Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Verdict of Twelve

Verdict of Twelve. Raymond Postgate. 1940/2017. 208 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: The Clerk of Assize had to have some way of relieving the tedium of administering the same oath year after year.

Premise/plot: Verdict of Twelve is a classic mystery originally published in 1940 in Britain. This mystery has four parts. In the first part, readers meet the twelve jurors. Backstories--some quite detailed--are given for all members of the jury. In the second part, the crime is laid out for readers. This isn't the trial itself. This is a behind-the-scenes glimpse just for readers. In the third part, I believe, the trial occurs and the jury deliberates. The fourth and final part is an epilogue revealing if the jury got it right or wrong.

A young boy dies of poisoning. His aunt stands accused of the crime. Is there enough reasonable doubt to rule her not guilty? That is the question. The defense will argue that four people equally had motive, means, and opportunity. The aunt, the two servants, the boy himself. (The aunt and two servants would inherit a good bit of money if he died. All of the people in the house had access to ivy dust from the ivy plants. All had opportunity to mix ivy dust into the salad dressing.) The defense targets the boy himself--the victim. They argue the boy was trying to murder his aunt, but wasn't smart enough, clever enough to pull it off successfully.

My thoughts: This one was a fascinating yet troubling read. There are scenes from this mystery that may haunt me for years to come. I definitely liked it and would recommend it. While the focus is closely on the twelve jurors, it is a very different type of read than Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose.
© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 comments:

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP