I was beginning to have had enough of Compton and her histrionics. Although traffic was cleared up rather well by 10 p. Maggie herself is attacked as the police close in on their main suspect. For her fourth crime novel Reservation for Murder 1958 , June created a truly inspired character, the unassuming but strong-willed Catholic nun-detective Mother Paul, who in many respects is a female equivalent of the Catholic priest-detective, Father Brown, created by G. Bertie started like a shying horse. June considered it to be unique in the history of murder instruments.
We were always busy at that time of the year. A pleasant draught of cool air came through the open emergency exit in the roof as we settled gently at the sixth floor. The fair Gloria has gone. As I made a pot of tea at the boiling urn in the lunchroom across the passage, I tried to put my finger on the cause of my sudden and unfounded apprehensions. All connections are facilitated by a telephonist, written dockets are kept detailing time and length of calls as well as numbers. Eldest son of crime novelist June Wright.
A spirited young telephonist, Maggie is caught up in a murder investigation while on a routine shift and, not confident the police are on the right trail, she begins a little detecting of her own. I glanced at her keenly to observe any recognition of our last meeting, but the pale eyes that met mine were quite blank. It was the best-selling mystery in Australia that year, sales outstripping even those of the reigning queen of crime, Agatha Christie. I say— I am going to my tea, I repeated firmly. I am going back to the trunkroom, Sarah, he called on his way out. Sarah Compton, a supervisor at the Central Telephone Exchange in Melbourne, is bashed to death with a buttinsky, a device used by telephone mechanics to butt in on or interrupt telephone conversations.
I knew Compton was one of those not uncommon individuals who hated riding in an automatic lift. It was a step back in time for me as I worked in that very exchange 62 years ago at age 16. But I do remember the heat. By the time you got the lines working your own system the original operator returned to say rather acidly:. It was Sarah Compton, sitting hunched on a bench and staring at her slip of paper again.
Ormond snorted as she paid me for two over. But she was quite unabashed and serious as she told with a wealth of detail, incidentally allowing the little Gordon girl to get her misère, what she was going to wear. A couple of her co-workers are acting strangely, and Maggie is convinced she has a better chance of figuring out who is responsible for the killing than the stodgy police team assigned to the case, who seem to think she herself might have had something to do with it. Not with the idea of ignoring my presence. I've never read anything by June Wright before, but I would happily read more from her.
Sayers and Daphne du Maurier, by turns entertaining and suspenseful, and building to a gripping climax. I wanted to like this book, and I did enjoy many parts of it. From there her remaining five Mother Paul books are scheduled to appear over the next two years. We telephonists who have worked there, while dubbing it a madhouse or a hell of a hole, will always be proud of it. Is the attractive John Clarkson too good to be true? The weather in Australia is such a strong presence, and it can be really hard to write about and not sound hyperbolic. The lift must have been at a floor landing for some time; precious moments, when I could have been far away from this mad, fearful thing that was hunched beside me.
Sayers and Daphne du Maurier, by turns entertaining and suspenseful, and building to a gripping climax. I am always ready for a great mystery. Side note: the edition I read has some bad typos, which is a real shame. The dust jacket for hard covers may not be included. June energetically promoted Murder at the Telephone Exchange in the press, on radio and at a number of literary events.
Usually pale and dull, they were gleaming not only in excitement, but also with a certain degree of surprise. As I mounted the concrete stairs that wound around the lift-well, I noticed that old Bill had gone off duty. The rest is flashback, as Maggie and her best friend discover the dead body of the unpopular and unpleasant snoop who's made everyone's life miserable for years. It fell to the floor and lay white. My flow of eloquence must have stunned her. You know—honour and glory and the noble tradition of the Telephone Exchange.