This first in the crime-solving partnership of Miss Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins was an Agatha nominee, and well deserved. It takes place in the months following Eliza’s successful transformation from Cockney flower-seller to elegant Society lady.
Eliza is trying to get a handle on her new life, living with the professor’s mother while teaching elocution to other people who wish to appear to fit in among a higher social class. There’s good scene-setting and sound period atmosphere, and then whump! A body hits the floor. With both Eliza and Henry quickly rising up the suspect list, they must put aside their animosity and learn to cooperate again. It will take all their combined ingenuity to keep each other off the gallows.
This is a fairly convincing foray into the refined world of Edwardian society, both the high and the low. It maintains a gently humorous tone through much of the book, and, if the solution seems to leap a bit rapidly to the fore toward the end, it’s easy to overlook that in the enjoyment of the journey.
I’m looking forward to diving into the second book, ‘Move Your Blooming Corpse,’ which title, coincidentally, I won in a blog draw the very day I finished off the first book.