Much in Evidence by Henry Cecil

I’ve been reading quite a few long books recently and fancied something shorter, and more amusing. I also noticed that I’ve not been reading much crime fiction lately, so I looked at my bookshelves and took down Much in Evidence by Henry Cecil (published in the US as The Long Arm). My copy is a secondhand book, with this great cover.

I haven’t read any of Cecil’s other books, but after reading this one I certainly will look out for more. there is a list of his books on Fantastic Fiction. It’s no surprise to me to find out that Henry Cecil, real name Henry Cecil Leon (1902 -1976), was a judge and I loved the way he pokes fun at the law and the legal system in this book. The dialogue is masterful, and the characters are hilarious, from the drunken solicitor, Mr Tewkesbury, to the barrow boy, Mr Brown. The plot is farcical, which I found fascinating and highly entertaining.

To summarise the plot very briefly – Mr Richmond, bald and lame was attacked in his home and robbed of £100,000. The insurance company reluctantly paid up, but then they discover that a series of bald, lame men had been making dubious claims on insurance companies and he is charged with fraud.

Coincidences abound in this book, until you just don’t know what to believe. Is there just once coincidence too many … ? It was with relief that I read the last chapter, where my suspicions were confirmed.

My rating: 4/5

Details of a new copy of Much in Evidence (from Amazon UK):

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: House of Stratus; New edition edition (16 Oct 2000)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1842320572
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842320570

2 thoughts on “Much in Evidence by Henry Cecil”

  1. Margaret – Oh, this does sound like a fun, light read. I’m not usually one to be fond of an overabundance of coincidences, but this one really does sound like a nice, light break from heavier reading.

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