'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Seven Sleepers by Elizabeth Ferrars

Elizabeth is a Scottish mystery writer and this book came to me all the way from Scotland, from my sweet friend Katrina!
Elizabeth was born Morna Doris MacTaggart in Burma to a Scottish family. She attended school in Berlin and was raised by a German nanny. As the war was ramping up she was moved to Britain for safety and finished her schooling there. She is listed as a British Crime Writer. Her first two books were published under her real name with following novels written under the pseudonym Elizabeth Ferrars. In the States she was published under E.X. Ferrars. Ferrars was her mother's maiden name. She was a prolific writer with about 75 books published, including 3 series! Her first book was published in 1932 and the last posthumously in 1995.

from the back cover:
  'The late Professor Garvie-Brown of Edinburgh University had departed this life full of honours, professional esteem and leaving a considerable estate.
  But now, many years later, evidence has emerged of a skeleton in his cupboard. Seven skeletons, actually. Seven wives, four bigamous and all murdered.
  His legitimate descendants include a judge, a doctor, another academic, an architect - and an elderly widow with a conscience. it is this inconvenient quality that it is to drag the young Luke Latimer, along with a devious private detective, into the ambit of a family desperately-even murderously-determined to prevent public scandal.'

I enjoyed this. It was 222 pages and a nice light easy read. I liked the writing style, it pulled me in pretty quickly and I had to get to the end to see who did it. I did not guess who did it. Full of interesting characters and an interesting scenario in which the murder occurs. 

Luke Latimer is the main character, his grandmother was one of the seven wives that were murdered. I liked Luke. There were 2 female interests and I enjoyed trying to guess who he would end up with in the end, if either one of them. The 'family' was full of interesting people. Would they welcome Luke into the family and gladly share the wealth with him or would they go to any length to keep him out of the loop and preserve the family honor? Did Grandpa really kill all those wives? How did his 8th wife and widow find out the truth? How about the private detective Gilbert Arne? Did he or didn't he? Could Luke trust him?

I'm looking forward to reading more by her.

Novels written as Morna MacTaggart
Turn Single (1932)
Broken Music (1934)

Toby Dyke series
Give a Corpse a Bad Name (1940)
Remove the Bodies (1941) (published in the US as Rehearsals for Murder)
Death at Botanist's Bay (1941) (published in the US as Murder of a Suicide)
Don't Monkey with Murder (1942) (published in the US as The Shape of a Stain)
Your Neck in a Noose (1942) (published in the US as Neck in a Noose)

Virginia and Felix Freer series
Last Will and Testament (1978)
Frog in the Throat (1980)
Thinner Than Water (1981)
Death of a Minor Character (1983)
I Met Murder (1985)
Woman Slaughter (1989)
Sleep of the Unjust (1990)
Beware of the Dog (1992)

Andrew Basnett series
Something Wicked (1983)
The Root of All Evil (1984)
The Crime and the Crystal (1985)
The Other Devil's Name (1986)
A Murder Too Many (1988)
Smoke Without Fire (1990)
A Hobby of Murder (1994)
A Choice of Evils (1995)

I, Said The Fly (1945)
Murder Among Friends (1946) (published in the US as Cheat the Hangman)
With Murder in Mind (1948)
The March Hare Murders (1949)
Milk of Human Kindness (1950)
Hunt the Tortoise (1950)
The Clock that Wouldn't Stop (1952)
Alibi for a Witch (1952)
Murder in Time (1953)
The Lying Voices (1954)
Enough to Kill a Horse (1955)
Always Say Die (1956) (published in the US as We Haven't Seen Her Lately)
Murder Moves In (1956) (published in the US as Kill or Cure)
Furnished for Murder (1957)
Unreasonable Doubt (1958) (published in the US as Count the Cost)
A Tale of Two Murders (1959) (published in the US as Depart this Life)
Fear the Light (1960)
Sleeping Dogs (1960)
The Wandering Widows (1962)
The Busy Body (1962) (published in the US as Seeing Double)
The Doubly Dead (1963)
A Legal Fiction (1964) (published in the US as The Decayed Gentlewoman)
Ninth Life (1965)
No Peace for the Wicked (1965)
Zero at the Bone (1967)
The Swaying Pillars (1968)
Skeleton Staff (1969)
The Seven Sleepers (1970)
A Stranger and Afraid (1971)
Breath of Suspicion (1972)
The Small World of Murder (1973)
Foot in the Grave (1973)
Hanged Man's House (1974)
Alive and Dead (1974)
Drowned Rat (1975)
The Cup and the Lip (1975)
Blood Flies Upwards (1976)
Pretty Pink Shroud (1977)
Murders Anonymous (1977)
In at the Kill (1978)
Witness Before the Fact (1979)
Experiment with Death (1981)
Skeleton in Search of a Cupboard (1982) (published in the US as Skeleton in Search of a Closet)
Come and Be Killed (1987)
Trial by Fury (1989)
Danger from the Dead (1991)
Answers Came There None (1992)
Thy Brother Death (1993)
Seeing is Believing (1994)
A Thief in the Night (1995)

Short story compilations
Designs on Life (1980)
Sequence of Events (1989)
The Casebook of Jonas P. Jonas and Other Mysteries (Crippen & Landru, 2012)


  1. Certainly sounds like an interesting and complex plot. I will put it on my wishlist.

  2. Heavens! I had no idea she had written so many books. I'm glad you enjoyed it.


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