Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: The Penguin Pool Murder by Stuart Palmer

Miss Hildegarde Withers is just in time to see a body slide into the penguin pool while on a field trip to the New York Aquarium with her third grade class. She rushes around the corner to the stairway to the behind-the-scenes to see if she can help, but it's too late. Homicide detectives are called, and the place is put on lock down until everyone can be interviewed. Detective Piper arrives; the person who normally takes notes doesn't. Miss Withers volunteers to take notes as he interviews. And so begins her association with the investigation and with Detective Piper.

The Penguin Pool Murder was recently released on May 14th, 2013 by MysteriousPress.com. This mystery was originally released in 1931. It is a historical sort of cozy with a setting of a few weeks after the stock market crash. Some of the language is interesting slang from the time period as well. For example, one line refers to derbies as tin hats. And at 185 pages, it is a short mystery.

I gave this book 3 stars. It was good. I liked it, but I wasn't crazy about it. There were repetitions and some slow parts to the investigation as they got different people's views of what happened. It was interesting to read a cozy set in this time period though. Many of the books I've read in this time period are noir instead. And this mystery did have a sort of understated sense of humor to it as well. For example, Piper is having a conversation with his housekeeper when the phone rings and she wonders who that can be. "You'll never know by standing there. Leap thither," he responds.

If you enjoy The Penguin Pool Murder, there is a whole line of Hildegarde Withers mysteries.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.