William F. Deeck

JOAN COGGIN – Who Killed the Curate? Hurst & Blacken, UK, hardcover, 1944; paperback reprint, no date. Rue Morgue Press, US, softcover, 2001.

   At first sight, and at second and third I would argue, Lady Lupin Lorrimer would seem an unlikely person to become the wife of a clergyman. At twenty-two she is a social butterfly, indeed possesses the brain of that creature, one moreover that was dropped on its head when it was a baby. But marry she does, to the Rev. Andrew Hastings, vicar of Glanville, somewhere on the English coast.

   With no preparation, Lady Lupin is thrust into the parish’s affairs — the Mother’s Union, the Girl Guides, Foreign Missions — of which she knows little, that usually in error, and learns less. She also has to deal with the death of the parish’s curate, who may or may not have died from eating fish at the vicarage. Sort of a dimwitted Pamela North, Lady Lupin, along with her friends, becomes embroiled in the investigation.

   Not a particularly good mystery, but a quite amusing novel.

— From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 13, No. 2, Spring 1991.

Editorial Note:   For a long informative essay on the life of Joan Coggin, check out the Rue Morgue Press page for her on their website here. In recent years Rue Morgue has published all four of the titles below, each one for the first time in the US.

         The Lady Lupin Hastings series —

Who Killed the Curate? Hurst 1944.
The Mystery of Orchard House. Hurst 1947.
Why Did She Die? Hurst 1947.
Dancing with Death. Hurst 1949.