Friday, November 21, 2014

How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm After They've Seen Rio? The Farm at Paranao (The Farm at Santa Fe) (1935), by Laurence Kirk

Tomorrow should come the full review of Laurence Kirk's suspense novel The Farm at Paranao (The Farm at Santa Fe in UK) (1935), one of the novels I have most enjoyed this year.  I'll have more on Laurence Kirk and his work as well.

For the time being, let me just note that The Farm at Paranao is one of those genus suspensicus marry-in-haste-repent-at-what-little-is-left-of-your-leisure books, about a young Englishwoman, Fanny Verney, escaping life in a stultifying provincial town when she marries a handsome but moody Brazilian farmer (of Scottish derivation). But with this marriage just what has she let herself in for, exactly?

This is a marvelously well-written book that for much of its length is brightly amusing in a satirical style reminiscent of the Crime Queens and the Detection Deans (Innes, Blake, Crispin).  But what happens when Fanny reaches the farm at Paranao?  I'll leave you with the words of a reviewer:

It is a fine yarn, well told, and the publisher's advice not to read the last few chapters in bed is not merely a good may need a sedative.


  1. Don't know his books at all. I vaguely recall seeing his name while perusing the Crime Club Compendium. I like the titles of his other books: Mushrooms on Toast, Red Herring, Ltd., Whispering Tongues... Very evocative. And while I've never needed to take a sedative after reading a book (after a few movies I've seen some knockout drops would've been helpful) I like that teasing recommendation in the review you quoted. Definitely interested in learning more about this book.

    1. John, I thought it would be a good place to stop since I didn't have item for the whole thing. I added that the "Brazilian farmer" was of Scottish derivation, thought I had done that but I hadn't. Kirk actually likes to take potshots at English insularity, so is interesting in that respect. Hope to have the full piece tonight. Whispering Tongues, an earlier book by him, definitely belongs in the mystery category.