Thu 22 Aug 2013
ALISA CRAIG – A Pint of Murder. Doubleday Crime Club, reprint hardcover, 1980. Detective Book Club, reprint hardcover, 3-in-1 edition. Bantam, paperback, 1981; Avon, paperback, 1988 (shown).
Of all the detective murder mysteries that have ever been committed in fiction, a small but sizable number of them have been tackled by a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Tackled and solved, of course. The Mounties always get their men, as everyone well knows.
Ms. Craig does nicely in adding to the total. The case is that of the food-poisoning death of a crotchety but scrupulously careful old lady in the New Brunswick town of Pitcherville. Inspector Madoc Rhys (a Welshman!) is the Mountie who is called in to investigate.
The story, well, it could be likened to a breath of fresh clear Canadian air, containing only the slightest bit of pollution, and that of the sort produced by the gossipy thoughts and attitudes of small village minds with nothing to rein them in.
This is also a book for those who do not mind a little romance mixing it up with their mystery fiction. By book’s end it quite definitely is clear that the Mounties almost always get their women as well.
Rating: C plus.
Vol. 4, No. 4, July-August 1980 (slightly revised).
Bibliographic Notes: This was the first of five books in the Alisa Craig’s Madoc Rhys series. Since I did not mention it at the time, I suspect that I did not know then what I know now: that Alisa Craig was a pen name of Charlotte MacLeod (1922-2005), who under her own name wrote both the Peter Shandy and the Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn series — among many other works of mostly humorous mystery fiction.