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Green for Danger (Inspector Cockrill #2)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  205 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Set in a military hospital during the blitz, this novel is one of Brand's most intricately plotted detection puzzles, executed with her characteristic cleverness and gusto. When a patient dies under the anesthetic and later the presiding nurse is murdered, Inspector Cockrill finds himself with six suspects--three doctors and three nurses--and not a discernible motive among...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 13th 1996 by Carroll & Graf Publishers (first published 1944)
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First published in 1944, this is the second in Christianna Brand's novels featuring the chain smoking Inspector Cockrill (first book in the series is Heads You Lose) and probably her most famous mystery, being made into a film with Alastair Sim. The novel is set during WWII in a military hospital. Brand herself was living near such a hospital, where her husband worked, during the blitz and brings much of her experiences at that time into this novel. She was told the best thing she could do for t...more
A military hospital during the blitz makes a brilliant setting for a murder mystery; endless dim corridors and the drm-drm of the aeroplanes overhead. I figured out the killer's modus operandi, but the soap-opera of overlapping love triangles, jealousies, and secrets kept me distracted and second-guessing the killer's identity until the last moment. The pieces are simple but Brand keeps shifting them like a kaleidoscope.
This is a good read. You hear, from those in the know, that Brand is ranked highly as a mystery writer, up there with Christie and Sayers. This was pretty good, premise-wise, but the real joy of the book is the atmospheric recreation of a London hospital during the bombings in WWII. About 3 1/2 stars maybe.
Not saying too much as this was my Group's choice for the Golden Age detective story and will be discussing it with them soon. Can't go without just mentioning the wonderful humour present throughout the book. Christianna Brand must have been a real character!
Elizabeth Moffat
Perhaps I am being a bit harsh with two stars, and I did think this book was very cleverly written but for some reason I didn't enjoy it very much. Lots of characters and some good humour, but it wasn't the book for me.
I enjoyed this one a lot. I thought the characters were well drawn and their possible motives feasible. There were no obvious baddies', even the murderer was an essentially nice person, with a reasonable motive if things had actually happened the way he or she thought.
The opening scene is very good. The postman
who is later murdered delivers letters which introduce all the potential suspects.
There were one or two things about the plot which were less likely. It was very convenient that there wa...more
This is the first I've read by Christianna Brand, and is the second in the series featuring Inspector Cockrill. It was published in 1944, and occurs during World War II in England while it suffers from the German Blitzkrieg.

The story takes place in a British hospital in the countryside. One of the nurses is murdered after announcing that the death of a patient undergoing surgery was not an accident as everyone had believed, but deliberate, and that she had proof of it. I found the story to be ri...more
Sidney Gilliat produced a 1946 black-and-white movie from the book by Christianna Brand. The story is not available in book form at the public library, but the DVD is, so I watched the movie. The lighting was excellent with every scene clearly visible.

The setting is a hospital in rural England during the WWII bombing raids. Buzz bombs fly overhead during the movie, illustrating the tension of daily life.

The mystery is a variation on a locked-room puzzle. When a patient dies in surgery, the sta...more
Green for Danger is set in Heron’s Park military hospital during the Second World War. A disparate group of seven protagonists are introduced to the reader in the opening chapter, through the device of a postman delivering their letters to the hospital. These include a consultant and his anaesthetist, a surgeon and a nursing Sister and three VAD volunteer nurses. These hospital workers constitute the group of suspects who come under the suspicion of Detective Sergeant Cockrill when the postman,...more
Not a review, just a preamble...

There's no special effect as remotely interesting or satisfying as watching Alistair Sim turn his lanky bowling pin frame on his heels, then cower in a half crouch as he looks skyward for the German buzz bombs he so much fears in the 1946 British mystery film, Green For Danger (recently released on Criterion, and which I intend to buy). It's obvious the debt John Cleese's physical comedy owes to Sim.

My interest in this original source novel stems wholly from my l...more
I read this having seen the film adaptation first, but still thoroughly enjoyed the book even thought I knew the solution of the mystery. The movie preserved the same culprit, means and motive, but trimmed away an additional suspect and many extra layers and details of the plot—the characters are more fully developed and vivid in the book. It's a splendid WWII period piece, written in the thick of the blitz when Brand was living near the military hospital where her surgeon husband worked, sharin...more
Murders during the Blitz? The German raids of Britain during World War II were some of the most murderous assaults on civilians at that time, yet Christianna Brand, writing amid these bombing raids, weaves a mystery that includes not just one killing, but two – and another
attempted murder - and in a hospital, no less, committed to saving lives.

