Title: Dead Men Don’t Ski (Henry Tibbett #1)
Author: Patricia Moyes
First Published in 1959
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Dead Men Don’t Ski is the first book in Henry Tibbett series by Patricia Moyes. I haven’t enjoyed this read as much as my blog buddies Kate, Anjana or JJ did.
I do not mind when we readers are kept in the dark about the identity of the murderer until the end. But in this case, Henry claims to have solved the case halfway through the story. And so does his Italian counterpart Spezzi. Spezzi is sure the killer is one of the guests (or rather, if you want this to be a spoiler, the Governess).
As the story begins, we are given a gist of Henry’s sleuthing capabilities. We have heard of the gut instinct but here we have Henry believing in his, um “nose” instincts.
There were a few of his superiors who were not prepared to listen, and to take appropriate action, when Henry said, suddenly, “My nose tells me we’re on the wrong lines. Why not tackle it this way?”
It is not until the end of the story we have Henry’s nose pointing him in the right direction.
I also had trouble remembering the names of the characters as the story began. Henry and Emmy are on the train and so are the rest of the guests who would stay with them in the hotel. These people are also going to be their ‘classmates’ in the ski school. The unnecessary details of the ski resort and the train journey slowed down the pace.
Coming to the mystery and the sleuthing elements – the story had a lot of potential. Finding Herr Hauser dead in the chairlift and the immediate effect it had on the fellow guests – this was pretty impressive. Almost all the guests had Hauser in their bad books.
The suspects list is long and the red herrings are plenty. Having said this, I wish the suspense was well-maintained. It was annoying to see Spezzi draw to conclusions without proper evidence against Gerda. A guest or two lied to Henry about their alibi/their relationship with the victim. The most annoying part was, in the end, when Henry discovers a certain somebody witnessed the crime and yet, they did not come forward immediately.
Henry’s light bulb moment was as annoying as his “nose” thingy. He asks Emmy a question and voila! He knows who the killer is. He then makes a phone call and double voila! I was like, can we please skip to the identity of the killer ASAP?
Three of my blog buddies have enjoyed this book while Laurie and I haven’t. (Laurie’s given this book 2 stars on GR) I certainly had a disappointing read so no recommendations from me on this one.
I received an ARC from Edelweiss+ and Felony and Mayhem in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.