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They Rang Up The Police

By Joanna Cannan

There’s a new detective on the scene…

When murder strikes in the quiet English countryside only Inspector Guy Northeast of Scotland Yard sees the vital clue.

When Delia Cathcart and Major Willoughby disappear from their quiet English village one Saturday morning in July 1937, it looks like a simple case of a frustrated spinster running off for a bit of fun with a straying husband.

But as the hours turn into days, Inspector Guy Northeast begins to suspect that she may have been the victim of foul play. On the surface, Delia appeared to be a quite ordinary middle-aged Englishwoman content to spend her evenings with her sisters and mother and her days with her beloved horses. But Delia led a secret life – and Guy turns up more than one person who would like to see Delia dead. Except Delia wasn’t the only person with a secret…

Never before published in the United States, They Rang Up the Police appeared in England in 1939 and is the first of two books to feature young Inspector Guy Northeast, who, as critics Jacques Barzun and Wendell Hertig Taylor point out, “marks a departure from the norm of the thirties.”

About the author…

Joanna Cannan was born in Oxford in 1898. Prior to writing detective fiction, her books primarily explored the aftermath of World War I and life in England during the Great Depression. In 1932, she settled in rural Oxfordshire with her husband and four children; all four of her children went on to become writers themselves. She began to write fiction for young readers, and published nine books for children between 1936 and 1957. During the same period she wrote two novels featuring Inspector Guy Northeast, They Rang Up the Police (1939) and Death at The Dog (1941); following a nine-year hiatus from detective fiction, she returned to the genre in 1950 with the introduction of Inspector Ronald Price in Murder Included.

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