Let's take a nice, quiet, after-dinner stroll through the little village of Frazer's Mills, New York. We'll stay off the main street, I think - it's easier and more private to walk down the little lanes and paths behind the houses, near the woods. Somebody else has been this way tonight. The walker tried to open old Mrs. Norbury's door at the rest home, which scared her - but there was nobody there when she finally peered out. At the library, the walker frightened the librarian, Hattie Bluett, and at the Bay Horse Tavern, apparently tried to get into Mr. Compson's room, only he was out. The walker did leave a small hatchet outside the door, though. And the next stop, apparently, was the Carrington place. That's where somebody got murdered. And that after-dinner quiet was pretty thoroughly shattered...
That's the picture we're given in Elizabeth Daly's 1947 mystery, Night Walk. Is the murder, as some believe, the work of some transient lunatic passing through town? Among those who aren't buying that story is Daly's detective, bibliophile Henry Gamadge, who occasionally investigates crimes on behalf of his friends, or friends of friends. Night Walk is the subject of today's audio review on the Classic Mysteries podcast, and you can listen to the entire review by clicking here.
I like Henry Gamadge. He's deceptively quiet, very smart, and hard to rattle or to fool, as antagonists generally learn to their sorrow. He is invited to Frazer's Mills by one of the possible suspects, who is a friend of a friend, and it doesn't take him long to work out what's going on - though it may not be in time to prevent another murder. As always with Daly, there are a lot of surprises in the plot; it is easy to see why Agatha Christie had such a high opinion of Daly's work.
The Felony & Mayhem Press has been reissuing Elizabeth Daly's books, both in printed versions and as e-books. You really should get to know Henry Gamadge.
The 2015 Bingo Challenge
I have already mentioned that I am participating in the 2015 Vintage Mystery Bingo challenge. The Bingo card has 36 squares to be filled by reading a book appropriate to each square's instructions. Night Walk is my entry for the square (fifth row, fifth column) that calls for a book set in England or the U. S. In this case, it's the U. S.