Review – The Sussex Downs Murder

Posted June 19, 2020 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of The Sussex Downs Murder by John BudeThe Sussex Downs Murder, John Bude

The Sussex Downs Murder is the third book I’ve read by John Bude from the British Library Crime Classics series, featuring the same detective as the previous two. Meredith is a policeman, and much of the story involves careful police work: cross-checking, putting a man on this and a man on that, and slowly amassing more evidence — so much that at first it’s hard to sort out what’s relevant and what isn’t, and which of the herrings are a suspiciously ruddy colour.

Bude’s writing is like that: methodical, thorough, a little slow, but ultimately assembling a pretty fascinating picture, with some nice set-pieces along the way. I don’t visualise things easily, but Bude brought to life the chalky cliff and the grassy downs of the setting, as his characters walk through them — a sketch, perhaps, but one that suggests just enough to contextualise what the artist wants to show.

I’ll admit that I find John Bude’s plots a trifle obvious, though Martin Edwards’ introductions don’t always help with that. He dropped a clue that raised my eyebrow right at the start, so I figured out where we were going. Still, I didn’t know quite how we’d get there, and with Golden Age crime fiction that’s usually the main thing.

In all, it’s a solid story, I didn’t spot any major holes, and it has its moments for characterisation, setting and humour. Not perhaps the best of the series, but an enjoyable specimen of the species.

Rating: 3/5

Tags: , , , ,


Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.