Murder In Piccadilly: A British Library Crime Classic
Poisoned Pen Press, May 5 2015, $12.95
Fearfully Ruby Cheldon tells her snooty brother Massy that her son Bobbie fell in love with and proposed to Nancy Curzon, a dancer in a nightclub. Disgusted with both of his family members, Massy lectures Ruby and his nephew that the latter should bring in income to supplement what his arrogant uncle provides to them (along with her pension) rather than spend it in nightclubs on floozies.
Not long after this family fiasco, someone murders Massy. Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Wake leads the investigation into the homicide of an extremely unpopular snob. Aware that as the spoiled heir to Massy’s vast estate Bobbie has the motive to kill his disagreeable uncle; Wake predominantly focuses on him as the only viable suspect though also to a much lesser degree considers Ruby and Nancy.
Murder In Piccadilly is an entertaining Great Depression era police procedural. The leisurely-paced period piece takes a long time to set the stage due to a vivid depiction of 1930s London and an emphasis on the fractured interrelationships between the present and future Cheldon. Once the homicide occurs and the CI takes over the plot, Charles Kingston’s whodunit turns into an absorbing murder mystery.