At the center of our "Classic Mysteries" podcast review this week is a strange and strained house party gathered at an English manor, Charne House. The hostess is terminally ill, and the guests realize she is unlikely to survive much past the weekend. Her behavior is strange, to say the least, for she wants to persuade her husband to remarry after her death - and to marry another member of the family. It is a gloomy atmosphere, and it affects the mood and behavior of senior police official Sir John Appleby, who is among the guests. The story is "The Bloody Wood," by Michael Innes, and while the somber mood predominates, the book contains the kind of wit and dry humor we expect to find in his Appleby novels.
You can listen to the full review on our podcast here. Suffice to say that there will be several deaths in the course of a most ingenious plot that twists its way to a surprising conclusion. Pay attention to the nightingales - they matter.