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Mystery Monday Review – Too Many Cousins

Too Many Cousins by Douglas G. Browne

Review by Matt B. (buffalosavage)

Six cousins stand to inherit a substantial fortune built by a merchant prince of a grandfather. Then certain of them run into a singularly foul run of bad luck.

One is run down in a road accident.

One is poisoned.

One is drowned.

The fourth, a lucky survivor, is sure that she was pushed into the path of a lorry.

Living to tell her lurid tale, she captures the attention of Mr. Harvey Tuke — Senior Legal Assistant to the Director of Public Prosecutions. On his vacation – of course – he investigates these odd accidents.

Browne is a very clear writer, despite his employment of challenging vocabulary and complex grammar. The plot is seamless and the characters distinct and memorable. Browne captures professional wariness and rivalries so well that I wonder if he was writing from direct experience. The setting is London near the end of WWII so there are curious periodic touches of bombed ruins and saving electricity and gas.






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