Author Rating: B

Rehearsal for Murder (Read 11/11/09) Recommended

Published in 1941, this is Elizabeth Ferrars‘ second “Toby Dyke” murder mystery. The home at which the murder takes place is called Wilmer’s End. I wonder if perhaps she chose this name in homage to Dashiell Hammett, Wilmer being the name of a character in The Maltese Falcon.

It’s a wonderfully entertaining murder mystery that does not strain the mind. It’s enjoyable for it’s quaint language. I particularly enjoy the clothing descriptions. I would love to have a “pale green linen dress with scarcely any back to it”!

Death of a Minor Character (Read 11/28/09) Recommended

This is, I believe, the fourth mystery Ferrars wrote “featuring sometime sleuth Virginia Freer and her estranged husband Felix.” What a difference 40 years can make, or not. Published in 1983, Ferrars’ characters are quaint and not terribly compelling, and the murder of the “minor character” is a bit of a stretch to feel inevitable or very believable in the context of the murder of the story’s more central victim. That being said, there are a lot worse ways to spend one’s time than reading a mystery by E.X. Ferrars.