Saturday, 11 August 2001

Ann Granger: Murder Among Us (1992)

Edition: Headline, 1992 (Buy from Amazon)
Review number: 901

There is more humour in Muder Among Us than in most of Granger's crime novels. The murder is committed at the opening of a country house hotel, during a demonstration by a local historical society opposed to the conversion of the old house (actually an undistinguished example of late Victorian Gothic). As Granger says, the bored TV reporter covering the opening must have thought he'd won the pools - the murder follows a streak by one of the women protesters.

There is also a subplot which is almost a parody of the sort of novel beloved of pony-mad young girls. In the restaurant grounds is a refuge for horses, donkeys and ponies, which faces closure. Markby's niece helps at the refuge, and her response to overhearing a discussion about the possibility that one of the donkeys might need to be put down if better quarters couldn't be found by the winter is to take the animal and disappear into the surrounding woods.

There is a self-aware quality about many of the Mitchell and Markby novels, and the humour is particularly strong here, making Murder Among Us one of the most entertaining novels in the series.

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