The Case of the Platinum Blonde (Christopher Bush)

By Christopher Bush

First published: UK, Cassell, 1944

Bush - TCOT Platinum Blonde.JPG

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A pleasingly detailed village problem with two shootings, to which Ludovic Travers propounds two solutions.  The surprise ending is well-clued, but the reader should be able to anticipate it.  Half the village is either blackmailing or being blackmailed by the other half, which may be termed excessive coincidence!

Contemporary reviews

Times Literary Supplement (Maurice Willson Disher, 16th September 1944): Why are amateur detectives addicted to keeping incriminating evidence from the police?  In The Case of the Platinum Blonde Mr. Christopher Bush prompts the question and answers it.  Major Travers finds clues enough and to spare around the latest corpse that comes his way.  By pocketing one of each variety he is able to indulge his fancy for truculent and exasperating behaviour, but that is merely an excuse for the moment.  In the end he justifies his conduct so thoroughly that in future amateur detectives will be able to continue the bad habit without objection.  Readers who have asked “Why?” impatiently at the beginning of this book will be twice shy.

Observer (Maurice Richardson, 8th October 1944): Meanwhile, in a village on the Sussex Downs, Christopher Bush’s perky old Ludovic Travers is investigating The Case of the Platinum Blonde, and once again deceiving his horrible friend George Wharton.  This is another of Mr. Bush’s sound and thorough murder mysteries with a scorpion’s sting in its tail.

The Saturday Review (19th February 1949): Ludovic Travers engages in provocative palaver with bearded British religious crank, later finds him murdered, and refers matters to Supt. Wharton.  Two murders—and three deaths—satisfactorily elucidated by ailing amateur, with finish that packs really unusual surprise.  Best British Brand.

NY Times (Isaac Anderson, 20th February 1949, 170w): This is not one of Mr. Bush’s better efforts.

New Yorker (26th February 1949, 100w): Travers becomes involved in a murder that has two possible solutions…  In neither instance, unfortunately, is the reader who likes to work things out provided with the necessary information, but the plot is both intricate and ingenious.