Saturday, June 22, 2024

Alibi For A Corpse

Alibi for a Corpse / Elizabeth Lemarchand
Sapere Books, 2018, c1969.
217 p.

This is the third Pollard and Toye novel I've read, and it's 3rd in the series. It starts in a peaceful countryside, a retreat for a family with two young children. That peace is broken when the two children find a skeleton in the boot of a car in a nearby scrapyard. 

There are men without a past living in remote houses, snooping ladies in the town who watch out their windows at all times and may have seen Something, a local witch/herbalist (depends who's asking), blustering farmers, and of course the precocious children. Who can shed light on who the skeleton might have been - a local? a rambler? Who has seen something they may not have known was important? That's the tangle that Pollard & Toye are called in to investigate in this story. 

It's a bit convoluted, with dead ends and red herrings abounding. And Pollard using the children as lookouts is a bit iffy! However, the setting was great; I could feel both the quiet and the undercurrents of the small town & its unusual inhabitants. 

Once again Pollard spends a lot of time going over the facts of the case in detail for the reader to follow, just in case you missed it the first time. These parts are a bit dull and feel like outlining stuck in for page count. And once again, Toye works his charm and gets fed everywhere he goes, making people relaxed enough with him to give away things without realizing.  

It was good, although I did like the first two more -- it was funny that I started this book at the same time as another one (not a mystery) that opened in a similar way. The setting is a strong element of this story, and I really enjoyed that part. But I think I've had enough Pollard & Toye for a while, even if there are 17 books in this series! She is a serviceable writer with some interesting concepts but she doesn't reach the heights of a Christie or a Wentworth. 


  1. It's certainly an intriguing title! Our library unfortunately only has three of her books, from later in the series.

  2. I've come across another of her books later in the series at a thrift store so maybe one more read is coming up!


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