• Eleanor Smith

Slow-burning Murder Mystery

DISCLAIMER# Spoiler Warning #

Plenty Under the Counter is a slow-burning murder mystery novel written during the second world war.

Written by Kathleen Hewitt, the setting of Blitzed London provides a colourful backdrop for the intricacies of the ‘whodunit’ presented to the reader.

David, the protagonist, is a reliable narrator who takes it upon himself to solve the murder committed in his back garden.

The reader is kept in suspense until the very end of the story, with the plot coming to a dramatic conclusion; David’s fiancée is caught in a fire with the murderer.

The reveal that the sweet-natured Mrs Meake is the murderer is a foreseeable but satisfying conclusion, yet the harsh and fast-paced ending leaves readers feeling somewhat rushed and feeling like some 'loose ends' have not been 'tied up'.

This story is an acquired taste, but those with the patience to read it to the end are treated to a charming story following a young officer at the height of the war and the crazy stories of his neighbours.

In terms of historical context, this story gives a softer backstory of the war, with the main focus being the lives of David and his friends. It still gives key mentions to things such as rationing, and the work and class divide during the war.

In conclusion, I give this a 3/5

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