With a chapter or two given over to telling us about the handful of ultimate suspects, Brand steps up the suspense, and the remaining chapters barrel us...more
Although I adored Nurse Matilda in my childhood, this was my first encounter with Christianna Brand's detective writing for grown-ups. The style is very similar: witty, original, acutely observed and full of character.

A village postman, brought to a military hospital during an air raid, dies under the anaesthetic. Inspector Cockrill is called in to investigate the only possible suspects: two surgeons, the anaesthetist, Sister and three VADs. He soon establishes motive and murderer, but while h...more
Brand delivers a good mystery that keeps the reader guessing until the end. After a patient dies on the table, an investigation ensues leading Inspector Cockrill on a merry chase. The book follows the lives of a group of medical staff during the war, and Brand gives each of these characters their own distinct personalities. Each character had the opportunity to commit the crime, and Inspector Cockrill has his work cut out for him proving who the murderer is. The book is an interesting read that...more
Published in 1944 and set in a military hospital, it follows the genre formula of the time: quickly introduce a set of characters/suspects, one of whom must be sussed out as the killer. The strength of the novel is in the relationships among the seven. I was full sure I knew the culprit... but I was wrong. Nowadays, the emphasis is on character development of the detective and a few related cohorts, which, for me, makes a more satisfying read. Nonetheless, Green for Danger was clever and an exce...more
Nov 20, 2007 Annabelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of classic British mysteries
I recently watched (and loved) the Criterion Collection DVD of the 1946 film based on this book, and it led me to seek out the novel. I'm so glad I did. It's a classic "locked room" mystery ... a man suspiciously dies during surgery in an English military hospital during WWII, and one of the doctors and nurses in the operating theater must be responsible. Aside from the tight plot and witty writing, the book give a fascinating, surprisingly unvarnished view of life during the Blitz.
A military hospital in Kent during the Blitz is the unusual setting for Christianna Brand’s 1945 murder mystery Green for Danger. A patient dies under anaesthetic, and at first it seems unlikely to Inspector Cockrill to have been in any way a suspicious death. Then a second death occurs, and this time it’s clearly a case of murder. It soon become obvious that there are only six possible suspects, all of them doctors and nurses at the hospital.
A military hospital in the English countryside, amid the constant air-raids of 1940, is the setting of what turns out to be a classic locked-room mystery. Only six people could've done it - but who will crack first, the intrepid Inspector Cockrill or the killer? Any fan of Ngaio Marsh or Agatha Christie will enjoy this author.
Green for Danger was an interesting and good mystery set in England during the Blitz. One of the old-fashioned kind of stories with six potential murderers and really no opportunity for any of them to have done it. The clues are there if you look hard enough.
Aug 05, 2008 Rae rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
Considered by many mystery fans to be among the best. It takes place during the bombing raids in 1944 Britain. A murder takes place in a hospital and the murderer must be one of three doctors or three nurses. Who did it and how?
Ayelet Waldman
I read this old classic to learn about plot construction. The plot was awful. A bunch of people thrown in a room, essentially. And the "story" consisted of musing about who done it. Boring. Very very boring.
Excellent classic British mystery of the "impossible crime" type. Well-developed characters, terrific period details, good plot. Well worth reading and deserves its ranking among the best of detective stories.
Brenda Funk
Fun to read. Set in WWII, gives you a very good feel for what it was like during the war.
Ramona Honan
Loved the book but the movie was better and I saw it first.
Another tightly plotted mystery from Brand.
Rating Clarification: 2.5 Stars

Fred Perry
Flattest police inspector character in memory.
A whopper of a surprise ending.
Melisende d'Outremer
Loved the film also!
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Christianna Brand (December 17, 1907 - March 11, 1988) was a crime writer and children's author. Brand also wrote under the pseudonyms Mary Ann Ashe, Annabel Jones, Mary Roland, and China Thomson.

She was born Mary Christianna Milne in 1907 in Malaya and spent her early years in India. She had a number of different occupations, including model, dancer, shop assistant and governess.

Her first novel,...more
More about Christianna Brand...
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