Whodunit, British Library, Crime Classic, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L. Sayers
Annie Haynes was born in 1865, the daughter of an ironmonger.
By the first decade of the twentieth century she lived in London and moved in literary and early feminist circles. Her first crime novel, The Bungalow Mystery, appeared in 1923, and another nine mysteries were published before her untimely death in 1929. Sadly there is no known photograph of Annie Haynes still in existence.
Who Killed Charmian Karslake? appeared posthumously, and a further partially-finished work, The Crystal Beads Murder, was completed with the assistance of an unknown fellow writer, and published in 1930.
“Nobody would have murdered him,” Miss Lavinia cried. “Everybody liked John!”
“I’m afraid it is evident that someone did not.”
The body lay face downwards in a foot of water at the bottom of the ditch. Up to the present it has not been identified. But a card was found in the pocket with the name of –
“Owing to the sudden death of Miss Charmian Karslake this theatre is closed until further notice. Money for tickets already booked will be refunded.”
“Early this morning a gruesome discovery was made by a gardener employed at Holford Hall in Loamshire...”
“A crime of a peculiarly mysterious nature was perpetrated some time last night in a block of flats called Abbey Court.”
Protruding from the dead woman’s breast was the gold and jewelled dagger she had shown them half an hour before. And, looking horribly incongruous among the laces of her fichu, a deep stain was spreading.
“I cannot understand why Mr. Bechcombe apparently offered no resistance. His hand-bell, his speaking-tube, the telephone—all were close at hand. It looks as though he had recognized his assassin and had no fear of him.”
“He had his tea as usual; when I knocked at the door with the tray (he always had afternoon tea), I found him—like this.”
“There’s no dirty trick he wouldn’t play—it’s my belief that he wouldn’t even stop at murder!”
“Who knows if he didn’t make away with her here? Those things found in the Home Coppice show that she was made away with plain enough, I say.”
Glancing at her more closely, he noticed dark stains on her white gown. Horror-struck, he bent over her for a moment, and realised that it was unmistakably a corpse.
“As for books,” Sir Oswald said, “I don’t care for them. Unless I get hold of a good detective story. The tracing out of crime always has a curious fascination for me.”