Originally published in 1935, this Golden Age mystery from Hay (1894–1979) offers a mesmerizing plot and credible characters. When four first-year students at Oxford's Persephone College gather on the gently sloping roof of a boathouse overlooking the river Cherwell to form a secret society, they notice Myra Denning, the college bursar, lying in a canoe drifting down the river. Upon pulling the canoe to shore, the four undergraduates—Sally Watson, Daphne Loveridge, Gwyneth Pane, and Nina Harson—find that Miss Denning is dead, perhaps drowned. While none of the four was particularly fond of the bursar, they all do what they can to help the police in what becomes a homicide case. Investigating on their own, Sally, Daphne, Gwyneth and Nina manage to unearth secrets that lead to a dramatic conclusion. Readers will be grateful that this classic wasn't lost for present and future mystery lovers to enjoy. (June)
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Another wonderful British Library Crime Classic!~~~This Girls Own story set in Persephone College, Oxford, where the body of the Bursar of the college is found in the river, harks back to exciting stories of plucky girls who investigate and solve mysteries which were so popular in the 1930s.
Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay is one of the novels published during what is considered the Golden Age of British Crime Writing in the 1930s. The authors of crime fiction were very popular at that time and deserve a second chance to delight the mystery lovers of today.
The result is a wonderful “one of us may be the murderer” tangle, encompassing fraud and passion in the college itself. Intelligent, funny, sexy cast, and what do you have? Some marvelous reading, that's what.~~~ Another worthy rerelease in the British Library Crime Classics series.
It was interesting to follow how he sorted out the clues and gathered the needed evidence to arrest the suspect. The antics of the undergraduates were humorous and gave a lighthearted feel to the story.
It’s light entertainment but almost everything about it is delightful and as a piece of golden age detective fiction it feels very fresh.
Death on the Cherwell is my idea of a perfect Sunday afternoon book. It’s a shame that Hay only wrote three mysteries but I’'s lovely to have them now all back in print in this beautifully produced series of British Library Crime Classics.