Sent to his Account (cover) Eilís Dillon
Sent to his Account

When poor downtrodden Miles de Cogan suddenly finds himself heir to a large estate in the little village of Dangan, he is naturally delighted. But the inhabitants are feuding with a Mr Reed from Dublin, a self-made man with most unpopular plans for the village. The unsuspecting Miles does his best to help, but despite his good intentions he is too slow to ward off the inevitable murder.

WHAT THE REVIEWERS SAID:

"Poisoning of coarse and beastly entrepreneur from Dublin who is trying to debauch quiet Wicklow village. Seen through the eyes of nice little rat-poor middle-aged person who suddenly inherits a baronetcy. Most snug: well and intelligently written with copiously detailed background unmarred by any stage Irishry. Good surprise finish." (Maurice Richardson, The Observer)

"An intriguing story of detection by a first-class writer." (Edinburgh Evening News)

"beguiling ... what is important is the delicate strength of this bewitching little tale." (New York Herald Tribune)

"With her ability to handle characters she combines a flair for easy and natural writing, full of an unforced humour." (Irish Times)

"This very Irish tale about primitive happenings in the village of Dangan is grand fun. Miss Dillon can coin a phrase, too." (Francis Iles, Sunday Times)

"Miss Dillon presents modern Ireland realistically. She does not turn all the tenantry into Abbey Theatre characters and allows a Big House, for once in fiction, to be properly run." (Edith Shackleton, The Lady)

"Miss Dillon is a decided acquisition to the ranks of the literate and sophisticated detective novel writers." (Sydney Morning Herald)

More reviews after this extract from Chapter Two ....

Dangan House, when he first caught sight of it, was utterly lovely. The gate was white-painted and unpretentious, set back a little from the road. The lodge, which was really a small house, was two-storied and covered in soft green Virginia creeper. There were delightful flower-beds before the lodge door, with tulips and forget-me-nots in bloom, and a light railing separating its little garden from the driveway. He did not need Barne's explanation that this was Germaine's house. A middle-aged woman in a white apron came out and opened the gate, and they drove through.

On either side of the drive, the parkland sloped gently upward. Oak trees were dotted here and there with careful artistry. Miles could not help thinking with infinite affection and respect of the visionary who had planted those trees, like walking-sticks, so long ago.

Half-way along the drive he asked Barne to stop for a moment and switch off the engine. He wanted to listen to the silence, so still at first, but then full of bird-calls and the bleating of sheep and lowing of cattle. Presently he pointed into the distant flelds and asked:

"Do I see deer over there?"

"Jersey cattle," said Barne. "Cousins to deer. They are yours, too. I forgot to mention them. Sir Miles always kept about forty of them."

It was many, many years since there had been a cow in Miles's family. His bliss was now complete.

When they reached the house a few minutes later, he was surprised to find that it was built of cut limestone. It was L-shaped, and only two stories high. Around to the right he could see flower gardens and lawns. The drive went on past the house on the left, but the car turned in on to a wide gravel sweep before the door. There were wide stone steps and a heavy door of Irish oak. He was pleased to find the arms of the Cogans, with the motto, carved above the lintel. The windows were broad and low and sunny, and the air was exquisitely scented with earth and grass and flowers.

Before they could reach the door, it was opened by a woman whom he took to be Mrs. Hooper. His heart sank at the sight of her, and he wondered how Barne had managed to convey a vision of a fat, motherly woman who would knit bed-socks for his birthday. The sad reality was thin in lumps, he thought, the way no one has a right to be thin. She looked soured with life, though just now she was trying to be pleasant. Her black dress and grey-streaked hair were neat but uninspired. Miles sighed a little as he answered her little speech of welcome.

More reviews ....

"The author handles plot and setting with dexterity: a first-class village thriller." (Housewife, October 1944).

"Full of Irish wit and Irish character (and characters) and Irish charm." (Daily Dispatch, Manchester)

"Sent to His Account scores by reason of its amiably relaxed, amateurish flavour." (The Spectator)

"Sent to His Account by Eilis Dillon is a story of murder in an Irish village. It is told with wit and warmth and is delightful." (Yorkshire Post).

"The mystery is well sustained and the picture of Irish village life vivid." (Oxford Mail)

"A most attractive essay in detection." (Cambridge Daily News)

"Light, easy, and epigrammatical. " (Western Morning News)

"Refreshing and different." (Liverpool Daily Post)

"Read it." (Queen)

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