Crook O’ Lune is very typical of E.C.R. Lorac’s books: maybe slower than some, but using a strong sense of place to give the story atmosphere, and to create a mystery that fits into the setting, the lie of the land, the kind of people. It’s perhaps even better at that because Lorac based it on a real place, and even on her own house: you can feel the love for the house, the land, the way of life, in all the characters.
Of course, it’s a little idealised, and rather anti-urban in sentiment — even people who come from outside are by and large calmed by the land, connected to it all of a sudden, in a way that doesn’t ring so true to me (or maybe it’s just the changing times, and everybody was closer to the land then, and more able to be absorbed back into a rural community).
The mystery in this one takes a long time to get going, but it’s all necessary set-dressing, and it’s all relevant. I didn’t ‘catch’ the killer ahead of time, this time: I suspected someone else, based on details that… I’m not sure whether they were intended as red herrings or just part of the set-dressing. But it all makes sense in execution, and despite some of the sordid deeds and the sense of increasing hurry about figuring out what happened, it was a very relaxing read — you can rely on Lorac for that!