First published: UK, Macdonald, 1948
Good average Travers, entertaining but light-weight. Travers and Wharton on holiday at seaside hotel, where most of the guests are other than they seem—rather like Christie, or Miles Burton’s Something to Hide. Because T. and W. are amateur sleuths, not officially connected with the case but still co-operating with the local police, some of the detection is rather vague, lacking the tightness of Bush at his best; Travers watches the guests and has suspicions more than he gathers facts (no schedule of movements). SPOILER The murderer’s the main suspect. However, in spite of the minimalism, the solution is more complex than the mystery itself, particularly the murderer’s ingenious impersonation scheme (used in The Case of the Magic Mirror).
Has an excellent introduction to Travers and Wharton.
Observer (Maurice Richardson, 29th February 1948):
Christopher Bush is in fairly steady form in The Case of the Haven Hotel, in which Ludovic Travers copes with a piece of drowning. Difficult to spot. Screwy motivation.