When a counterfeit currency racket comes to light on the French Riviera, Detective Inspector Meredith is sent speeding southwards – out of the London murk to the warmth and glitter of the Mediterranean. Along with Inspector Blampignon – an amiable policeman from Nice – Meredith must trace the whereabouts of Chalky Cobbett, crook and forger.
Soon their interest centres on the Villa Paloma, the residence of Nesta Hedderwick, an eccentric Englishwoman, and her bohemian house guests – among them her niece, an artist, and a playboy. Before long, it becomes evident that more than one of the occupants of the Villa Paloma has something to hide, and the stage is set for murder.
This classic crime novel from 1952 evokes all the sunlit glamour of life on the Riviera, and combines deft plotting with a dash of humour. This is the first edition to have been published in more than sixty years and follows the rediscovery of Bude’s long-neglected detective writing by the British Library.
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John Bude was the pseudonym of Ernest Elmore (1901–1957), an author of the golden age of crime fiction. Elmore was a co-founder of the Crime Writers’ Association, and worked in the theatre as a producer and director. His first two books, The Cornish Coast Murder and The Lake District Murder, were republished as British Library Crime Classics to great acclaim in 2014.Review:
Death on the Riviera by John Bude is a multi-branched mystery that starts out as a search for a counterfeit money maker, extends to the inhabitants of a villa in Riviera, and spawns a murder mystery and some romance along the way. Detective Inspector Meredith and Sergeant Strang have been sent from England to the French Riviera to track down an expert forger. When they arrive, they find their French counterpart, Inspector Blampignon, investigating cigarette smugglers. Working together, the three find their attention focused on the Villa Paloma and the assorted guests and residents of owner, Englishwoman Nesta Hedderwick....Bude keeps this astonishing number of cases, sometimes seeming to overlap and sometimes looking wholly separate, running smoothly. All three of the main detectives and the occasional other police investigators work with painstaking care to sort out the threads and resolve the cases. The characters vary in their depth: Meredith and Strang are the most fully developed and the rest enough to fill their roles without becoming caricatures; the most important part here is the mystery, which has enough variety to keep anyone reading. Bude plays fair with his readers: Looking backward, it is possible to track every step and clue that leads to the conclusions....Death on the Riviera is published by Poisoned Pen Press as part of their release of the British Crime Library books, rediscovered titles from the time between the wars. It has been sixty years since this book was published, and that is sixty years too long....The book is perfect for readers who love Agatha Christie but who have already read through her oeuvre, or for those who enjoy her work but want a slightly different take on the same kind of puzzle....Death on the Riviera comes out 1, 2016. Pre-order from Amazon or Powell's. (NetGalley)
Did I enjoy reading John Bude's Death on the Riviera?! Yes! I might even go so far as to call it a gush-worthy read? Why? Purely because I found it hard to put down, and, just overall satisfying to read. Is it the best ever mystery novel? Probably not. But was it a joy to spend time with? Yes, very much....Inspector Meredith (C.I.D) and Acting-Sergeant Freddy Strang head to Southern France in this mystery novel. They are teaming up with the local police to stop a gang of criminals from printing counterfeit money and introducing it into the currency. The prime suspect--the leader of the gang--is English. But though it is late in coming--very, very late in coming--this one is a murder mystery as well. So there are at least two 'big' stories going on in this delightful golden-age detective novel....Why did I find it so delightful? Probably for me, the number one reason is the characters and characterization as shown off so well in the dialogue. I really, really enjoyed Freddy Strang's presence in this one. And his attempted romance was just cute and sweet in all the right ways. It was never the focus of the book, but, it was like the chocolate bits in a trail mix. I also enjoyed the setting and the plot and the solution....The book was originally published in 1952, and it has been republished in 2016. (NetGalley)
First published in 1952, this welcome reissue in the British Library crime classics series takes Bude's Detective-Inspector Meredith of the C.I.D. and his assistant, Acting-Sergeant Freddy Strang, to the French Riviera, where they get on the trail of a counterfeiter connected with a black market money-changing scam―and are drawn into the lives of the strange ménage at Villa Paloma, the home of rich widow Nesta Hedderwick. There are occasional splashes of witty dialogue and luscious descriptions of the French Riviera; also, every suspect has at least one guilty secret. The mystery trots along at a good pace, although those who expect the death mentioned in the title to occur early on, as it undoubtedly would today, should relax, sit back, and enjoy the ride; you'll get there eventually. Old-fashioned English slang―detectives "take a dekko" at the crime scene, villainous chaps are described as bad hats, and farewells call for a jaunty "cheerio"―adds to the period charm. (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly)
This book does not have a slow part to it! It is always interesting and always mysterious. It is an intelligent mystery with puzzle pieces that won't disappoint! The characters are so eccentric and all have something to hide. And I was continually trying to figure out what each one had to hide! The French Riviera is the perfect setting to give this author a chance to show off his descriptive writing. The characters plus the setting plus just the right amount of humor made this mystery a very original and fun read. (Goodreads)
