The most towering figure in mystery fiction is Agatha Christie. She created and influenced countless plots and tropes, and invented iconic detectives. Surely no mystery writer can set a pen to paper without feeling in her debt. Re-paying this debt with her impressionistic Death at Greenway is Lori Rader-Day, a writer known for multiple point of view novels and indirect storytelling. Her style could not be further from Agatha’s, but – there’s still that debt to be paid.
The book is set during WWII at Mrs. Christie’s summer home, Greenway, in Devon. During the war the Mallowans (for that was Agatha’s married name) lent their house to a war nursery – or to children evacuated from London, cared for by nurses. Rader-Day has chosen to focus her story on Bridget Kelly, a failed nurse in training, who takes up the war nursery job out of desperation.