by Marvin Lachman

PATRICIA MOYES – Falling Star. Collins Crime Club, UK, hardcover, 1964. Holt Rinehart & Winston, US., hc, 1964. US paperback reprints: Ballantine U2244, 1966; Owl, 1982.


   The publisher Holt, Rinehart, and Winston has been reprinting most of the mysteries of Patricia Moyes in its Owl series, and Falling Star has been one of them. While it is not one of her stronger books, most other authors would be glad to claim it.

      The motive and murder methods are not convincing, however, and the number of suspects too limited for a really strong puzzle. Nonetheless, the author’s experiment of eschewing third-person narration in favor of a story teller who is a movie executive and also a bit of a prig (and not too bright) works well.

   Also, Moyes’s series detective, Henry Tibbett, continues to be likable and efficient, if somewhat bland.

– From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 10, No. 3, Summer 1988          (slightly revised).

From Wikipedia:


    “Patricia Pakenham-Walsh, aka Patricia Moyes, was an Irish-born British mystery writer. [She] was born in Dublin on January 19, 1923 and was educated at Overstone girls’ school in Northampton. She joined the WAAF in 1939. In 1946 Peter Ustinov hired her as technical assistant on his film School for Secrets. She became his personal assistant for the next eight years.

    “Her mystery novels [beginning with Dead Men Don’t Ski in 1959] feature C.I.D. Inspector Henry Tibbett. One of them, Who Saw Her Die (Many Deadly Returns in the US) was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1971.

    “She married photographer John Moyes in 1951; they divorced in 1959. She later married James Haszard, a linguist at the International Monetary Fund. She died at her home in the British Virgin Islands on August 2, 2000.”