Death Walks in Eastrepps (1931) by Francis Beeding

Today’s book was a re-read, for me. I remember enjoying this one a lot but couldn’t remember too much about it. The mystery centres on a serial killer, who seems to be taking out various residents of a seaside town named Eastrepps. The killings invariably take place at the same time and inconveniently for Robert Eldridge, (alias for a defrauder named James Selby), amongst other things, they also occur on nights where he pretends to be in London so he can visit his married lover. As the police investigation progresses and the bodies keep appearing the reader will invariably wonder when the inevitable will happen to Eldridge. Yet, perhaps in a dark Francis Iles vein, the ending to this story is fairly surprising and unexpected. In a way you could say the ending provides complicated closure.

Nearing the end of the book I remembered the ending, but this didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book and I think this story is definitely a real treat for the first time reader. There are a lot of things to enjoy about this book. Beeding tells the tale from a number of different angles, creating an effective layering (though not repetitive) effect. The pace maintains a good level of suspense and mystery, without becoming melodramatic. In particular I think Beeding depicts the rising anxiety in the community, not over doing it. There is also a good variety of victims, making you wonder who will be next and the body count certainly adds to the atmosphere and pace of the book.

So all in all a brilliant read to finish off the month. Just got to decide which read from this month will win the title of Book of the Month. I could be some time…

Rating: 4.5/5

Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt Item (Gold Card): Flashlight

See also:

This book also seems quite a popular one amongst fellow reviewers including the Puzzle Doctor (In Search of the Classic Mystery Blog), Noah (Noah’s Archives) and Rich (Past Offences).


About armchairreviewer

Qualified English teacher, with a passion for literature and crime fiction. On a random note I also own pygmy goats and chickens with afros (it doesn't get any cooler than that).
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8 Responses to Death Walks in Eastrepps (1931) by Francis Beeding

  1. Guy Savage says:

    I have this one but haven’t got to it yet…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JFW says:

    Ah, I remember this one, which I purchased and read in response to Puzzle Doctor’s review. I remember guessing/ deducing the solution correctly, which tends to be rare for me! If I recall correctly, it wasn’t entirely fair-play – in that one or two critical pieces of evidence were only revealed at the end? Thanks for the review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Book of the Month: July 2017 | crossexaminingcrime

  4. I blogged on this one a while back – I liked it, but, like you, preferred the same authors’ Norwich Victims. I thought this one was good, but I guessed some key things. But The Norwich Victims had some real knockout surprises.

    Liked by 1 person

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