Monday, June 20, 2011

New House at Northmead (illustration)

In Chapter 2 of New House at Northmead (New House Insurance Scheme), Miss Pollinger announces the termination of Nicky and Kay's insurance venture, which had backfired on them. I'm preparing a review of this excellent book. Although people have told me that the Northmead books are pretty standard school stories, I have to say that I found New House at Northmead to be a very entertaining story, especially the humour about the "unspeakable" Dr. Partridge, the fake head of an art gallery in South Africa, with his "woffling" moustache. The word "unspeakable" is used to great comic effect, since the man, despite his criminal activities, is actually pretty pathetic and nondescript, an echo of the unlikely (and somewhat ridiculous) crooked school master Mr. Port in Threepenny Bit.

As a footnote to this post, I am happy to say that I have recovered the bookmark of Table Bay, Cape Town, tucked into the back of my copy of New House, while researching this post. This was a gift from me from my friend Pam Airth from Cape Town, and I would have been very sad to lose it. It was one of those moments of distraction... But now it will be placed into the midst of Fivepenny Mystery and never mislaid again!