Morna Doris MacTaggart Brown wrote murder mysteries under the pseudonym “Elizabeth Ferrars”. Yet another Scottish tale-teller, albeit born in Rangoon, she adds to the Celtic tradition of spinning webs with words. It is almost enough to cause one to ask if the Bardic tradition is a genetic trait.
First published in 1932, by 1954 when “The Lying Voices” was released, Ferrars was well established and had honed her skills. This gentle book of murder most foul is a classic “Murder Mystery” where all the clues are shown. Nothing is hidden and a clever reader will find the killer. It is a very Christie-like style of writing.
Unlike modern crime fiction, it is the puzzle which is important, not the graphic depictions of death and dismemberment. While a death is necessary, much of the horror is glossed over because that is not the important part of the story. What is crucial is the careful placement of clues and red herrings. The interactions between people.
I had forgotten just how much fun this writer can be. No nightmares, no nasty scenes, just a pleasant pastoral novel with the hook of a solvable mystery within its pages.
Well worth the read.