Answer in the Negative, Henrietta Hamilton

Hello my loves!

I can’t believe we’re here. Here! I have posted consistently. I have actually been posting weekly! Who am I?!

Whoever I am, I am back with a review for Answer in the Negative by Henriette Hamilton. Originally published in 1959, this little mystery has recently been re-published by Agora Books. The protagonist couple, Johnny and Sally Heldar, own a bookshop – my interest, obviously – and in their spare time, solve murders. As one does.

Unless I am much mistaken, this is actually not the first in the series, which at this point is I think just something I do/happens to me. I can’t actually be certain, because Goodreads has nothing for me here, but there are references to previous crime-solving in the book which lead me to believe this adventure may occur after the characters have been established in previous arcs.

Regardless: this was a cool story. Now, it was written in a different time, by someone who had been born and grown up in an even earlier time so the writing style is quite different to modern cozy mysteries. I actually enjoyed this – there is a certain je ne sais quoi to the amazing courtesy of earlier-generation writers that Ms. Hamilton exemplifies. I found this easy to read, and with an interesting plot to boot! There are stage plays, there are Press Archives, there are love triangles (mostly polite ones, these characters are British after all), there’s a bit of everything and because it’s a British setting it is all remarkably polite. I didn’t guess the murderer until toward the end, either, which is a point for the book and the writer.

This was a lovely read, and worth the time investment on your part if you do enjoy cozy mysteries!


Disclaimer: an electronic copy of this book was provided to me by Netgalley in exchange for review. As you should known by now, where a book comes from does not affect what I think about it. I’m just quite good at curating books I actually want to read.

Image credit: cover image from the publisher’s website.

Categories: Book Reviews, Mystery

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