Sunday, 14 August 2016

Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles

"It was not until several weeks after he had decided to murder his wife that Dr Birkleigh took any active steps in the matter."

It is hard to believe that this little corker was published way back in 1931 by Anthony Berkeley, there is something delightfully quirky and somewhat timeless about it. Certainly divorce is more acceptable today, however, it can still bring difficulties in relation to financial and social standing and murder of a spouse is sadly, still a possibility today. That being said, this tale is more of the comedic style.

 The pathetic lovelorn Dr Birkleigh, a notorious trouser snake, meets his match in lady player, Madeleine. Clearly in thrall, he begins to plot the murder of his annoying wife, Julia when she refuses to divorce him. His chemistry experiments prove lethal. The inner monologue of the beleaguered Dr Birkleigh will have you turning the pages with glee and will no doubt illicit the odd chuckle or two.

Getting away with his wife's murder might just be the start of Dr Birkleigh's complications, as you will discover should you read this yourself.

5 out of 5 opiates should only be consumed in moderation.

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