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The Rising of the Moon (Beatrice Lestrange Bradley, Bk 18)
The Rising of the Moon - Beatrice Lestrange Bradley, Bk 18 Author:Gladys Mitchell It was only the moonlight, of course, that made everything seem so unfamiliar and sinister. There was no real need to be frightened of the solitary figure leaning on the bridge, though the thing that shone for a moment in his - or her - hands seemed to be a knife. But somehow the two small boys who watched from the shadows didn't like the looks ... more »of what they saw.
The next day their suspicions were confirmed; a murderer stalked the queer old streets, alleys and towpaths of the Thames-side town where they lived. They resolved, like any right-minded boys, to do some detective work - but were soon horrified by the direction in which the clues seemed to point.
Desperately they tried to lay a false trail. Then the formidable Dame Beatrice Lestrange Bradley arrived. She understood boys as well as she understood the mind of a murderer, and she was prepared to use the one to catch the other. So, on a summer night beneath a gibbous moon, the two boys set out to keep a horrifying appointment on Dead Man's Bridge ...
The Rising of the Moon is certainly Gladys Mitchell's most haunting book. The distinguished detective story writer and critic, Edmund Crispin, goes further. "It is," he says, "one of the dozen best crime novels that I know."« less
A good mystery, but neither as good as the reviews quoted on my edition would suggest, nor as creepy as the description would like one to believe. For one thing, although I never try to guess the murder in books, it was fairly obvious even halfway through who it was. Also, the sense of creepiness came and went a lot (I find this a regular problem with Gladys Mitchell--I get the feeling that something in the ancient-and-sinister-horrors is due, but it never materializes). I guess it's the most consistent of Mitchell's books that I've read, but everyone seems to consider it head-and-shoulders above the rest, so I may not bother to search out any more, because if it doesn't get better than this, I think I'll go re-read something really good instead.