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Mortmain Hall by Martin Edwards

Sunday, August 23, 2020 MysteryFiction

Mortmain Hall, Martin Edwards

Right from the title, you know the stately Yorkshire family home Mortmain Hall will play a pivotal role in this classic mystery. The legal doctrine of mortmain, after all, refers to owners’ attempts to control the fate of their property after their death. As you can imagine, the influence of mortua manus – the dead hand – opens succeeding generations to all sorts of mischief.

In 1930, when this tale takes place, plenty of mischief swirls around Mortmain Hall, perched on high cliffs near the end of a (lonely, of course) promontory that reaches into the stormy North Sea. Most innocent of the mansion’s occupants is the family heir, Felix Dobell, who lost a leg in the Great War and is in an advanced state of decline...

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