally, was friendly and exchanged books with Elizabeth Ferrars whose husband was Professor of Botany at the University.
The characterisation is vivid and Hamilton is good at depicting children and young adults. Here the portrayal of the young laird, Sir Malcolm Buchanan, was particularly well-done.
The author is also hot on dialogue which comes over as appropriate and unforced, a nice change in a novel of detection.
The plot is a heady mix of burglary, murder, attempted murder and kidnapping, with some Jacobite and family history and legend thrown in. For fans of the genre, this is a bibliomystery, not only because of the Heldars' background in antiquarian books, but also because part of the solution lies in
some old books.
Thank you to NetGalley and Agora Books for the digital review copy.
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