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The Worm of Death (Nigel Strangeways, #14)
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Nicholas Blake buddy reads > The Worm of Death - SPOILER Thread

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Susan | 10237 comments Mod
Welcome to our buddy read of The Worm of Death The Worm of Death by Nicholas Blake the fourteenth in the Nigel Strangeways series, published in 1961.

Several days after private detective and poet Nigel Strangeways dines with Dr Piers Loudon and his family, the doctor vanishes, only for his legless corpse to be fished out of the river Thames. When his family ask Nigel to protect their interests during the police investigation, it soon becomes apparent that each member of the deceased's family, from his adopted son to his daughter's unpleasant fiancée, had a strong motive for killing him.

As the winter fog swirls outside, Nigel must find his way through a maze of conflicting stories, missing diaries and red herrings.

Please feel free to post spoilers in this thread.


Susan | 10237 comments Mod
Has anyone got to the point where they go for dinner yet? What does anyone think of that scene and of the beginning? It reminded me a little of The Beast Must Die.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9196 comments Mod
The beginning definitely reminded me of The Beast Must Die.


Susan | 10237 comments Mod
Yes, when we hear the doctor musing, it did remind me of the diary entry at the start of Beast.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9196 comments Mod
I've finished this now and enjoyed it overall - I think the killer's identity was pretty obvious but that worked quite well as a sort of double-bluff, as I kept wondering if it could really be as obvious as it seemed!


Sandy | 2895 comments Mod
This was not my favorite and I may even remove a star from my initial rating. Both Strangeways and the police say they knew from the beginning, which I can understand given the murderer's unpleasantness, but was there any proof? I doubt either the missing ten minutes or his tone after checking the bath would be enough to convict. Luckily he saved the incriminating page of the diary and attacked Strangeways. I always dislike a pathological killer. And too much fog!


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9196 comments Mod
I usually dislike pathological killers too, but I enjoyed Nigel and Clare in this one enough to overlook that aspect a bit.

Can there really be too much fog? On the page, that is! ;)


Susan | 10237 comments Mod
I asked myself why Nigel got on the boat? You could see what was going to happen. I was mentally shouting at him, at that point!


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9196 comments Mod
I know! There are so many endings where unarmed detectives walk right up to the prime suspect and accompany them into a dangerous setting - I just want to jump into the book and scream at them not to! Campion is always doing this too.


Susan | 10237 comments Mod
You get the sense from this novel that Strangeways is feeling his age. He suddenly isn't quite so certain, as he has been in previous books, about his ability to get out of situations. He has that odd fight in the park, but you do get a sense of him ageing.


message 11: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9196 comments Mod
That's an interesting point about Nigel ageing - I thought it was a bit odd that he suddenly seems to be irresistible to women, with the beautiful Sharon making passes at him. Maybe this and his prowess in the fight are to slightly counteract the feeling of him being older?


Susan | 10237 comments Mod
Yes, there is a lot of Cecil Day-Lewis in Nigel Strangeways, I feel...

What did you think of the family, generally? Did you have any sympathy with any of the characters?


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