Review – Murder by Matchlight

Posted October 7, 2019 by Nikki in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Cover of Murder by Matchlight by E.C.R. LoracMurder by Matchlight, E.C.R. Lorac

This is one of the British Library Crime Classics, and I think one of the better ones in some ways. Lorac is really good with invoking at atmosphere, and this one has the fear and feverish activity of London during the Blitz down so pat you can feel it. Some of the scenes in the darkness gave me… not quite a shiver, because they weren’t exactly creepy, but a breathless suspenseful feeling, and she really makes the most of that. She also uses that mid-war setting to shape the story: things are possible because of the darkness, because of the deaths, because of encounters in air raid shelters…

It’s not stunningly original, and it gets a little tortuous in avoiding really clueing you in as to who committed the murder, but when everything unfolds and the mystery’s all told, it hangs together well and you’re a little relieved that the likable characters come out of it okay. At some points it does actually genuinely conjure up a little anxiety about that: things look so bad for them, maybe they’ll be hauled off to jail… Though the detective is also intelligent, which alleviates that some.

Definitely good enough that I had no hesitation about picking up the rest of the republished books by Lorac! It’s not brilliant, but it’s exactly that kind of comfortable I expect from the British Library Crime Classics.

Rating: 3/5

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