Arthur S Creek, the author of Murder At Twin Hills, has written a very good mystery that reminded me of the kind of mysteries Agatha Christie wrote. It's a puzzle just waiting for the reader to solve, but along the way there are clever notes when the characters go over the clues wherein Creek directs the reader just where he wants us to go when we try to piece together whodunit.
In this case the character of Arthur Creek is approached by his distant cousin, Stella Rose, because her husband has been murdered and she wants Creek's help in solving who could have done such a terrible thing. After being convinced Stella didn't do the deed herself, Creek calls upon his friend Neville Bolt to help get to the bottom of the mystery. Bolt is a retired police detective, and Creek considers him to be brilliant at crime solving. The local police inspector, who family members of the victim, Charles Ackroyd, consider too young to handle this, his first murder investigation, is called upon by Bolt to help in his investigation. Bolt believes that even though the local inspector is a novice, he can provide additional input and resources to solve the crime.
Bolt is indeed masterful in teaching his two associates how to think through the clues that are scarce but still provide enough information to get the investigation underway. This is where the author, Creek, is both sly and clever in diverting the attention of the reader wherever he wants us to go. There are a number of suspects from the children of the deceased and their spouses to a household staff who could each have their own reasons for wanting Charles Ackroyd dead. Ackroyd was a very secretive man, particularly about his finances, which leads Bolt to question everyone's motivation in wanting Ackroyd out of the way. There are times rehashing the accumulated evidence can get tedious; however, none of those passages was so long as to have me uninterested in where the information was leading. It was obvious to me that Creek carefully thought out just how much should be divulged to keep the story moving, but not so much as to give away the ending. I did have my own thoughts and suspicions about who the killer was, but I wasn't absolutely sure about who did it until the very end when Bolt solves the crime.
It was interesting to me that the murder victim's name was Charles Ackroyd, since my favorite Christie mystery is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I doubt that was an accidental choice of Creek's; it seems more like a shout-out to Christie to me. One of the things I liked most about Murder At Twin Hills was that Neville Bolt was never as annoying as Hercule Poirot or Jane Marple, and that's a good thing.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries, particularly those where the reader follows the clues given by the narrator or the detective in charge. I hope to be reading more of Neville Bolt and Arthur Creek in the future.