The Holly House Mystery by John Bainbridge

What a delightful read this was, albeit with the poignancy always present in a murder mystery.


A young housemaid has been found murdered and police and villagers are snowed in as the investigation takes place. Nearly everyone is hiding some kind of mystery or secret. The characters are very well drawn: those that appear to be set up as stereotypes at the start, such as the “gold-digging actress”, turn out to have far more depth and pathos.

I honestly didn’t guess the murderer until the end, even though clues were carefully laid! I fell for a couple of red herrings and had quite a different murderer in mind.

A very engaging mystery, highly recommended for classic detective fiction fans. Beautifully written in terms of the vintage setting and the descriptions.

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