Death in White Pyjamas & Death Knows No Calendar by John Bude
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.5 MB
Mystery crime fiction written in the Golden Age of Murder
Two mysteries of the kind John Bude does best, with well-drawn and authentic period settings and a satisfying whodunit structure, following the traditional rules and style of the Golden Age of the genre.
Death in White Pyjamas
At the country home of Sam Richardson, a group of actors have gathered along with their somewhat sinister producer Basil Barnes, and a playwright whose star is rising in the drama scene. With competitive tension in the air between the three actresses, Clara, Angela and Deirdre, the spell is broken when Deirdre is found murdered in the grounds wearing, for some unknown reason, white pyjamas.
Death Knows no Calendar
A shooting in a locked artist’s studio. Four suspects; at least two of whom are engaged in an affair. An exuberant and energetic case for Major Boddy.
“Good Lord!” thought Basil. “She is an out-of-work actress.”
“Business?” He smiled down at her as if to suggest that a butterfly’s sole job in life was to be beautiful. “What’s your line?”
“Décor. I’m a designer of stage sets. Now you can see why I was anxious to meet you.”
“Décor? Then why haven’t we met before?”
“Because I’ve been busy with the De Sulemann’s Ballet in Paris for the last three seasons. This winter they went into liquidation, and I went on the dole. I’m on the labour market again. I’ve been meaning to ring you up.”
“De Sulemann’s!” Basil was excited. He knew at once that Deirdre was at the top of the ladder. She was not angling for a job. She was magnanimously offering him the chance to snap her up in the face of every other envious manager in London.
“Come down to-morrow and meet Sam Richardson at the Beaumont. This is one of my lucky days.”
Deirdre smiled one of her brilliantly artificial smiles and allowed a smoke ring to emerge from the perfect O of her full and carmine lips. Her eyes searched his meaningly.
“I wonder,” she said simply.
But the culminating success of that second winter season was in no small part due to her. Show after show went on with the same unvarying excellence of setting. Heavy realism; faultless period; delicious fantasy—all seemed to gain by being projected on to the stage through the lens of Deirdre’s sparkling imagination. She was as much an institution in Bowman’s Place as Sam Richardson or Bert Whiffle, the commissionaire. She began to darken quite a large portion of Basil’s existence, with her irritating detachment and her inhuman flair for knocking every attempted intimacy bang on the head at the exact psychological moment. If Basil took one step towards her she took two steps backwards. If, to consolidate her, he pretended to take one step back, she, with devilish teasing, took two steps forward. For once he had met his match and, before the season was out, he was ready to acknowledge his defeat.
They were friendly, even a mutual admiration society where work was concerned, but for some reason Basil could never throw off the idea that Deirdre was playing with him. She was holding her hand the better to make her kill.
For all that, Sam’s suggestion about Fallow Cottage was a good one. That same night Basil rang her up. She promised to come down in a few days’ time and cast a professional eye over what she called his lares et penates. Yet somehow, the moment he had expressed his gratitude and rung off, Basil wondered if he had done the right thing. Why? He couldn’t say. Was it possible he had seen her before? Yes—in the earlier days of his career when he had worn a moustache.