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They Rang Up the Police (Inspector Guy Northeast #1)
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Group reads > May 2019 - They Rang up the Police by Joanna Cannan

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Susan | 9292 comments Mod
First published in 1939. this is the first, of two, books to feature Inspector Guy Northeast.

Born in 1898, Joanna Cannan was the youngest daughter of Oxford don Charles Cannan, and his wife Mary Wedderburn. Part of a family of authors, Joanna Cannan was cousin to novelist and playwright Gilbert Cannan, sister to poet May Wedderburn Cannan, mother to fellow pony-book authors Josephine Pullein-Thompson, Diana Pullein-Thompson and Christine Pullein-Thompson, as well as to screenwriter and playwright Denis Cannan, and grandmother to cookbook author Charlotte Popescu.

Cannan worked as a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) nurse during WWI, meeting her her future husband, Captain Harold J. "Cappy" Pullein-Thompson, in Oxford, during the course of that work. They were married in 1918, and Cannan (who never published under her married name) became the primary breadwinner for the family, after he was severely injured during the war, publishing approximately one book per year. Most of her pony books for children were written before and during WWII, at which point she began turning to detective novels for adults. Cannan suffered from ill health in the 1950s, and eventually diagnosed with tuberculosis. She died in 1961.

This book sees the introduction of Guy Northeast: When murder strikes in the quiet English countryside only Inspector Guy Northeast of Scotland Yard sees the vital clue.

When Delia Cathcart and Major Willoughby disappear from their quiet English village one Saturday morning in July 1937, it looks like a simple case of a frustrated spinster running off for a bit of fun with a straying husband.

But as the hours turn into days, Inspector Guy Northeast begins to suspect that she may have been the victim of foul play. On the surface, Delia appeared to be a quite ordinary middle-aged Englishwoman content to spend her evenings with her sisters and mother and her days with her beloved horses. But Delia led a secret life — and Guy turns up more than one person who would like to see Delia dead. Except Delia wasn’t the only person with a secret…

Please do not post spoilers in this thread. Thank you.


Susan | 9292 comments Mod
I must say that I thought this was a pleasant surprise - enjoy the discussion, everyone.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 701 comments I liked it a lot, too!


Jill (dogbotsmum) | 1808 comments At first I thought the featured family were much too what I called syrupy and thought I would be giving up. But once the "deed" was done, it definitely picked up, and I was eager to carry on.


Susan | 9292 comments Mod
It was an unusual mystery, especially with a detective who had made mistakes and wasn't immediately respected or listened to.


message 6: by Betsy (last edited Apr 30, 2019 09:21AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Betsy | 170 comments Jill wrote: "At first I thought the featured family were much too what I called syrupy and thought I would be giving up. But once the "deed" was done, it definitely picked up, and I was eager to carry on."

I had the same experience. If I had seen one more "darling" on those first few pages, I would have stopped. The detective saved the story completely.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8302 comments Mod
I was quite amused by all the sugary "darling" conversations at the start, because it just feels too too perfect! I also liked the detective and enjoyed the author's writing style.


Susan | 9292 comments Mod
The breakfast scene was just creepy. Who can be that nice in the morning :)


Jan C (woeisme) | 1268 comments All those "darlings" almost stopped me. I thought people don't really talk this way, do they?

I was intrigued by the detective and finished the other day at 4:30 AM.


message 10: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8302 comments Mod
Wow, you must have really been hooked by the story, Jan!


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 591 comments Jill wrote: "At first I thought the featured family were much too what I called syrupy and thought I would be giving up. But once the "deed" was done, it definitely picked up, and I was eager to carry on."

Thats what I am thinking. Early days but enjoying so far.

Cannan was a girlhood friend of Georgette Heyer although they lost touch as adults. Along with Carola Oman they used to critique each others work.


Jan C (woeisme) | 1268 comments Judy wrote: "Wow, you must have really been hooked by the story, Jan!"

I seem to find it hard to find a stopping place when I am 77% in. It is the wind down to the end and I think, oh, there's not that much left.


Bicky | 332 comments What a ghastly family! It is amazing how an author can turn being nice into nasty.


message 14: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2316 comments Jill wrote: "At first I thought the featured family were much too what I called syrupy and thought I would be giving up. But once the "deed" was done, it definitely picked up, and I was eager to carry on."

Thanks, good to know - that first chapter intrigued me, but all the “darlings” were a bit much.


message 15: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2316 comments Susan wrote: "The breakfast scene was just creepy. Who can be that nice in the morning :)"

Exactly!


Sandy | 2490 comments Mod
I am at the point where our detective is being introduced.

I was so sick of this family in the first two chapters I really, really wished for a return to the dysfunctional family. I'll try never to complain about those again. I suspect the husband / father died from a sugar overload.


message 17: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2316 comments Sandy wrote: "I am at the point where our detective is being introduced.

I was so sick of this family in the first two chapters I really, really wished for a return to the dysfunctional family. I'll try never t..."


Thank you, I will soldier on, and yes, I agree about the father/husband going into sugar shock...


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan Davis | 36 comments I enjoyed this book because they were so goofy..It does pick up with and "interesting" ending.


message 19: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2316 comments I’m about 60% through, really intrigued by the mystery, the strange family, and Northeast - he’s very likable, a little younger, a little more human and less perfect than many Golden Age detectives.


message 20: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2316 comments Susan wrote: "It was an unusual mystery, especially with a detective who had made mistakes and wasn't immediately respected or listened to."

Yes, that’s what I was trying to say!


Frances (francesab) | 340 comments Glad to hear it's a good mystery, the family is incredibly cloying and silly, and Delia seems awful, the way she deals with the staff and is expected to be the "Man" of the household.


message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan Davis | 36 comments I almost gave up with all the "darlings" but glad I didn't.


Pages | 61 comments I'm so glad I've read this thread. The darling thing is also really getting to me, but I'm going to push through!


message 24: by Susan (new)

Susan Davis | 36 comments It's a good ending..


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