Crime in Lepers’ Hollow by George Bellairs


Chief Inspector Littlejohn is back with yet another hilarious mystery!

Chief Inspector Littlejohn is off to Tilsey on a vacation. Well, it was supposed to a vacation until he gets caught in another murder mystery. Nicholas Crake dies of pneumonia. His wife, Dulcie, is no less of a Helen of Troy. She manages to captivate every man’s attention – including her own brother-in-law’s with whom she’s had an affair! Nick is survived by his wife, a son Alec and daughter Juanita. Uncle Bernard, Dulcie’s brother also stays with the family.

Soon after the funeral, Dulcie is found dead – stabbed to death. Nita finds the dead body, runs out of the house and faints into Littlejohn’s arms. Superintendent Simpole is assigned to the case and after a brief chat with the Yard, Littlejohn is officially on the case.

What a hilarious and mind-blowing story by Bellairs! This is the third Bellairs book that I read and did I like it? I Loved it!!! There’s something about his writing that makes all his stories unique. Be it the quirky characters and their quirky doings, or the mystery – simply superb!

Superintendent Simpole is not as simple as his name sounds! The coroner at the inquest is a weirdo. How? He loves his records. Even when the court proceedings are going on, he hums: Pom, pom, pompom… pink, pank, ponk… In the previous book that I read – Corpses in Enderby, there’s a craftsman who goes: tap, tap, tap tidity… tap, tap, tap, tidity… You just can’t get these ‘tunes’ out of your head, can you? Pom, pom, pompom!

Within the first half of the book, there are four murders! Not one, two or three – four!!! And all these seem to be connected somehow. Chief Inspector Littlejohn, in the end, puts two and two together and solves the mystery. There is something about the stolen items from a museum years ago, a case of tarantism (caused when bitten by tarantulas) and cocky dick potions.

As icing on the cake is Meg – Littlejohn’s adopted a dog! How cute is that! Although she makes a guest appearance in the story, still… The characters are super quirky and the mystery is quirkier. The story is engaging and entertaining with a mysterious and twisted ending. Oh yes, there are a couple of twists in the end which are definitely not to be missed.

Bellairs’ writing style is unique. I love stories that have a tinge of quirky humor in them and this book was just that! If you are looking for a crime classic with a mysterious twist (and oodles of quirkiness), then do check out this book and you will not be disappointed.

So… what is your tune?

Tap, tap, tap, tidity…


Pom,pom, pompom…


Language/Writing: 4.5/5

Plot/Story: 4.5/5

Character Development: 4.5/5

Ending: 4.5/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5


Title: Crime in Lepers’ Hollow (Chief Inspector Littlejohn #17)

Author: George Bellairs

Published on: 7th Feb 2019 (first published on 1st January 1952)

Genre: Crime and Mystery, Classics

Featured Image Credits: NetGalley

I received a NetGalley invite through Thank you, NetGalley and Agora Books for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Purchase Links:

British Crime Classics Challenge

Vintage Mystery Challenge: WHEN – during a trip or vacation (Littlejohn is on a vacation)


7 thoughts on “Crime in Lepers’ Hollow by George Bellairs

  1. I share your enjoyment of Littlejohn though this one is new to me. Glad to hear that it was a hit with you – I will have to seek it out sooner rather than later as the description makes it sound like a total hoot!

    1. Thanks, Aidan. The book is super hilarious. (Can’t stop humming pom,pom,pompom… )😀 If you sign-up on george bellairs website, you can request ARCs. Only eBooks though. I am not sure if you prefer hardcopies or eBooks. You get to read all the reprints before they are published.
      Waiting to see what you think about the book. 🙂

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