This time I really didn’t have any trouble deciding what to read (or, re-read in this case) for the next in my series of posts covering the most popular and recommended Cozy Mysteries. As I wrote last month, most of Patricia Moyes‘ Henry Tibbett Mysteries are finally available on Kindle. Since these are some of my very favorite mystery books, I decided to re-read the first of that series right away.
In Dead Men Don’t Ski, we are introduced to Inspector Henry Tibbett of Scotland Yard and his wife, Emmy. Henry and his wife are off to an Italian ski inn, the Bella Vista, above the village of Santa Chiara, a small Italian village near the Austrian border. Henry and his wife had planned a trip for the skiing — Emmy was a somewhat more veteran skier than Henry who was a total newbie to the sport — when Scotland Yard decided to assign Henry to keep an eye out in Santa Chiara because there was some suspicious activity that had come to the Yard’s attention going on there.
When Henry and his wife travel by train to the inn, they meet a number of English and other guests who will be staying at the Bella Vista with them. Not too long after they arrive at the inn, there is a murder. Henry and his wife become involved with the Italian police in trying to solve the case. And, with Henry being a great detective, as you can guess, he is instrumental in solving the case.
Henry and his wife are classic mystery characters. Henry is 48 years old and Emmy is somewhat younger. Henry has a reputation of solving many cases partially through use of his “nose”. Henry’s instincts plus Emmy’s common sense approach make this one of the great detective duos in mystery fiction. With this first book in the series being written in 1958 and the series extending to nineteen books with the last published in 1993, Patricia Moyes provided a fine series of post-classic era mysteries.
Moyes was born in 1923, which was just about when Agatha Christie’s first books were being released and when Christie was becoming famous. Although born a generation after Christie, Moyes’ Henry Tibbett’s Mystery books are very similar to classic Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham, and Ngaio Marsh (sometimes known as the Golden Age’s Queens of Crime). Although Moyes was born too late to be a member of the Golden Age of Crime, her stories are a fine follow-on to that era. If you enjoy classic Cozies but haven’t yet met Henry Tibbett and his wife Emmy, I think you are in for a treat!
P.S. If you’re interested in other entries about some highly recommended Cozy Mystery series, you can see them on the Most Popular and Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on my site.