Saturday, 13 May 2017

The Sittaford Mystery

A mother and her daughter host a "table turning" or seance at their residence owned by Captain Trevelyan in the bleak midwinter in Dartmoor.  The spirits divulge that Captain Trevelyan is dead. Sittaford has no telephone and six miles of road to the village are impassable.  Major Burnaby trudges through the snowbanks to see if his friend the captain is okay.  It turns out the spirits are correct.

Captain Trevelyan's will states that his estate will be divided upon among his sister, his nephews and his niece.  One nephew, James Pearson, is arrested for the murder as he was in town when it happened trying to get a loan from his uncle, albeit unsuccessfully.  Emily Trefusis, engaged to the captain's son, and Charles Enderby, a Daily Wire journalist, stay at Sittaford while they conduct their investigation of the murder.

Brian Wilson comes under suspicion when Enderby discovers him in a midnight rendezvous with Violet Willett, Enderby's fiancee.  The Violetts live in Dartmoor to be close to the prison where Violet's father is incarcerated.  Brian arranges to help him escape,but he is recaptured.  In the meantime, Martin Dering, who is being watched by his wife during divorce proceedings also creates a false alibi.

Emily discovers that Major Burnaby is the murderer.  After announcing that Captain Trevelyan had been murdered, rather than walking to the village in two and a half hours he skis to the village in 10 minutes.  He commits the murder and then hides the skis in the chimney.  Major Burnaby had lost a lot of money in buying rotten shares.  He hoped to recoup it by claiming the 5000 pound cheque that would have gone to Trevelyan.

The Sittaford Mystery

The Sittaford Mystery, published in 1931, courtesy 

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