Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Golden Age (40) : The House Opposite

The House Opposite by J. Jefferson Farjeon is apparently the second Ben the Tramp story, now Ben is the main character of this tale. A good old gentleman of the road who stumbles upon mysterious and even murderous goings on in the house opposite the one he is squatting in.

Ben is reluctantly drawn in to try and solve the mysterious goings on. The story is fairly unusual but at times a bit hard going. I've always found trying to read strong dialect is a bit tedious but i suppose it makes Ben more authentic. Once the story gets going its worth the read but getting there without giving up is the key.

Sunday, 29 January 2023


Yesterday i headed up to the wonderfully named North Shropshire town of Wem. Its a nice place full of timber framed buildings and other old architecture. Its all a bit crumbly and worn down too which adds to the interest to be honest. You can see my photos here.

Friday, 27 January 2023

Churches (169) : St Andrew, Wilmcote

The parish church of St Andrew in Wilmcote, Warwickshire was built between 1840-42. Until 2004 it was part of the parish of Aston Cantlow though it is now a separate parish. No church existed in Wilmcote when St Andrew was built though a chapel is known to have existed in the 13th century at least. The church was built by the Anglo-Catholic Oxford Movement.

The church is in the Early English style with an aisled 4 bay nave and and a 2-bay chancel with a north vestry. The church is built from regular coursed lias with limestone ashlar dressings.

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Golden Age (39) : Portrait of a murderer

"Portrait of a murderer" by Anne Meredith is an excellent Golden Age mystery. A gentleman is murdered on Christmas Eve. One of his six children, has killed him. However, this isn't a whodunnit. We witness the murder, then examine each of the children in turn, looking into their backgrounds and lives, creating characters with depth.

The story thus stands out from a lot of it's peers. This is more a psychological study of murder and motive than the standard detective yarn of the period and how the culprit tries to avoid being discovered. It may lack suspense but makes up with with good characterisation. 

The interesting premise may though be the best part about the story, the initial part especially is a bit of a slog though it does pick up later on.