Valentine Williams – The Portcullis Room (1934)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Castle or Ruins
Date Finished: February 5, 2017
TBR #13
Follow the Clues step #13: from Room to Room.

A wealthy man arrives, along with his yacht full of friends and associates, at a remote Scottish castle, which he is hoping to buy. The family members who are desperate for money tell of long-ago murders and curses. Some other shady characters arrive, intending to recover gambling debts owed to them by the dead son of the castle owner. Naturally, someone is murder on the spot of the long-ago murder in a room above the castle gates.

The last of the unread Valentine Williams on my shelves, I was disappointed here in the rather standard country house-style murder mystery, as opposed to an espionage tale. The mystery doesn’t even provide any cleverness, as opposed to Christie or Carr, as the castle’s secret passages are soon found. Best perhaps for the atmosphere and description of the remote Scottish location, the problems with the plot prevent this from being as fun a read as Williams’ earlier works.



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