Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Review: The Clock Strikes Twelve

The Clock Strikes Twelve
The Clock Strikes Twelve by Patricia Wentworth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Clock Strikes Twelve is basically a "whodunit." The story is set in the 1940's England in a town called Birleton and revolves around the family of Mr. James Paradine. On New Year's Eve, Mr. Paradine calls up Elliot Wray and asked him to urgently come to his home as there was a very serious matter that needed to be attended to. When Elliot arrived, Mr. Paradine informed him that a blueprint was missing but that he is sure it will be found by midnight. Elliot was told that he would have to stay the night.

During the dinner party, Mr. Paradine made an announcement regarding a member of the family being disloyal. He announced that he will wait in his study until midnight for the person to come forward and confess. He left after dinner and went to his study. The family members went for some after dinner coffee and then the party broke off.

The next morning, the butler, Lane, found Mr. Paradine missing from his room and noticed that his bed had not been slept in. After trying to find where Mr. Paradine might be, Lane looked beyond the terrace and found Mr. Paradine's body below. He was dead. The police determined the "fall" was not accidental and they started their investigation.

Patricia Wentworth is a crime fiction writer and Miss Silver is her version of a female detective much like Miss Marple. The book is interesting though I find the fact that Miss Silver tends to cough a lot before she speaks quite irritating. Although it is a good mystery and, no, the butler didn't do it (not even a smidgeon of a hint pointing towards the butler), the story is somewhat slow to develop which is the reason I gave it only three stars.

However, it is a good mystery with nice twists and turns. The reader will never guess who "did it" until near the end of the book. A really good read.

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Posted by: Bames Pabla
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