Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon

This is another delightful mystery written in 1936 by J. Jefferson Farjeon and
currently being republished by Poisoned Pen Press.   I read The Z Murders a little
while ago and ever since I saw the cover of THIS one have been champing at the bit.


This one, again—author so clever!–starts off with a train station in England and we’re off to a weekend visit at an estate in the country!  Bragley Court.
Wanna go?

“The indoor and outdoor staff numbered twenty-six, and each member had been trained to meet any situation or emergency with smoothness and efficiency.”


I loved the title and dutifully wrote down the names of all the guests so I’d be ready for the solution with all my facts in a row.

Do you suspect the gossip journalist? the artist? the beautiful actress?  maybe
the noble Sir James Earnshaw . . .

One of the guests is a silly woman author—Edyth Fermoy-Jones.  We hear, and
so does everyone else, more about her mystery novels than we care to.  The author,
Farjeon, though, does have some fun with her name—with her being referred to
as Edyth  Jones (forgetting the Fermoy to her annoyance) and another time having
her called as MRS. Fermoy-Jones.  Names are everything, aren’t they?

After I had pondered the great cover for hours, I started the book and —–hey! don’t
go over to Amazon to read about it—they tell too much!!  I did and they did, annoying.
Luckily, in a page or two more I would have found out anyway, but hold off–that’s my

Couple of murders, a stag hunt with hounds, a missing bicycle, strange noises in the
night.  The book has everything—even a Chinese cook.  Good grief.

The police inspector is called in.  I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t the same
one as in The Z Murders–with his sergeant who wrote some notes in blue and some
notes in red, but I mustered on.

The mystery keeps your attention and it does all wrap up pretty satisfactorily–for
those who are still alive!  The guests will all leave on Monday morning and there is
to be a last long Sunday to get through–I could picture it.

Pretty good!  I like the characters, the plot is good—I think I’ll keep reading Mr.
Farjeon when I can find him.

Some people think my “button” system should go out of bounds for mysteries.
How can you compare Agatha Christie to Leo Tolstoy?  So, I have a new one-to-
five button policy for mystery books . . .

This one’s a four mystery button:

Four MYSTERY button review

Four MYSTERY button review


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2 Responses to Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon

  1. booksilver says:

    Looks like a winner!
    Will you be going back to re-rank previous mysteries to bring them into the new system?
    Seems only fair….

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