A good old fashioned murder mystery set on the French Riviera in the 1950's....A story about an eclectic mix of both English and French and their possible involvement in murder....Another great story from the British Library reprinted for everyone to enjoy. (NetGalley)
I really enjoyed this book....it is full of intrigue and action. (Matthew Barnes Carpe Libris)
"Death on the Riviera" is a mystery novel that was originally published in 1952. The first two-thirds of the story covered the hunt for the counterfeit currency criminals. Meredith's assistant spots some vital clues while mooning over a girl. The clever detectives put two and two together and work out who and how. Just as they begin the arrests, though, one of the criminals goes missing and appears to have been killed. Another man commits suicide. Some of the evidence doesn't make sense, so the detectives keep digging until they work out what really happened....While there were clues and you can guess some things from those clues, the detectives tended to keep critical clues to themselves until they were ready to reveal how everything was done. It's a clever puzzle, though, and the characters were interesting and engaging. The romantic subplot added some fun humor....There was no sex. There was a fair amount of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this intriguing, enjoyable mystery. (GenreReviews)
This is my second John Bude novel, and I am now a firm fan....He writes with a light hand, adept characterisation, and a dry sense of humour....Death on the Riviera starts with the secondment of Detective Inspector Meredith to the French Riviera where a counterfeit currency racket has been linked to an Englishman, Chalky Cobbett, a well known crook and forger....Aided by Sergeant Strang and Inspector Blampignon, Meredith follows the clues to Villa Paloma, the residence of an eccentric Englishwoman and her odd assortment of guests. There is smuggling, a clandestine love affair, a wronged husband, a cad, and, of course, a body....This is a highly enjoyable classic murder mystery. (Goodreads)
The first trio of John Bude s mysteries were set firmly on home ground; The Cornish Coast Murder, The Lake District Murder and The Sussex Downs Murder. However, in this later novel, he turns to the more exotic location of the French Riviera. First published in 1952, Bude was, at that time, an extremely successful author and responded to the wish of a public, tired by rationing and austerity, for sunshine and glamour....Detective Inspector Meredith and Acting-Sergeant Freddy Strang are sent to the South of France to investigate a currency racket. The gang producing the counterfeit notes, which are flooding the Riviera, are said to be led by an Englishman, while "Chalky" Cobbett is rumoured to be the forger. On the way, Meredith and Strang meet Bill Dillon, who is also going to the Riviera, to visit the Villa Paloma; owned by wealthy widow, Nesta Hedderwick....This book effortlessly weaves and intertwines the stories of the counterfeit inquiry with those of the inhabitants of the Villa Paloma. For Bill Dillon's visit will lead, ultimately, to murder and both Meredith and Strang become involved the young Freddy Strang not least because he falls in love with Dilys, the niece of Mrs Hedderwick. Other members of the household include Tony Shenton, Kitty Lindon and an artist called Paul Latour, who all have their secrets....Although this novel is set in the early 1950's, it is clear that the war is all still too present not only with Bude's audience of readers, but on the scars it has physically left on the landscape. When Meredith and Strang first meet up with Bill Dillon, the men are trying to negotiate their way out of Dunkirk, with virtually all the roads destroyed and not a single road sign in evidence. Indeed, Dillon recalls being there as a soldier and those memories were all too close to most of the audience reading this book. However, although the war was touched on, what Bude gives us is an enjoyable mystery with secrets galore, some organised crime and a rather touching love story. A good read for anyone who enjoys Golden Age crime novels. (Goodreads)
This book is labeled as a "murder mystery," but the murder does not actually occur until about 3/4 of the way through the book. It begins with Detective Inspector Meredith and Sergeant Strang, who have been sent from Scotland Yard to the French Riviera. They are on the trail of "Chalky" Cobbett, known forger, and is suspected of running a counterfeit ring in the Riviera....The narrative moves between the counterfeit investigation, and the happenings at the Villa Paloma, home of Nesta Hedderwick and a varied crew of house guests. The story weaves the two together nicely, giving the reader background on the residents of the Villa while following the leads that Meredith turns up....For me, it is great fun to read a mystery written 60+ years ago (originally published in 1952). The motives behind the crime are typically the same as a modern mystery jealousy, greed, anger, etc. But socially, the characters behave so differently than they would in 2016. And without cell phones, DNA swabs, and the like, the detectives must rely on their investigative skills and small clues instead of our modern day technology....Mr. Bude approaches Inspector Meredith's detective work in an unusual way. Unlike Sherlock Holmes, who gathers all evidence before constructing a theory, Inspector Meredith loves to think of what might have happened, and then set off to prove if that theory is correct or not....Death on the Riviera may not be a traditional murder mystery in the sense that the murder occurs so late in the book, but it was a fun read. The mystery of the counterfeit ring and search for Chalky made this an entertaining page turner. An excellent outing in classic crime. (NetGalley)
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