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Synopsis

"DEAD AMID A SEA OF BOOKS, HIS HEAD BASHED IN."

Beginning with a Bash (a Leonidas Witherall mystery) by Phoebe Atwood Taylor (writing as Alice Tilton)

A freezing east wind blew through the streets of Boston. To Martin Jones, shivering outside a second-hand bookstore, the printed sign "Come in and Browse—it's warm inside" looked very inviting. So in he went. But others too had sought the shelter of the store, among them Professor John North, who was shortly afterwards found dead amid a sea of books, his head bashed in.
Unfortunately for Martin, he is obviously suspect number one for the murder, and that was bad news.

The good news is that the bookstore is owned by Dot Peters, a friend from student days, and that she is assisted by Leonidas Xenophon Witherall (more often called Bill on account of his uncanny resemblance to William Shakespeare), the retired headmaster of the prestigious Boston academy which Martin had once attended.

Both believe in his innocence, and when Leonidas, making his bow in this delightful crime comedy whodunit, announces that they had just forty hours in which to secure the real murderer of Professor North, he appears so self-possessed that against all odds Dot believes he can actually do it.

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