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June Wright wrote this lost gem in the mid-1950s, but consigned it to her bottom drawer after her publisher foolishly rejected it. Perhaps it was a little ahead of its time? Because while it’s a tour de force of the classic country-house murder mystery, it’s also a delightful romp, poking fun at the conventions of the genre. When someone takes advantage of a duck hunt to murder publisher Athol Sefton at a remote hunting inn, it soon turns out that virtually everyone, guests and staff alike, had a good reason for shooting him. Sefton’s nephew Charles thinks he can solve the crime by applying the rules of the game” he’s absorbed from his years as a reviewer of detective fiction only the killer evidently isn’t playing by those rules. Duck Season Death is a both a fiendishly clever whodunit and a marvelous entertainment.
June Wright (19192012) was born in Melbourne, Australia and published six well-received mysteries between 1948 and 1966, when she stopped writing in order to earn a regular salary and support her family after her husband became unable to work. Her novels are characterized by feisty female protagonists and realistic social settings.