"It's a bad night for most things. But a good night for crime."
That observation comes from one of the guests at a dinner party, given by a young artist on an evening when London is enshrouded by one of those awful pea-soup fogs so dear to the hearts (and plots) of Golden Age mystery writers. Shortly after that, a murder is discovered in a neighboring apartment - and away we go.
That's the starting point for a delightful Golden Age mystery by Ianthe Jerrold an author who is being rescued from obscurity by the Dean Street Press. The Studio Crime, published in 1929, was one of just two classic mysteries written by Jerrold, who went on to write in several other genres as well over a fairly long career. Her mysteries, featuring an amateur gentleman-detective named John Christmas, are well plotted, written with a fairly light touch, have interesting, amusing and sympathetic characters, and deserve to be reread.
I'm offering this as an "extra" review this week (as I continue to prolong my cruise before returning home at the end of the week). It's worth noting that this new edition of The Studio Crime contains a good critical introduction written by Curtis Evans, who writes, "The Studio Crime and Dead Man's Quarry, Ianthe Jerrold's two Golden Age detective novels, are superlative examples of the form, manifestly deserving of modeern revival." I second that whole-heartedly.
The Dean Street Press provided me with an e-book version for review, but it's also available from them as a paperback. In any format, it's worth your reading time.