By Miles Burton
First published: UK, Collins, 1950
I read this a decade ago, and liked it. Three murders, one very clever, in a seaside town.
To give crime a rest was the good intention of Desmond Merrion when he took himself and his wife for an early holiday to a quiet seaside resort. Before a few days had passed, however, three inexplicable deaths had occurred in Shellmouth. The last to die was the first to be proved beyond doubt the victim of murder, though Merrion had already had his suspicions about old Colonel Delabole and the wealthy Mrs. Worthing. The odd thing was that while each suspect might have had a good motive for murdering one person, the deaths of the other two were distinctly to his disadvantage, and it seemed unlikely that there were three murderers operating independently in so small a community. Scotland Yard is called in, and Inspector Arnold finds his old friend Merrion a great help.
Observer (Maurice Richardson, 12th March 1950): Desmond Merrion, on holiday in a select residential watering place of the kind that Budleigh Salterton used to be, has to solve three murders. The first introduces a strikingly new method: a supersonic wave apparatus introduced into the colonel’s ear trumpet. Readable enough in its old-fashioned, consequential style.