The Case of the Abominable Snowman

The Case of the Abominable Snowman Nigel Strangeways Is Summoned To Easterham Manor In The Depths Of Winter To Investigate A Series Of Strange Events, Which Culminate In The Apparent Suicide Of A Wealthy Young Woman Whose Behaviour Has Scandalised The VillageAs Nigel Begins His Investigations Into The Dead Girl S Past, It Soon Becomes Clear That Someone In The Manor Is Trying To Hide Something, And They Will Stop At Nothing To Keep Their Secrets Safe

C Day Lewis who was born in Ireland in 1904 He was the son of the Reverend Frank Cecil Day Lewis and his wife Kathleen nee Squires His mother died in 1906 and he and his father moved to London where he was brought up by his father with the help of an aunt.He spent his holidays in Wrexford and regarded himself very much as anglo irish, although when the Republic of Ireland was declared in 1948 he chose British citizenship.He was married twice, to Mary King in 1928 and to Jill Balcon in 1951 and during the 1940s he had a long love affair with novelist Rosamond Lehmann He had four children from his two marriages with actor Daniel Day Lewis, documentary filmmaker and television chef Tamasin Day Lewis and TV critic and writer Sean Day Lewis being three of his children.He began work as a schoolmaster and during World War II he worked as a publications editor in the Ministry of Information After the war he joined Chatto Windus as a senior editor and director and then in 1946 he began lecturing at Cambridge University He later taught poetry at Oxford University, where he was Professor of Poetry from 1951 1956 and from 1962 1963 he was the Norton Professor at Harvard University.But he was by then earning his living mainly from his writings, having had some poetry published in the late 1920s and early 1930s and then in 1935 beginning his career as a thriller writer with A Question of Proof , which featured his amateur sleuth Nigel Strangeways, reputedly modelled on W H Auden He continued the Strangeways series, which finally totalled 16 novels ending with The Morning After Death in 1966 He also wrote four detective novels which did not feature Strangeways.He continued to write poetry and became Poet Laureate in 1968, a post he held until his death in 1972 He was also awarded the CBE.He died from pancreatic cancer on 22 May 1972 at the Hertfordshire home of Kingsley Amis and Elizabeth Jane Howard, where he and his wife were staying He is buried in Stinsford churchyard, close to the grave of one of his heroes Thomas Hardy, something that he had arranged before his death.

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  • Audio CD
  • The Case of the Abominable Snowman
  • Nicholas Blake
  • 11 July 2018
  • 9781531838850

10 thoughts on “The Case of the Abominable Snowman

  1. says:

    First published in 1941, this is the seventh in the Nigel Strangeways mysteries written by Nicholas Blake a pen name for poet laureate Cecil Day Lewis The snow is heavy and the second world war is in its early, unsettled stages Nigel and Georgia Strangeways are invited to stay with Georgia s cousin, Clarissa Cavendish, who is concerned about events at her nearby neighbours house During Christmas Eve, the members of a house party at Easterham Manor were disturbed when, having decided to visit the, supposedly haunted, Bishop s room, the family cat began to act like a dervish , throwing itself repeatedly at the walls Posing as a member of the Society of Psychical Research, Nigel decides to investigate.Soon after arriving at the Manor, it is apparent that the members of the house party are jumpy and tense The house contains Hereward Restorick, his American wife Charlotte, their children John and Priscilla, Uncle Andrew, Aunt Elizabeth Betty , Dr Bogan a specialist in nervous diseases in women, who is treating Elizabeth, plus Miss Eunice Ainsley and author Will Dykes The next day, one of the party is found dead and Cousin Clarissa s disturbing feelings of something being wrong is proved horribly correct This is very much a Golden Age mystery, with lots of twists and turns, intellectual puzzles and some ingenious plotting devices, which you sense the author had great fun with The answer to the mystery lies in the past and Nigel Strangeways has to unearth what happened long ago in a bid to discover a motive for murder in the present There is a great cast of victims and suspects, all bound together in a house surrounded by snow, which gives the book a delightfully isolated atmosphere.During WWII, the author worked as a publications editor in the Ministry of Information, which was later satirised by George Orwell in his classic novel, Nineteen Eighty Four although it is also suggested that Orwell was using the BBC as a model There were no other Nigel Strangeways books published until after the war in 1947, when the series continued with Minute for Murder , also using the Ministry as inspiration For anyone who enjoys classic mysteries, by authors such as Dorothy L Sayers or Agatha Christie, you will almost certainly enjoy the Strangeways series.

  2. says:

