Spinsters in Jeopardy
Detective Roderick Alleyn has been given a special assignment. It is down on the Mediterranean coast. Scotland Yard and international police organizations are trying to stop a ring of suspected drug lords. Alleyn's wife, Agatha Troy, has a cousin near the group's mansion. He decides to combine business with pleasure and takes Troy and their young son Ricky on a vacation in the area.
Things go wrong from the start. First he and Troy both sees what appears to be a murder through the windows of their train. Alleyn is able to discover from the conductor that the building where the murder may have occurred is the one that he is to infiltrate. Then an older spinster from the Caribbean has a ruptured appendix on the train as they near the station. Alleyn and Troy find themselves caring for her and finding a surgeon at that same mansion who can operate on her appendix.
Alleyn has an unorthodox introduction to the people in the ring through this emergency. Unfortunately, Troy and Ricky are also brought in. He meets the different residents and learns about the odd cult that is practiced. His wife and son are finally to get to their hotel. When he arrives later, Ricky is missing. Is he getting too close? What is going on in the strange mansion?
Although this was written in the early 1950's, the story in Spinsters in Jeopardy could have been written today. There are few anachronisms that reveal the time this was written. The drugs being tracked in this novel are still in the headlines today. The religious cult could also exist in our current world. Plus it's a good mystery as well.
Marsh plots a good tale, and Spinsters in Jeopardy is one more that fits in. It is interesting to me that not one but two people know the Alleyns, and at least one of the members of the cult knows that Alleyn is a policeman, yet don't repeat the information. It's also hard for me to believe. That didn't decrease my enjoyment of the novel.
I have to admit, the end of the story shows its time frame. Now the police would have been harsher with some of the participants than Alleyn and his French counterpart are in Spinsters in Jeopardy.
| The Series:
A Man Lay Dead
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