William F. Deeck

CHRISTOPHER BUSH – The Perfect Murder Case. Ludovic Travers #2. Wm Heinemann, UK, hardcover, 1929. Doubleday Crime Club, US, hardcover, 1929. US hardcover reprints: P. F. Collier & Son; Grosset & Dunlap [no dates given]. UK hardcover reprint: Howard Baker Ltd, 1970.

   A letter sent to the London dailies and to Scotland Yard tells them that the writer, “Marius,” is going to commit the perfect murder. A second letter is transmitted giving further information, and then a third and final letter sets forth the night and in what area the crime will be committed.

   The murder takes place as outlined, and it indeed appears to be a perfect one. The murdered man is apparently detested by all who know him, including his nephews who stand to inherit a goodly sum. But while Scotland Yard’s investigation focuses on the nephews, each has what seems to be an unimpeachable alibi.

   What Marius had not counted on, however, is the interest taken in the case by Durangos Unlimited and its Enquiry Agency, aided and abetted by the curiosity and insights of Ludovic Travers. Without them, Scotland Yard would have remained baffled, despite the thoroughness of its investigation.

   This is an excellent example of a mystery from the golden age, well written and interesting. If I have any complaint about it, it would be that Travers is not more prominent throughout the book.

— Reprinted from CADS 15, November 1990. Email Geoff Bradley for subscription information.

Bibliographic Note:   Ludovic Travers appeared in a grand total of 61 detective novels, spanning a time period of over 40 years, from 1926 to 1968.