Village spinster Miss Penelope Blow travels to London to see Inspector Littlejohn of Scotland Yard. Before the Inspector returns, Penelope’s nephew Harold forces her to return home. By the time Littlejohn visits, the town is playing a Dead March for Penelope Blow at her funeral.
Despite Penelope’s death being ruled accidental, Littlejohn investigates. Miss Penelope has fallen to her death from her second floor bedroom while watering her daffodils in a flower box. By all accounts, the flower box was sturdy. Could someone have pushed Penelope to her death?
The eight suspects include Penelope’s sister, Honoria, her nephews, Ralph and Harold, and Ralph’s wife Leonore. The servants also within the house include her confidant, Minshull the housekeeper, Frazer the cook, Jelley the footman, and Mrs. Peevey the charwoman. The Inspector quickly determines that Penelope was trying to ask him to investigate the possible arsenic poisoning of her sister, Honoria. After Penelope’s death, the family doctor reveals that arsenic poisoning truly is the cause of Honoria’s sickness. Earlier, another sister has died in the house of similar symptoms without suspicion. What is going on in the Blow family home? Who is targeting the sisters and why? Inspector Littlejohn is determined to find out!
Dead March for Penelope Blow is a traditional silver-age British police procedural. World War II is thankfully over and people can get back to their usual skullduggery. This is a perfect book for armchair detectives. All the clues are in plain sight though the red herrings are spotlighted more clearly. It is a fun and quick read. 4 stars!
Thanks to Agora Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.