Written in 1939, They Rang Up the Police by Joanna Cannan is quite frankly, unlike any other mystery novel from this period I've read so far in my long mystery/crime-fiction reading career. It has a psychological aspect to it that is just downright chilling, but one which I can't explore by writing about it since basically it would give away the entire show all at once. It's a book where I ended up with nothing but total sympathy for the murderer, something that rarely happens and as I noted on the crime page, just felt right to me. There is a lot of craziness in this novel that masks what ultimately turns out to be a downright heartbreaking story where justice just might have been served in its own way.
This book is #3 in my ongoing quest to read obscure crime-fiction novels written by unknown or forgotten women authors, and so far, I've had extremely good luck. They Rang Up the Police is another English country house mystery, and my favorite so far. Trust me. Even if you think you've read them all, there are still some surprises to be found in this genre. It also ain't Agatha Christie by any stretch of the imagination.