THE MISSING MR. MOSLEY by John Greenwood


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Murder, Mr. Mosley (1984) offered a diverting, low-key blend of English-eccentric comedy and sturdy detection--as Greenwood (a.k.a. John Buxton Hilton) introduced middle-aged Lancashire policeman Mosley, an unprepossessing but effective sleuth. This time, however, the emphasis is almost entirely on dotty drollery, with a mini-plot that slides over from oddity to downright silliness. Janie Goodwin, a brisk older lady, has disappeared from her small cottage. Foul play? Apparently. So go-getting Sgt. Beamish starts sleuthing into Miss Goodwin's past: her childhood as the daughter of the local squire, a shady sort who never paid his debts; her years in Europe, where her heart was reportedly broken by a cousin-lover; and her fairly recent marriage to the equally eccentric Noll Cromwell--a union that was severed, semi-amiably, on the wedding day. But then, as a search for Miss G. (or her corpse) ensues, two other disappearances occur. Meanwhile, strange visitors (well-to-do older men) are sighted in the vicinity. And, strangest of all, Inspector Mosley--who's supposedly on vacation--keeps popping up along the trail that Sgt. Beamish is earnestly following . . .as do several sets of hangman's gallows! What's really going on? Well, despite hints of murder and kidnap, the whole thing turns out to be a harmless, not-very-plausible local conspiracy, with Mr. Mosley as a behind-the-scenes Mr. Fix-it. Still, though crime-puzzle fans may be disappointed, connoisseurs of British whimsy and village character-comedy will be gently entertained--by the arch narration, the Beamish/Mosley interplay, and the cast of feisty, sneaky old cottagers.

Pub Date: Feb. 17th, 1986
Publisher: Walker