The Beast Must Die

Nicholas Blake

Review of Book

Nicholas Blake is the pseudonym of Poet Laureate Cecil Day Lewis, who died in 1972. He is the father of actor Daniel Day Lewis.

This book is one of a series featuring his amateur sleuth, Nigel Strangeways, and was written in 1938. This gives some clue as to its genre; somewhat old-fashioned, Agatha Christie style.

It takes its title from a scripture in Ecclesiastes, and is very interestingly constructed - a large section of it being the 1930s equivalent of a video-diary. Frank Cairns, successful crime writer, invents a false identity of his own in order to plot revenge for the untimely death of his young son.

Review of Nat's Reading

This is one of his less 'exciting' efforts, but that's not to say it isn't good. He mostly uses a quiet and sombre tone, which suits the content of the story well. There are only a few characters for Nat to create voices for, but he gives General Shrivenham his best Rawdon Crawley, which is always a pleasure to hear!

It is good, cosy and diverting storytelling - perfect for a dark winter's afternoon or evening while staring into the glow of a log fire :o)

There is available a version that has this story and another 'whodunnit', read by Martin Jarvis. His Just William recordings were favourites of my kids for years. Interestingly, he was also in the Inspector Lynley episode 'Well-Schooled in Murder'.

Published by

CSA Word

ISBN 1901768104

Published February 1999 or

ISBN 1901768740

Published May 2001


Cassette only at present

Running time 3hrs approx

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