With a Bare Bodkin by Cyril Hare

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England is in the grip of the Second World War and the Blitz has forced the evacuation of various government offices from London. Francis Pettigrew, an unsuccessful barrister and amateur detective, accompanies his ministry to the distant seaside resort of Marsett Bay where the civil servants must make the best of their temporary home. In this strange atmosphere, Pettigrew begins to fall in love with his secretary, Miss Brown, who is also being courted by a widowed man who is much older than her. Bored and restless, the ministers start playing a light-hearted game of 'plan the perfect murder' to pass the time. Pettigrew, caught up in his love for Miss Brown, remains detached from the silliness - until a real murder happens, and he is drawn into solving the mystery. 

Faber and Faber: 1985.
ISBN: 9780571137183. 183 pp.
Softcover. Good+.