Review – These Names Make Clues

Posted November 10, 2021 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of These Names Make Clues by E.C.R. LoracThese Names Make Clues, E.C.R. Lorac

In some ways, this doesn’t really feel like one of Lorac’s books. It’s not quite a John Dickson Carr, but there’s something overly convoluted about it, and a bit less of the good-heartedness I think of when I think about Lorac. Her characterisation of Macdonald feels slightly different — he’s still a solid, good man, but he feels more stereotypical as a Scotsman, and it just… feels very typically of that era.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing, because I enjoy books of that era — that’s how I even discovered E.C.R. Lorac in the first place, of course. But it feels like she hasn’t quite found her voice, maybe, in this one… and I’m not too surprised that this is one which seems to no longer be available anywhere, even second hand, as Martin Edwards says in the introduction.

It remains an enjoyable little puzzle, though it withholds some key information to make the puzzle difficult to solve. I do not have a mind for anagrams, but even if I did, I don’t think you get all the information you need about a particular character in order to figure out whodunnit and why.

Rating: 3/5

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