Friday, 28 May 2010

The spoilt kill (Kelly) 449

A fantastically gripping, and extremely readable crime novel, The spoilt kill, by Mary Kelly won the prestigious CWA crime novel of the year award in 1961, and was lent to me by a colleague. Set in Stoke at the end of the 1950s, Kelly's story is based on meticulous research into the pottery industry which makes the book more than just a crime-page-turner.

The private inspector Nicholson has been hired by Shentall's pottery firm to investigate the theft of designs. It's a fairly routine investigation, and Nicholson gets to know the members of the firm as he carries it out. One particular woman, the beautiful Corinna, stands out, and Nicholson finds it hard to resist her charms although she appears to be the chief suspect. However, matters become complicated when a body is found in the "kill" (slang in Stoke for kiln). The investigation takes on a new shade - are the crimes connected, and who IS behind them.

I don't normally seek out crime novels but I did enjoy this one - I loved the detail of the setting and the story had extremely good pace. None of Mary Kelly's other novels are VMCs, but I shall be interested to see if much more crime turns up in the list. It's just been published once with a modern green cover.


  1. Verity, are you still looking for Elizabeth Taylor's short story collections? I have a duplicate copy of Hester Lilly if you'd like to have it.

  2. Yes yes please Julia - email me - verityDOTormeATgmailDOTcom!

    *does a little dance*