Writer: Nap Lombard
Publishing House: British Library Crime Classics
Date of Publication: December 7th 2021 (first published 1943)
Rating: 5 stars
‘’[…] but as Germany is unfortunately the enemy of our country, she must needs, however regrettable this may seem, be our enemy also. After the war is over, we shall reconsider our attitude.’’
Yes, this little extract is enough to make you utterly nauseous but the plot will compensate for that. I promise.
When a body is discovered in an air raid shed, Agnes and Andrew Kinghof find themselves in a chase that involves an entire squad of suspects and terribly malicious motives. The crime-solving duo meets inquisitive neighbours, suspiciously partying young men, secretive young women, French expatriates and a few pig heads.
“I should imagine this was murder, too, because it would be very difficult to build yourself into a heap of sandbags and then die…”
British Library Crime Classics and Martin Edwards offer us another delightful journey that takes us within the first stages of the Second World War and the atmosphere of urgency and inevitability. During a rather dark and cold winter, Agnes and Andrew come across machinations that show the depths of human ambition, malice and revenge, traits that can be found within us all, war or no war. It’s just a matter of whether we allow them to be expressed with dire consequences. Despite Nap Lombard’s light-hearted, clever, sassy and elegant tone, the underlying themes are quite profound as the daily life of the Londoners is illustrated to perfection in an era that brought us the worst moments in our species’ History. We see women surviving the absence of their loved ones, men serving their country and others exploiting the circumstances. We see members of a society that is about to receive a deadly blow siding with the Nazi monsters because politics, and money, and Anti-Semitism and plain evil. The ending will give you ample opportunity to contemplate the issue of the death penalty.
In other news, Agnes is an IDOL!
One more brilliant addition to my British Library Crime Classics collection.
Many thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.