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Mystery Monday – Boiled Alive



Boiled Alive by Bruce Buckingham

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

An obnoxious American mogul, John Belton, visits a remote Mexican hot-spring hotel in order to negotiate mining rights. Also with visions of wealth dancing in their heads are a ruthless British mining baron and the Mexican owner of the land supposedly laden with silver. The beginning leads us to expect a story of skullduggery among international business executives in the late 1950s.

But no. Mercifully, the story morphs into a classic murder mystery. Even Belton’s wanton daughter Linda, no prize herself, marvels at her father’s ability to make enemies in a jiffy. Belton manages to alienate gentle Lady Kendal, an English aristocrat, who has named her Aberdeen terriers Scotch and Soda. Belton lands in the doghouse of Melvin, a stereotypical American journalist; Miss Cloud, an eccentric North Carolinian; Hollywood starlet Gloria and her strong-minded galpal named – steel yourself – Butch; to mention only the most curious of the bunch.

When Belton disappears, on the scene is Don Pancho, the retired chief of police of Mexico City. He’d been hired by the insurance company to keep an eye on the jewels of Mrs. Belton. The fast-moving story provides ingenious incidents, with a brilliant Mexican background of Tuxpan, north of Veracruz. The hotel’s thermal hot pools are rendered well and play a part in the grisly goings-on.

Bruce Buckingham was the pen-name of Dane Chandros, which was the pseudonym used by Peter Lilley and Nigel Stansbury-Millett (aka Richard Oke), then, after 1946, by Peter Lilley and Anthony Stansfeld, according to the blog GA Detection. “Dane Chandros” was used for travel books about Mexico and “Bruce Buckingham” for a couple of detective novels starring Dan Pancho.





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