Murder Included by Joanna Canan

In the prospectus for the Aston Park Guest House and stables, murder is not mentioned among the many attractions. 

But when a sudden death arrives to upset the family and guests, it seems to become a full-time occupation…

Impoverished squire Sir Charles d’Estray brings home his second wife, Bunny, from the French Riviera.

A free-spirited and determined bohemian, Bunny commits herself to converting Sir Charles’ estate into a paying guesthouse and dragging his family out of their financial woes.

Despite the success of the guesthouse, however, the new Lady d’Estray never quite seems to fit in with the old aristocratic family.

When one of the guests, an elderly cousin of the Estrays, is found in her bed dead one morning, suspicion is concentrated on the household alone.

But while servants’ gossip, personal feuds and large sums of inheritance crop up in investigations, nothing seems to shine light on an adequate motive for murder.

It is up to Detective Inspector Price – a bourgeois townsman with a pure loathing for the effete English aristocracy — to solve the mystery. But will his prejudices and suspicions cloud his judgement?

Murder Included is an intriguing and gripping mystery tale, with superb character sketches of the Aston Park household.

Before Joanna Cannan tried her hand at detective fiction, her books dealt primarily with the aftermath of World War I and life in England during the Great Depression, although several of her novels did have elements of crime fiction in them. All show her keen interest in the social mores of the day and how people behave in difficult times. During the war, Cannan devoted her energies with great success to writing fiction for young readers.

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Posted in Criminal Endeavours.