The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy is the perfect read for everyone who is feeling nostalgic for the classic whodunits. Anderson has created a pastiche of Golden Age detective stories, combining all the necessary ingredients for a classic mystery: An estate in the country, an unexpected guest, a secret passage and the gathering of all suspects for the revelation of the murderer.
Like in any good Agatha Christie mystery, there´s a cast of characters and a map of the estate provided, and it does come in handy while trying to keep track of the many characters and their movements (especially at night). Anderson´s approach is of course tongue-in-cheek but while he pokes fun at the classic whodunit, he does so with good humor and it shows clearly that he himself was a fan of the genre.
After the weekend party at the Burford family estate turns into murder and mayhem, and everything than can happen has happened, Anderson introduces his detective, Inspector Wilkins. Wilkins wants to make it clear that he is no Poirot:
`Don´t expect me to solve anything´
is the first thing he says as he is asked to investigate. Obviously, with the theft of a diamond necklace, antique pistols, a Texan millionaire, secret agents, and a body in the lake, one can empathize with Wilkins´ feelings.
The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy is fast-paced, with wonderful characters and a great many twists and turns, and really the only thing one could fault Anderson with is that perhaps he was having a bit too much fun and put in too many characters and plot devices. But since I was having a blast, I won´t complain. I´ve been looking for Christie-like mysteries for a long time, and it feels like Anderson could relate and chose to recreate the Golden Age detective story in his own book.
The great thing is that this book is the first in a trilogy. All three books have been republished as paperbacks by Allison & Busby with wonderful vintage covers.
So if you´re a fan of the classic whodunnit, look no further. And yes, there really is a bloodstained egg cosy! 🙂