Nancy Barr Mavity. The Fate of Jane McKenzie (1933) 308 pp.
“King Charles’s head!” Peter Piper, star reporter for the Herald,
has been taken off the crime beat to cover a total eclipse of the sun,
which has been attracting astronomers and the curious public to the top
of Jane McKenzie’s mountain. Jane McKenzie is the tough-minded, domineering
matriarch of the wealthy McKenzie family and when she disappears during
the eclipse, Peter is on the spot to cover the story. After her body is
discovered in a ravine—with a fatal head wound—everyone is a suspect in
her murder: her eccentric family, a desperate astronomer, a reclusive novelist,
and a gang of bootleggers running an illegal still on the mountain.