My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book is OK, as far as it goes.
It is a thirties crime mystery based around a posh family and their connections, and almost everyone is connected with the art world in some way.
The initial murder, there are more to come, takes place early on during the first viewing of one of the paintings which has been left by a famous artist to be revealed at the rate of one per year.
Some of the characters are so appalling, that I woud have loved to have leapt into the pages of my book and killed them off myself. When I say “appalling,” I don’t mean that they are badly written, quite the contrary, but they are just people that I wouldn’t ever want anywhere near me. So that is good writing, is it not?
The main policeman in the plot is just so straight and humourless, and appears to lack the wit to outsmart a slug on the garden fence, never mind a dangerous criminal. Campion also lacks humour. He is such a serious man who happens to be on the scene due to his long-standing connection with the widow. To me, he seemed to be rather slow in picking up the clues and sorting out the motive and the killer, but I suppose that prolongs the ending.
It may seem a strange thing to say about a story which revolves around the art world, but I got irritated by the amount of art talk and technicalities in this book. Others may love that, but it was not for me.
In summary, the book was OK, I don’t regret reading it, but there are many other books out there that I should prefer to read ahead of another Campion mystery.