Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Uneasy Terms

Uneasy Terms. (Slim Callaghan #7) Peter Cheyney. 1947. 240 pages. [Source: Bought]
First sentence: The wind came in from the sea, driving the rain before it. It descended in sheets beating down on the rolling Sussex Downs, forming little rivulets that ran swiftly down the gutters of the winding roads about Alfriston. The wind howled dismally through the woods that topped the long rise of downland behind the village.

Premise/plot: If only the mother could have foreseen that her will would lead to murder...

Viola Alardyse is the oldest daughter. Her inheritance will be lost IF she is married at the time of her mother's death or if she gets married.
Corinne Alardyse is the middle daughter. She gets the inheritance if her older sister marries, but only so long as she remains unmarried herself.
Patricia Alardyse is the youngest daughter. Again, she gets the inheritance if and only if both of her sisters have married and if she herself remains unmarried.

If all three sisters marry, then everything goes to charity.

The book begins with an argument over dinner. The sisters live with their maternal aunt--their mother's sister--and their stepfather--their mother's second husband. The sisters are fighting with each other but also with their stepfather. He shares a startling bit of news: he has heard some rumors and he's going to hire a private investigator to get to the bottom of it.

Enter Slim Callaghan, a private investigator. What will he make of Viola? of Corinne? of Patricia? He won't have a chance to form an opinion of the stepfather--Colonel Stenhurst. Before they can meet, his body is found.

My thoughts: Peter Cheyney is a new-to-me author. This was my first introduction to the British private investigator, Slim Callaghan. He seems to love women and booze. But he stays on task--mainly. Even if he's led in part by his lusty intuition.

I saw a few of the twists coming early on. But I didn't mind because it can be quite satisfying to guess right in a mystery.

'I never take advice, Miss Alardyse,' he said. 'I've found that other people's advice doesn't often interest me. I prefer to make my own mistakes.' He grinned at her, almost insolently. (57)
'I've always believed that as between a client and a private detective there is nothing like the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.' (101)
'I have broad shoulders and I like a lot of clients.' (193)

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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