Busman's Honeymoon, by Dorothy L. Sayers
I'd been meaning to read Have His Carcase, the Harriet-goes-hiking one, but I don't have it, so I read a different Sayers mystery that I haven't read for a long time.
Harriet and Lord Peter have finally gotten married -- in their own interesting way, which involves circumventing sister-in-law Helen's plans for a proper society wedding and a Paris honeymoon. No, the newlyweds have decided to sneak off and spend their honeymoon week at their new country house, Talboys, which they've only just purchased. The former owner promised to have everything ready for them to move right in.
Instead they arrive to a locked house; nobody is expecting them, Mr. Noakes has been gone for a week on business, and certainly nothing is ready at all. There are even dirty dishes on the table. Everything gets more and more fussed and ridiculous, as neighbors come clamoring in and chimneys fail to draw. There is a lot of domestic comedy mixed with Harriet's musings on the new lights shed on Peter's character. And then...Mr. Noakes is found dead in the cellar, having had his head bashed in. Who could have done it, and why?
I had a lot of fun reading this; it had been a long time and so I had forgotten most of it. A good addition to my RIP reading! I still need a copy of Have His Carcase though...
My copy is a battered paperback from 1986 with a not-very-exciting cover, so you get this neat old-fashioned one. My copy also has an ad in the back stating ominously that "By the year 2000, 2 out of 3 Americans could be illiterate." So volunteer for literacy! I'm glad that the literacy level of Americans doesn't seem to be quite that dismal, even nearly 20 years after the year 2000.