Death at the Inn (John Rhode)

By John Rhode

First published: UK, Bles, 1953; US, Dodd Mead, as The Case of the Forty Thieves

Capsule review

Police procedural, with Waghorn on the trail of a criminal gang.  Hard to get excited about.

Contemporary reviews

Observer (Maurice Richardson, 16th August 1953):

Poisoning of a foxy fellow in a very modern village pub prompts a lively Waghorn investigation into a new pilfering racket.  (It sounds rather promising; you order goods and hi-jack them while they are in transit to you.)  Cosily told as ever, with some snug sessions at Westbourne Terrace…but I could do with some more domestic details about Dr. Priestley’s standard of life.  He is becoming rather too dry and phantasmal, like the shadow of a piece of toast melba.  As for that equivocal secretary, Harold Merefield…

NY Times (Anthony Boucher, 7th February 1954, 50w):

Superintendent Jimmy Waghorn’s bit-by-bit unveiling of these clever rackets sustains a fair amount of interest in a story weak on action and characterisation.

San Francisco Chronicle (L.G. Offord, 7th February 1954, 70w):

It’s a pretty good hunt for a gang leader, done (while Waghorn is in charge) in Rhode’s best vein.  C plus.

NY Herald Tribune Bk R (James Sandoe, 14th February 1954, 100w):

This is a police novel, making its way by chain-deduction, and working here at a nicely ingenious puzzle.  And it represents the steady Mr. Rhode in sound form.