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Barbara Worsley Gough

Alibi Innings

Michael Joseph 1954
Jacket design by Freda Nichols

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Cricket Mysteries

TAKE some Wodehouse and some Thirkell and a pinch of Zuleika Dobson an engaging mixture which, according to one reviewer,, went to' make up Barbara Worsley-Gough's last novel, the delightfully light-hearted Tfie Sly Hy&ia. Now, in Alibi Innings, she!adds the ingredients of mystery and suspense. The scene—a typical, quiet English occasion —the annual cricket match between the Squire's eleven and the village side; the sensation—the disconcerting discovery that the Squire's wife has met death by murder before a ball has been bowled. To be murdered on such an occasion—the great day to which the Squire usually looked forward for six months and enjoyed in retrospect for the next six months—was perhaps typical of Elizabeth Elliot; she had always been the fly in the ointment, as contemptuous of her husband's passion for cricket as she was of his pedigree cattle and his quiet country life. The only detectable sweetness about her was in the saccharine of her trashy but highly successful novels. Not surprising that she should be murdered, nor that almost everyone at the Manor had excellent reasons for wishing her out of the way. Not surprising, but bewildering for the police and highly entertaining for the reader, for whom Barbara Worsley-Gough has contrived a most ingenious mystery, embellished with refreshing humour and a gallery of characters drawn with a nicely malicious wit.

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