“The murders are
most ingeniously planned and executed, and even Dr. Priestley is put to a
severe test before the story is ended.” —The New York Times
Constable Frean had
an unpleasant sensation that he was not, as he seemed to be, patrolling a
respectable London suburb, but was back at the Front in the year 1918, enduring
a particularly vicious bombardment. Crash! With a roar like a bursting shell
the roof of a nearby house blew off. Heading a rescue party, the constable
found part of the house in ruins, and the owner, Sir Andrew Wiggenhall,
missing. Eventually, his remains, or part of them, were discovered in the
garden. Thus passed the Chairman of the Board of Porslin Ltd.
Some months later
another member of the same board of directors died in mysterious circumstances.
Still another followed shortly.
“One always embarks
on a John Rhode book with a great sense of security. One knows that there will
be a sound plot, well-knit process of reasoning, and a solidly satisfying
solution with no loose ends or careless errors of fact.”—Dorothy Sayers
From the Jacket:
Fair blew the wind
from France, and the Channel steamer Isle of Jethou rolled a bit in the stiff
south-westerly breeze. But the rough crossing didn’t upset the mysterious
passenger who had locked himself into his cabin as soon as he boarded the boat
at Guernsey. The same desire for seclusion had manifested itself on the boat-train
to Waterloo, for the guard had been presented with a pound-note to reserve a
compartment for Mr. Mystery. But did he travel alone? For at Waterloo the
gentleman from Guernsey was a pretty genuine corpse. Death on the Boat-Train is
a first-rate detective story, once again featuring the coldly clever scientific
mind of Dr. Priestley, John Rhode’s brilliant creation.
When Harold Merefield returned home in the early hours of a winter morning from a festive little party at that popular nightclub, the ‘Naxos’, he was startled by a gruesome discovery. On his bed was a corpse.
There was nothing to show the identity of the dead man or the cause of his death. At the inquest, the jury found a verdict of ‘Death from Natural Causes’ – perhaps they were right, but yet . . . ?
Harold determined to investigate the matter for himself and sought the help of Professor Priestley, who, by the simple but unusual method of logical reasoning, succeeded in throwing light upon what proved to be a very curious affair indeed.
This Detective Club classic is introduced by crime writing historian and expert Tony Medawar, who looks at how John Rhode, who also wrote as Miles Burton and as Cecil Waye, became one of the best-selling and most popular British authors of the Golden Age.