Death of a Fool (Kobo eBook)
Folkways turn fatal in a very old-fashioned English village, in this witty mystery filled with “ingenious” detective work (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
The village of South Mardian likes the old ways. The very old ways. This may be 1957, but South Mardian still features a blacksmith, a village idiot, and an elaborate fertility ritual performed at the winter solstice. There’s squabbling, of course, and worse—like when one of the ritual’s main players is found beheaded, everything north of his neck having been neatly lopped off by a ritual sword. Inspector Alleyn does have to contain a certain incredulous amusement at the village’s fetishistic embrace of the eighteenth century—he does not, for example, have a real passion for morris dancing—but he’ll try to keep a straight face long enough to find the killer and let South Mardian return to the warm embrace of pre-Industrial Britain.
“A peerless practitioner of the slightly surreal, English-village comedy-mystery.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The doyenne of traditional mystery writers.” —The New York Times