Wednesday, the 22nd of April–time for Shelf Control! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, where you got it, and such. If you participate, link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks!

Today my pick is a mystery once again, A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia by Clara Benson. This is the first in the series of mysteries featuring reporter Freddy Pilkington-Soames. I have ‘met’ Freddy before in the Angela Marchmont series by the author (which I have also featured a few times on this blog) where we first come across him in the fourth Angela Marchmont book, The Riddle at Gypsy’s Mile. In that one, he is a guest at the house Angela is visiting, and assists her in solving the case; then he is also a fellow-guest at Fives Castle in book er… five. He comes across in these books as a very Wodehousian character–something like Freddie Threepwood but with brains.

A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia is his first solo adventure, set in 1929. The victim–Ticky Maltravers, toast of London high society, adored by all–but perhaps not really so, since someone poisons him. Various people actually wished him dead and there are plenty of secrets they wish to hide. Freddy, ‘newpaper reporter and man about town’ ends up coming upon the corpse when he is drunk; and it seems his mother has tampered with the evidence. If that wasn’t enough, a pretty girl with blue eyes seeks his help in solving the mystery. And so he must hide the wrong clues, find the right ones and solve the mystery before the police catch on to things.

Freddy, in the Angela Marchmont books, is a fun character (somewhat Wodehousian, as I said) who manages to make contributions to solving the case amidst a bit of foolery, so it will be fun to see how he fares on his own. I expect this book (in fact the series) to have more of a comic touch and tone than the Mrs Marchmont books which are fun but still ‘serious’ if that makes sense, and am looking forward to reading this one, especially since I really enjoy reading the Angela Marchmont books, even when I can guess whodunit.

Have you read any books in this series? Which ones and how did you like them? Have you read any of the Angela Marchmont ones? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Cover image from Goodreads as always; book description as well: here

Some of my previous posts on Clara Benson’s books: here, here, and here

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