|No, it's not the Orient Express....|
More snow came. It floated down from its limitless source like a vast extinguisher. Sweepers, eager for their harvest, waited in vain for the snow to stop. People wondered whether it ever would stop."
--Jefferson Farjeon, Mystery in White (1937)
|A classic English mystery setting|
As the splendid dust jacket reveals, a train is involved too, albeit briefly. Like Agatha Christie's Orient Express, this train gets stalled by snow. Five passengers--a clerk, a chorus girl, an elderly paranormal investigator and a genteel brother and sister--make their way off the train with their luggage to find a connection at a nearby station.
The wayfarers get lost in the snow, of course, but providentially they come upon a large country house, front door unlocked. No one seems to be in the house (though what was that noise in the attic?!), but fires are set and the table is properly laid for tea (though what's that bread knife doing on the floor...).
|Was the bread knife used on something|
|Dorothy L. Sayers|
declared Jefferson Farjeon
"quite unsurpassed for creepy skill
in mysterious adventures"
English thriller tales from the 1920s and 1930s generally have a bad reputation today, frequently being condemned for their exhibitions of racism and xenophobia. Certainly this is true of much of the work of the egregious Sydney Horler, say, or the more talented but still sometimes admittedly quite objectionable H. C. McNeile ("Sapper").
|Some Golden Age crime thrillers by Sapper|
have a rather unpleasant edge
|H. C. McNeile ("Sapper")|
creator of Bulldog Drummond
a kindler, gentler English thriller writer
|Mystery in White (1937) shares a certain affinity|
with The Mousetrap (1952)
For more on Jefferson Farjeon, see http://thepassingtramp.blogspot.com/2011/11/another-pass-by-jefferson-farjeon-1883.html and http://thepassingtramp.blogspot.com/2011/11/passing-tramp.html
|My ex-library copy of Mystery in White|
(obviously nearly read to death)