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Old 08-12-2023, 02:43 AM   #1
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Quince, James: Casual Slaughters. v1. 12 Aug 2033

The story opens with the members of the Parochial Church Council meeting to discuss the sorry condition of the churchyard, “a wilderness of nettles varied by cheap marble monuments.” Upon beginning to rehabilitate the graveyard, a murdered body is found — and then a second! What is going on?

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“Not often is a murder mystery a comedy, too, but that is what James Quince makes of “Casual Slaughters”. The murder is wicked enough, but the humor lies in a Devon church council’s self-assumed duty to investigate it after Scotland Yard has retired satisfied with a coroner’s open verdict. The villagers are pawkily drawn, their sleuthing is unsubtle but effective, and their ultimate finding is quite Solomonic. An unusual and intriguing yarn.”

(— 1935 contemporary newspaper review)

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James Quince was the pseudonym of James Reginald Spittal (1876-1951), a British clergyman, who was at one time the vicar at Holy Trinity church in Lambeth. He wrote three detective novels: The Tin Tree (1930); Notice To Quit (1932); Casual Slaughters (1935).

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First published in 1935. this book is in the public domain where copyright is “Life+70” or less.
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