J.F.Straker: Murder for Miss Emily. John Straker wrote 25 mysteries
between 1954 and 1984. I have no idea if he had a series character
as I have only read one so far. This was a solid village
mystery, highly readable; but it was made really interesting by
the use of what I can only describe as an anti-Marple character.
There is an elderly lady(Miss Emily), the last remaining descendant of the
feudal lords of the village, now living in somewhat reduced
circumstances, who sees herself as understanding the village
and having a responsibility for solving the crime. She gets
virtually everything spectacularly wrong. This is not handled
as comedy – more as tragedy.
 Very well worth seeking out. A rarity. I shall definitely try and
get hold of some more Strakers.

(April 2007)