One of the reasons why I am particularly fond of so-called "Golden Age" mysteries is that the writing, in general, is so good. This is particularly true of many British authors of the period - writers such as Sayers, Innes and Crispin. The only word for the style is "literate." Surely that must be said as well of Nicholas Blake - the pen name of C. Day-Lewis, who went on to become English Poet Laureate. And it is a characteristic very much on display in his first novel, "A Question of Proof," the subject of this week's Classic Mysteries podcast review, which may be heard here.
The book features Blake's detective character, Nigel Strangeways, who becomes involved in a case of murder at an English boys' school. Strangeways soon discovers - to his own satisfaction, at any rate - the identity of the murderer; it is, as the title has it, a question of proof. The plot is well thought out (and fairly clued), and the characters are memorable. It is a remarkable and thoroughly enjoyable book, and only the first of many Day-Lewis/Blake novels featuring Nigel Strangeways. It is good to see some of them back in print.