Crime & Mystery Books:

The Singing Masons

An Inspector Knollis Mystery

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Paperback / softback

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The Singing Masons by Francis Vivian
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Description

He shone the torch into the depths of the well. There was water at the foot of the shaft. Something dark and mis-shapen was huddled against the brickwork. What Old Heatherington doesn't know about bee-keeping isn't worth knowing. But the behaviour of the bees that day was extraordinary--they swarmed to a new hive where no hive should have been, and which was damp to boot. There was the smell of cyanide; and in an abandoned well below the hive, was discovered the dead body of local philanderer, Gerald Batwell, a canister of the poison in his pocket. Inspector Knollis, brought into the case, soon learns that Batley had incurred the ire of numerous men whose wives he'd seduced. Or is the murderer the wealthy Daphne Moreland, motivated by jealousy? Or the unusually unlucky Maynards, a young couple who stood to gain financially by Batley's death? Only the bees, the "Singing Masons" of the title, know for sure--until Knollis, with his customary acuity, breaks the case. The Singing Masons was originally published in 1950. This new edition features an introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans. "Francis Vivian skips all tedious preliminaries and is commendably quick off the mark; we meet his characters with lively pleasure." Observer "Mr. Vivian neatly fits everything in its place." Times Literary Supplement

Author Biography

Francis Vivian was born Arthur Ernest Ashley in 1906 at East Retford, Nottinghamshire. He was the younger brother of noted photographer Hallam Ashley. Vivian laboured for a decade as a painter and decorator before becoming an author of popular fiction in 1932. In 1940 he married schoolteacher Dorothy Wallwork, and the couple had a daughter. After the Second World War he became assistant editor at the Nottinghamshire Free Press and circuit lecturer on many subjects, ranging from crime to bee-keeping (the latter forming a major theme in the Inspector Knollis mystery The Singing Masons). A founding member of the Nottingham Writers' Club, Vivian once awarded first prize in a writing competition to a young Alan Sillitoe, the future bestselling author. The ten Inspector Knollis mysteries were published between 1941 and 1956. In the novels, ingenious plotting and fair play are paramount. A colleague recalled that 'the reader could always arrive at a correct solution from the given data. Inspector Knollis never picked up an undisclosed clue which, it was later revealed, held the solution to the mystery all along.' Francis Vivian died on April 2, 1979 at the age of 73.
Release date Australia
October 1st, 2018
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations
Illustrations, black and white
Imprint
Dean Street Press
Pages
194
ISBN-13
9781912574377
Product ID
28248326

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