Book Review: The Chinaman by Friedrich Glauser

James Farny is found dead lying on the grave of a woman who had died recently supposedly from gastric influenza. Farny had clearly been murdered since the pistol shot that killed him had not penetrated his clothing. Sergeant Studer is immediately curious – after all Ferny had predicted his death and introduced Studer to the possible suspects! Action moves swiftly from poorhouse to country inn and horticultural college.

Why does wrapping around Farny’s pyjamas exclude arsenic while the contents are remain untouched? Studer has a lot of questions to answer. Slowly picking apart the complex relationships which are to be found in the village, he  finds the solution. A steady, well paced detective novel; redolent of the 1930’s in which it was first written.

A European crime classic, it is the first time that the novel has been available in English. Studer makes an interesting hero – laconic,laid back, constantly calm yet determined in a steady, plodding way to get to the truth.

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