Title: Left-Handed Death
Author: Richard Hull
Republished by Agora Books on 31st October 2019
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
“I shall write,” Reeves’ voice was dreamy. “This afternoon at – when the devil was the time? I’m all in a muddle about the time. Anyhow this afternoon,” his pen scratched the paper slowly, ” I murd – I say, how do you spell ‘murdered’?”
The story starts with directors of the Shergold Engineering Company having a serious discussion (murder). The company seems to be under financial trouble and it looks like Barry Foster, a member of the Ministry has something to do with it. Arthur Shergold and Guy Reeves are now sitting in Shergold’s office, discussing the day’s proceedings. Barry Foster needs to be stopped and Guy Reeves has managed to do so – by killing the poor thing.
It seems to be an open and shut case as Reeves confesses to the murder. But Detective Hardwick isn’t convinced with Reeves’ confession.
Left-Handed Death is the first Richard Hull book I read. I found it to be a tad similar to Bellairs’ works. And if you do not know, I am a huge fan of Bellairs’ Inspector Littlejohn series.
As the story begins, Reeves seems confused about things. Did he murder Foster? What time is it? How do you spell Murdered? The poor thing seems to be suffering from memory loss. Or, is this a side effect of murdering someone for the first time? (Possible, no?)
Since I said I found this to be similar to Bellairs’ works, it goes without saying that the reader can expect funny bits throughout the story. The characters in the story include Miss Trent, Arthur Shergold, Detective Hardwick, Mr Pennington and Guy Reeves. Two or three more characters do make an appearance but these are the ones that capture the reader’s attention. (Foster’s there too but the chap’s dead, you see.)
Halfway through the story, the reader is given a hint as to what might have happened – the events leading to the murder of Barry Foster. The detective isn’t convinced that Reeves is guilty while the doctor, though initially a pain in the backside, turns out to be quite an intelligent fella. (Well, aren’t they all?)
I wouldn’t comment much on the mystery as this is my first read by this author. But I can tell you this – keep your expectations a tad low. Also, if you are new to this author (like me), Kate suggests reading his other works first – Murder of my Aunt, Murder isn’t Easy, Excellent Intentions and Keep it Quiet.
The ending is okayish, nothing great! The story development is slow so do not expect any nail-biting adventure. But… but, I enjoyed reading Left-Handed Death. Excusez Moi, off I go to read Murder of my Aunt.
Puzzle Doctor @classicmystery.blog
Featured Image Credits: NetGalley
Many thanks to Agora Books and NetGalley for the ARC.
Hull is a different kid of writer and not to everyone’s taste. But definitely read Murder of My Aunt…you will love it. I have Keep It Quiet in my TBR pile. Hope to get to it soon.
I like quirky in a mystery. 😀 If you are a KU subscriber, his books are available there.
KU – Kindle unlimited. 🙂
All of Bellairs reprints are there too. And some more of GAD.
I’m not too disheartened that you’re lukewarm on this one, as it’s not Hull’s best effort. However, the elements you enjoyed in this text are also apparent, probably more so, in his better works, so I look forward to seeing what you make of those.
😁😁 Fingers crossed