William F. Deeck

JOHN M. PATTERSON – Doubly Dead. Doubleday, US, hardcover, 1969. Curtis #6118, US, paperback, no date. First published in the UK by Robert Hale, hardcover, 1969.

   Can recuperation be considered a holiday? I certainly hope so. Recovering from influenza, Henry Moffatt goes with his wife, Poncie, to regain his strength with Henry’s old friend, Piers Hartley, on the Isle of Jersey. For a while the visit is idyllic, but then murder intrudes and Poncie is a prime suspect.

   Lots of humor here, with some interesting and likable characters, though the baddies are a bit too evidently villainous. Crime-novel readers who like the scenic tour will be especially pleased, for the author provides fascinating information about Jersey.

   As I was reading this novel, I got the impression there was at least one with Henry and Poncie preceding it. It turns out though, to be Patterson’s only mystery. A pity.

— Reprinted from MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL, Vol. 6, No. 2, Summer 1990, “Vacation for Murder.”