A Brief Review of At Death’s Door

From “It’s a crime” by Penelope Houston, in The Spectator, 5 May 1955, p. 32:
Leo Bruce is another expert at the game, although his gambit is to affect the casual and disenchanted approach.  He will permit his detective, Carolus Deene (solid Sergeant Beef would appear to have been retired) to summon the traditional gathering of all the suspects, but only after Deene’s schoolboy Watson has cautioned him that the whole procedure is ‘madly hackneyed.’  Deene, a schoolmaster with a private income, a Bentley, and an academic attitude to crime, sets about solving the murder of the village blackmailer, an uncommonly malevolent old woman.  The story advances amiably, by way of some engaging dialogue; its dénouement, the publishers claim, will ‘surprise the wildest guesser.’  It does:  in spite of his deceptively open manner, in At Death’s Door Mr. Bruce has been very cagey indeed.