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The Cornish Coast Murder (Inspector Bigswell)
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Book Club Selection > August 2014 Value Book Read - The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude

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David Gooch | 3988 comments Mod
The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude
Winner of the August Value Read Vote

"Never, even in his most optimistic moments, had he visualised a scene of this nature—himself in one arm-chair, a police officer in another, and between them . . . a mystery.” So thinks the Reverend Dodd—vicar of the quiet Cornish village of Boscawen and a reader of detective novels—when an actual mystery unexpectedly lands on his doorstep in The Cornish Coast Murder. Julius Tregarthan, a secretive and ill-tempered magistrate, is found at his house in Boscawen, shot through the head—and the local police investigator is baffled by the complete absence of clues. Fortunately for the inspector, the Reverend Dodd is at hand, ready to put his lifetime of vicarious detecting experience to the test."

Discussion Leader: Fanficfan44


David Gooch | 3988 comments Mod
I have downloaded my copy ready.


Odette (odman) I am looking forward to reading this and now have it on kindle.


AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 556 comments I downloaded my copy and will start it soon. Looking forward to it


message 5: by Odette (last edited Aug 03, 2014 03:57PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Odette (odman) I have now started this book and read four chapters so far.

This title attracted me as I travelled to Cornwall last year. I stayed for a few days at a B&B called Bosavern House, which is just outside of St Just near Cape Cornwall. I enjoy reading books that I am familiar with the general area they are set in.

So far the author has transported me back to a different time/era, about 80 years ago. I am enjoying the characters very much in this context and also the mystery. It is interesting to read a book written at that time rather than in the present recreating the past.

It has been a long time since I read an Agatha Christie book, so am unable to compare the two writers.

I love the introduction to the characters especially the Reverand Dodd and the Doctor. I am impressed with what I have read so far and looking forward to reading more.


message 6: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 560 comments Mod
I planned to skip this one but I read the 1st chap. & I think I'm hooked.


message 7: by David (last edited Aug 04, 2014 10:35AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

David Gooch | 3988 comments Mod
I have started it and must admit the writing style does quite make you read on. Like Odette the old Rev seems an intriguing character and it will be interesting to see how involved he gets with the Inspector on the solving of the mystery.


message 8: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Hayden | 8 comments Thoroughly enjoying this book so far. Just had the great niece/nephew for a few days and it was lovely to collapse with a few chapters after chaos over.

Haven't read a book written before WWII for decades, and although there are some irritants, mostly so easy to relax and enjoy the escape - mainly because, I suspect, that it was just as escapist then as it is today.

Particularly like the way the writer handles sudden POV shifts without losing the pace of the book.


AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 556 comments I nominated this book after seeing the publicity surround the British Library Crime Classics drive to republish classic crime novels that have disappeared from general public sight.

My questions would be: Do you think this is a worthwhile cause, resurrecting relatively obscure crime novels today, or do you feel that there are so many new crime writers and novels that this is redundant? Do you think that John Bude's work is relevant today or is it too dated? Would you read another or any of the other British Library Crime Classics as they are published?

I went to the Deadly Ink crime writers and readers convention this weekend and met Les Blatt who hosts a website and a podcast dedicated to "classic mysteries" and asked his opinion and he said he had reviewed the book. His review is here: http://www.classicmysteries.net/2014/...

I have my own opinion but I will jump over to the spoilers post so I don't ruin anything for anyone.


message 10: by Judith (new)

Judith | 560 comments I would, I love vintage crime and think it has a lot to offer those who enjoy mystery novels.


AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 556 comments David wrote: "I have started it and must admit the writing style does quite make you read on. Like Odette the old Rev seems an intriguing character and it will be interesting to see how involved he gets with the..."

I totally agree. I was away this weekend and I peeked at the first chapter and didn't want to put it down.


message 12: by Odette (last edited Aug 05, 2014 03:52PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Odette (odman) Fanficfan44 wrote: "I nominated this book after seeing the publicity surround the British Library Crime Classics drive to republish classic crime novels that have disappeared from general public sight.

My questions w..."


I do think this is a worthwhile cause.

Reading these books may not be to everyones taste due to style of language used, social conventions, technology of the times etc. However, I find it very interesting to read a book written in the era that it is set rather than an author interpreting and recreating the past.

Something that stood out for me, was the description of the Rev Dodds and the Doctor enthusiastically examining the books that arrived in a crate from the library. It highlighted the difference in entertainment in that era with radio being relatively new at that time.

There seems to be less description and feel of setting and place than a novel written more recently. This book has more emphasis on the mystery and characters involved, and perhaps that was what the readers of the time were looking for.

I am enjoying this read, and would read again after while a book of this genre.


AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 556 comments Odette wrote: "Fanficfan44 wrote: "I nominated this book after seeing the publicity surround the British Library Crime Classics drive to republish classic crime novels that have disappeared from general public si..."

I loved the scene with the Reverend and the Doctor and the crate of books as well....I think that was the point I knew that I would really be hooked into this book. I think that kind of detail is the difference between reading a book written in the period and a historical book written by a modern author.


AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 556 comments In answer to my own questions, I feel that resurrecting this books is definitely a worthwhile cause. I think in them we see techniques and characters that some crime writers still emulate today. It is like when in school you read classics, not only for the classic itself, but in part because then throughout your educational and reading life you will see literary references back to those books.

I don't think that this book felt dated at all, to me being written in the period gives it an authenticity that is not always evident in historical fiction written in modern day.

I will be keeping my eye out for more of these classics, Les Blatt whose speciality is Classic Crime Fiction seemed particularly interested in the Mavis Doriel Hay books, both just released in June. Myself I am interested in the Christmas book, Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Fargeon being released in November.


message 15: by Judith (new)

Judith | 560 comments I have ordered the book from the library and hope it will be as good as it sounds.


message 16: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Hayden | 8 comments (Forgive me if I'm saying something that should be in the Spoiler thread - this is my first time on the monthly thread.)
A lot of the period detail comes from the shared assumptions. I love the way that the victim's staff are rounded out as characters - but the vicar's dinner in chapter one is delivered by ghosts, it seems. A modern writer would probably have felt impelled to give his housekeeper a personality out of guilt for the servant classes. Clearly it was expected that country vicars have staff. Our vicar is both servantless and a woman, and therefore well out of place!

Another lovely detail which shows how much the world has changed is the role of the village policeman. Our village has around 1000 people and some of them live in the old police station and the bobby's house next door. I don't know which has changed more - the village or the police force. Sorry, the police service.

Enough nattering - back to the book.


message 17: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 560 comments Mod
Finished & a bit disappointed tho' one should judge by '30s standards but even then it would be a 3 star. More later.


message 18: by Judith (new)

Judith | 560 comments I have ordered it from the library but it is out on loan as yet.


message 19: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 560 comments Mod
My comment's up in the spoiler section so you can read it when you're finished. Not sure how many stars to give The Cornish Coast Murder. If Dorothy Sayers's The Nine Tailors represents the '30s 5-star standard, 3 stars would be about max for this one.


David Gooch | 3988 comments Mod
I have finished it and gave it 4 stars. Was torn between 3 and 4 but while I felt the culprit became obvious once certain facts were known, I did feel the book read reasonably well and kept a good pace.


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