    PR I like Mr Strangeways He s my best policeman.JR He isn t a policeman, you spotted pard He s a private impersonator.PR What s that JR It s well, it s a private impersonator., like Sherlock Holmes He puts on a false beard and tracks the criminal to his lair when the police are baffled Priscilla and John Restorick The Corpse in the Snowman 1941 by Nicholas Blake pp 3 4 Unfortunately, the title gives away a huge plot point but that s not too terribly awful because we learn about the dead body in the snowman in the very first chapterwe just don t know who it is Priscilla and John Restorick are gazing out their nursery window at the glorious snowman that they and their beloved uncle had built several weeks ago when the great snow which was now melting had covered the countryside In fact, Queen Victoria as the snowman had been fashioned was looking a bit worse for wear herself When Priscilla returns later after a piano lesson , the children return to the window and stare in fascinated horror as Queen Victoria s face slides right awayleaving another face behind it.The story then goes into flash back mode, taking the reader back to the days just before Christmas when the Restorick family and friends gathered in the Bishop s Room, said to be haunted, to see if they might dredge up a ghost The family cat, Scribbles, behaves very oddly acting as though she might have seen something otherworldly and Clarissa Cavendish, cousin to Nigel Strangeways wife and who has witnessed the scene, feels that something dangerous is going on She invites Nigel and Georgia to stay with her and investigate Nigel is to assume the character of a dabbler in the psychic arts and investigate the strange disturbance in the haunted room.But before Nigel can make much headway, Elizabeth Restorick, wanton daughter of the house, is found dead, apparently of suicide He suspects murder and finds that in this seemingly mild country house there are motives aplenty from money to sex to drugs And plenty of suspects as well from the doctor who was supposedly curing her of a drug habit to a friend who was like a jealous rival to the brother and sister in law who could definitely use the money Elizabeth left behind Nigel and Inspector Blount, who is assigned to the case, discover a twisted story of revenge running through the plot.Murder for Christmas is always an interesting twist for the holidays and Nicholas Blake provides a nice country house murder as a yuletide present with plenty of red herrings and clues to go round A highly enjoyable winter read First posted on my blog My Reader s Block Please request permission before reposting Thanks.

  3. says:

    Ok, so this book was too slow for me Way too slow The mystery was intriguing, and I enjoyed trying to work out the killer, and what actually happened But the books writing style was too old fashioned for me.

  4. says:

    Before PBS and Downton Abbey, we had the British mysteries of the Golden Age These mysteries gave a peek into the lives of the rich upper class world of England Blake s Strangeway mysteries are a prime example of that Strangeways acts as both an insider and outsider allowed into the aristocratic world, but still somewhat of an outsider I particularly enjoyed this book, The Corpse in the Snowman First for Blake s love of the language, his precision in descriptions Second, for it s somewhat unique structure, starting with the grisly discover before skipping back to Stangeways entry into the case, which kept one guessing The book seems a little dated with it s Reefer Madness hysteria over marijuana use, but as a puzzle it s quite enjoyable.

  5. says:

    An example of the author having a good idea, but the novel itself not really living up to it Incredibly, the original title acts as a spoiler, so if you read that version you are just left with a sadly dated detective story With apologies to C.Day Lewis, the poet, who wrote this series of Nigel Strangeways detective stories under a pseudonym.

  6. says:

    Reefer Madness in the snowy English countryside.I like reading old mysteries because they give such wonderful insights into daily life and commonly accepted ideas of the period Sometimes those ideas are appalling and sometimes they re amusing The plot of this book revolves around the death of a young woman from a landed gentry family in rural England Her life has been tumultuous, beginning with an addiction to drugs that started when she was in school That happened in the United States, of course The author would have had a hard time convincing his readers that an Englishman would corrupt a young girl in such a horrifying manner Probably he didn t believe it himself.In some ways, it s a very traditional English manor house mystery It s 1940 and England is at war, but it s the phony war before the air raids started Elizabeth Restorick s very conventional older brother, his regal American wife, and their young children are still ensconced in the ancestral home Their guests are Elizabeth and Andrew the brother who s like her twin and a mysterious doctor who s treating her for her nervous disorder There s also the truculent, lower class writer who s in love with her and a gold digger of a girl friend.Nigel and Georgia Strangeways are called down to stay with her eccentric cousin who lives in the Dower House on the estate She s fond of Elizabeth and worried about her Her fears prove to be prophetic and the Strangeways are again mixed up in murder A huge, spooky haunted, of course country home and snow drifts enforcing the isolation What could be a better scene for a good mystery This is not the best in the series, by a long shot Blake was simply parroting the common beliefs at the time about drugs and drug addiction, but much of it is absurd in the light of what we know today Still, the basic story a young, passionate girl corrupted and her family unable to help her is a timeless and universal theme The story slowly comes into focus as Nigel and Georgia struggle to get past the strong defenses of this secretive family And the elderly cousin is a wonderful, unique character.Blake was a fine writer and even his second best books are still pretty damned good s put some of them on sale and I m buying them and going through them like a buzz saw Blake never got the attention of the famous women of the Golden Age of British mysteries, but he could hold his own, both as a creator of intriguing plots and as a social commentator His books are fast, entertaining reads and leave you with plenty to think about afterwards.

  7. says:


  8. says:

    This was way darker than Malice in Wonderland, for sure But I enjoyed it The pervasive war on the horizon atmosphere was almost a character in itself.

  9. says:

    I d not read Nicholas Blake pen name of Cecil Day Lewis before, but am so glad I gave this one a shot A lovely example of the Golden Age of classic crime, this one is full of twists and turns that will keep even the most modern of readers guessing The characters are vibrantly and liberally drawn, and the plot is refreshingly fleshed out, but expertly paced to keep the pages turning A country manor house in winter, a family full of secrets, an enigmatic and slightly sinister doctor everyone has something to hide, but is it murder This is the seventh of Blake s novels, all but four of which feature detective Nigel Strangeways Strangeways is requisitely odd and brilliant, and solves the seemingly impossible puzzle only after many false starts and much thought and deliberation A wonderful read, well worth your time

  10. says:

    Another good not great Nicholas Blake excellent atmosphere of snow and uncertainty, but laughably dated regarding drug use and What Women Want Were you aware that marihuana causes erotic hallucinations And that it can be smoked or given in candy form My word Such a shame because there s a much less edgy and much human story in here about the relationship between Elizabeth and Andrew that gets tangled up in drugs and cheap psychology and timetables.

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