Peter Marlin is an attorney, a partner in a law firm is a small English town. The inquest into his wife’s death has returned a verdict of “murder by person or persons unknown.” Not surprisingly, the coroner, and a number of other people as well, have cast suspicions in his direction. But he has an alibi; his secretary knew he was working at the office late the night of the murder, because she was working as well. There was also the small matter of an affair Peter had, during the seven months his wife had suddenly pulled up stakes and left him. But she returned, and Peter broke off the relationship.
He’s asked to leave the firm by the senior partner. He’s trying to complete a financial transaction involving an acquisition, including the shares he manages as a trustee. He’s sailed close to the wind with buying his own shares in the acquiring firm. A lot is riding on the completion of the takeover.
Then Peter discovers letters written to his deceased wife, and he now thinks he knows who’s killed her. He hires a private detective to investigate. What he should have done was go directly to Inspector Crow, brought in from Scotland yard to investigate the murder of Peter’s wife.
A Lover Too Many by Roy Lewis is the first in the Inspector Crow detective series. It is an entertaining story, full of twists and turns, with a plethora of suspects, tangled motives, and hidden passions.
Lewis is the author of some 60 other mysteries, novels, and short story collections. His Inspector Crow series includes A Lover Too Many, Murder in the Mine, The Woods Murder, Error of Judgment, and Murder for Money, among others. The Eric Ward series, of which The Sedleigh Hall Murder is the first (and originally published as A Certain Blindness in 1981), includes 17 novels. The Arnold Landon series is comprised of 22 novels. Lewis lives in northern England.
The surprise about A Lover Too Many is that, while it’s an Inspector Crow mystery, Inspector Crow plays a relatively small role. The chief character is Peter Marlin, at once appealing and having conflicted motives. Nevertheless, it’s an entertaining story, one in which justice will ultimately be done.