Come Home and Be Killed

Jennie Melville

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04 June 2015
146 pages

Upon first publication in 1962, crime readers welcomed police sergeant Charmian Daniels, the attractive new recruit to novel detectives whose blend of diffidence and determination would take her far. In Come Home and Be Killed she is working on a dangerous-looking domestic puzzle which has an unmistakable air of worse to come.

Kathy is a career girl who dearly loves her home, but the home contains a stepmother whose cosy, embracing warmth is not to be mistaken for love. Mumsy and her daughter Janet have a bad habit of battening on Kathy, and their ways are observed with fascinated disapproval by Emily next door. Their disappearance could be a pleasure and relief if it were not for certain worrying traces about the house, and the ominous, inscrutable behaviour of their men.