Dr. Goodwood’s Locum (John Rhode)

By John Rhode

First published: UK, Bles, 1951; US, Dodd Mead, 1951, as The Affair of the Substitute Doctor


I’ve read this, but can’t remember a thing.


Blurb (UK)

The activities of the medical profession have always interested writers of mystery novels, and this is not the first time that the ingenious mind of John Rhode has been attracted to this promising field, as will be remembered by readers of his masterly Death in Harley Street.  The chief merit of the present book is, however, its intensely dramatic conclusion which comes as a complete surprise, although it is based on a mass of data patiently collected by the industrious Jimmy Waghorn.

But it was left to the Sage of Westbourne Terrace to marshal these facts and draw the logical conclusion…


Contemporary reviews

Observer (Maurice Richardson, 28th January 1951):

Starts with nice cosy sudden death—poisoning obviously—of the prize patient (pre-Bevan) of a country practice.  Becomes increasingly tangled until they have to call in Dr. Priestley.  Ingenious plot behind it; interest is held all the way.  Best Rhode for several books.

San Francisco Chronicle (L.G. Offord, 1st July 1951, 70w):

If you like your mysteries solemn, transparent and almost static, here you are.

The Saturday Review (Kathleen Sproul, 21st July 1951):

Dr. Goodwood, vacationing, always left his London suburb practice to a locum.  But this year sudden death and murder call him rudely back.  Yard’s Wagstaff and Dr. Priestly solve.  Usual slow Rhodean pace, which always appears plodding—until you realize you’ve been enjoying every word and savoring top mystery.  Quality unflagging.