A murder mystery and Ritter's debut novel. A box very like a coffin discovered on the side of the highway sparks off chaos and pandemonium in the small town of Perry Hollow where the chief of police has never faced anything so grim in this sleepy town.
Fast forward to several murders, each one more grisly than the others, announced by prior fax giving the time and date of the murders - twenty minutes before the murder has actually happened. You have the whole town on its toes, everyone suspect of everyone else, hidden secrets being dragged out and little known facts of the inhabitants of the town gradually come into the open. (lots of interesting information coming out re hitherto very respectable inhabitants!!!).
A thriller with quite a bit of suspense you are kept guessing as to who the murderer is. I did not get it till the very end so that is one way of determining its success.
The whole story of the murder - the whys and wherefores are conducted in a genteel manner more suited to the time the book was published (1954). Everything seems to be quietly conducted and under control in this book as against the Ritter publication where things were more "in your face" and you were very aware of a murder or rather murders taking place.
The murder as told by Ms. Mitchell is so different from the style of writing of Mr Ritter of the first book I reviewed. I did the two reviews together as one subject - gruesome murders - one by a serial killer and the other by a killer who wanted to silence someone - handled so differently and yet both interesting to read in two different ways.
Old Penguin publications are freely available here so I was glad to pick this one up. The Todd Ritter book was a win.