Open Verdict (John Rhode)

By John Rhode

First published: UK, Bles, 1956; US, Dodd Mead, 1956

I’ve read this, but don’t remember much.  The ingredients are intriguing (see Maurice Richardson’s review below), but I didn’t like it much.

Blurb (UK)

There was motive enough for the murder of Fred Dunstable, but when Inspector ‘Jimmy’ Waghorn is sent down to the little village of Cradwell to investigate his death, he finds it difficult to be satisfied with any of the solutions offered by the local police.  Whose was the half-smoked cigarette found near the body?  Why did Kenneth Neasden want £100 so desperately?  It is not until further violence has been done that the answers to these and many other questions are found.  An ingeniously contrived plot and a gripping climax.

(US blurb similar)

Contemporary reviews

Observer (Maurice Richardson, 19th August 1956):

Inspector Waghorn, Priestley prompted, unmasks village paranoiac over lightning-lit chess game, to wind up complex case with two killers and an explosive greenhouse.  No wonder they called in the Yard.