We are getting thrown into the murder story pretty much at the start of the book as the doctor gets called to the crime scene while having dinner with the vicar. I very much enjoyed the setting in a Cornish village by the sea, the detailed descriptions that brought all the scenes to life and all the characters involved in the mystery. It was a very comfortable and cosy read, even though there was not much guesswork or sleuthing possible on the reader’s side. Not that I am any good at it anyway, but here it was absolutely impossible to know who the culprit was. There were tons of false clues, left behind either on purpose or accidentally, and the detective was in the dark until the very end as well. If it hadn’t been for the vicar and his memory the murder might not have been solved at all.
So as far as elaborate plot and sophisticated detecting are concerned “The Cornish Coast Murder” leaves a little to be desired.
Also, be prepared for some outdated views on women. A few delightful examples:
She was distraught […] and therefore liable to indulge an utterly unreasonable whim. Women are often unreasonable, Inspector. Illogical, too.
…a woman in love was always a foolhardy and unresonable creature. though not devoid […] of a certain inspired cunning.
We might be unreasonable, but we do know how to trick and deceive people.
The garden is fifteen feet in length. This argues a poor shot. Probably a woman.
Heaven forbid there are poor shots among men. Or women good at shooting.
You just have to take that stuff in stride.