Hodgkiss is never wrong … or hardly ever.
He was quite certain that the number thirteen was never used on houses in the streets of Kanundda.
That would be so unlucky!
But this time he was wrong and his dogged refusal to admit it led to the discovery of an ingenious art theft being carried out under the nose of the local council.
Hodgkiss’s passion for chess is on the wane and while staring absently between moves from the rear window of his opponent’s flat, he notices some unusual goings-on in the car park below.
When the body of a neighbour is found locked in the flat next door, he insists, contrary to appearances, that it was murder and provides an ingenious and logical solution to another locked room mystery.
Hodgkiss’s daughter, Esme, knows there will be trouble when he arrives home with a telescope after his regular Saturday morning assault on the local garage sales.
And she is not wrong. While spying on the neighbours, he makes an acute observation that leads to a brutal murderer being brought to justice.
Hodgkiss’s talent for solving crime has given a welcome boost to the career of his son-in-law, Detective Sergeant Donald Burke.
In spite of this productive partnership, Esme often is hard-pressed to keep the peace between her husband and her father because Hodgkiss exacts a heavy price for his assistance, usually in the hard coin of humiliation.
Review: ‘Edgar Hodgkiss is the scourge of Kanundda Council. Thanks to ‘leaks’ from within the council, he is awake up to all the rorts, the skullduggery and the point scoring ... on this heavily factionalised council. And when he exposes them in the letters to the editor column of the local free newspaper, The Star, the trouble starts: murder, blackmail, backstabbing – the lot. The stories move quickly, hold your interest and are so easy to read’
— Harvey Grennan, Local Government writer for the Sydney Morning Herald
‘The author’s style is charming and clever, with plenty of clues and red herrings to make an enjoyable read for all whodunit fans’
— Robin Fleming, Acres Australia.