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Malice Aforethought

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 1 month ago

Berkeley, Anthony as Francis Iles - Malice Aforethought (1931)


A delightful comedy (for this is its main strength, not the fact that it was the first “psychological thriller”—and I have my doubts about this fact: didn’t Mrs. Belloc Lowndes anticipate Cox?). Dr. Bickleigh, a philandering medico suffering from an inferiority complex, determines to rid himself of his wife, a bullying and domineering shrew, in order to marry his mistress—who announces her engagement to another man immediately after the murder. (Of course, his “ingenious” plan is immediately seen through by the other villagers.) Superb wit: excellent social satire — St. Mary Mead steeped in venomed ink, with plenty of amusingly catty back - biting and splendid caricatures. Berkeley at his most acerbic is highly amusing, in small doses — like aconitine.


Nick Fuller

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