Thu 28 Jul 2011
William F. Deeck
RICHARD GOYNE – The Lipstick Clue. Stanley Paul, UK, hardcover, 1954. No US edition.
Collectors of clergyman detectives may want to try Goyne’s series featuring The Padre — the Rev. Peter Eversleigh — whom I do not remember seeing on lists of clergy detectives.
One of the reasons The Padre may not have made such lists is that his denomination, at least in this novel, is not revealed, though I would speculate on High Anglican. Another reason, again at least in this novel, is that Eversleigh may as well have been a lawyer or a doctor or unemployed, for that matter.The religious aspect is negligible.
Still, the plot is a good one. A retired colonel, who is something more than a scoundrel, asks his estranged family to give him another chance as a father. For reasons unclear at the start, they all do come to spend the weekend with him, despite each of them despising him for various reasons. As is to be expected, the not-so-good colonel finishes the first night of the weekend dead to the last drop.
The Padre had been invited as a sort of leavening for the group. He ends up investigating the murder, discovering what is in some respects an unusual motive for killing, and learning who the murderer was. An interesting case that makes one not reluctant to read the other novels in which The Padre appears — for the detectival aspect, not for his role as a clergyman.
The Peter Eversleigh (The Padre) series –
The Crime Philosopher (n.) Paul 1945.
Savarin’s Shadow (n.) Paul 1947.
The Dark Mind (n.) Paul 1948.
Traitor’s Tide (n.) Paul 1948.
The Courtway Case (n.) Paul 1951.
The Lipstick Clue (n.) Paul 1954.
Besides a long list of books under his own name, Richard Goyne (1902-1957) is credited with another two dozen or so as by John Courage, plus a scattered handful under the names Aileen Grey, Scarlet Grey, Kitty Lorraine, Paul Renin & Richard Standish.
Other series characters under his own name are: Paul Templeton (13), Sexton Blake (2), and Supt. “Tubby” Greene (2).