Wednesday, April 3rd, and time again for Shelf Control. Shelf Control is a weekly feature, hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and is all about celebrating the books waiting to be read on your TBR pile. To participate, all you do is pick any book and write a post about it, linking back to Lisa’s page. Do also leave your links in the comments as I’d love to check out your selections.

So the last couple of months I have been trying to pick books from my TBR for this feature which also fall into my reading theme for that month, and I am going to try and continue that attempt this month as well. This month, my theme is the 1930s, and I’ll be reading books written in that decade (reading plans here). So as part of that, my first pick for Shelf Control this month is a British Library Crime Classic, Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon.

What it’s all about: This is of course a mystery, one of my favourite genres. The story is set around a hunting party hosted one autumn by Lord Aveling at his country home Bragley Court. Guests include a mystery novelist, an artist, a journalist, and an actress. John Foss, injured at the local train station, is brought to the house to recuperate, and is the thirteenth guest. But suddenly, a painting is mutilated, a dog stabbed, and a man strangled, followed by other deaths. Detective Inspector Kendall investigates!

This book, first published in 1936, sounds like a perfect classic country house mystery which is something I really enjoy reading. A seemingly harmless country house party with guests that harbour secrets, one of them perhaps turning out to be a murderer–it can certainly make for some interesting reading! This book seems to have received mixed reviews, though a few of my GR friends have liked it very much. I have read one other book by this author before, The Z Murders, which I had mixed feelings about (review here), but the plot of this one, especially the country house setting, makes me want to give it a try all the same. [I also have another of his, Mystery in White on my TBR pile for this month!]

The Author: Joseph Jefferson Farjeon (1883-1955) was an English writer, screenwriter, and playwright. He has written numerous works of detective and other fiction under his own name and pseudonyms, besides plays and short story collections (A full list is on wikipedia here, and while I was too lazy to count, there are well over eighty books on the list).

Have you read this book or any other book by J. Jefferson Farjeon? Which one/s? How did you find it/them? Looking forward to your thoughts!


5 thoughts on “Shelf Control #38: Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon

  1. I fear (and I may have mentioned this before) that all I know about J Jefferson Farjeon is that he was the brother of Eleanor Farjeon, writer of the lyrics to ‘Morning has Broken’ (made famous in a version sung by Cat Stevens) and the author of the wonderful fairytale collection The Little Bookroom. You’ve highlighted Jefferson’s mysteries here before, I think, but that’s as far as I’ve got!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this one a while ago, and while it wasn’t one of my favourites of the BL series, I enjoyed it. I seem to remember there being a huge cast of characters (as the title suggests) and the plot being quite convoluted. But it’s well written as most of these Golden Age mysteries were, and entertaining. Hope it works for you!

    Liked by 1 person

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