Books: After the Finer Hour

SOMEBODY AT THE DOOR—Raymond Postgate—Knopf ($2).

Croxburn was a bleak London suburb made bleaker by the Blitz. Its people—many of them — were phlegmatic busybodies made vicious by the strain of war. In the cold winter of 1942, with the side walks filmed with ice, weary infidelities in the cold houses, grafting in the desultory municipal government, train service rotten and winter colds everywhere, murder was possible. In Croxburn it happened.

Somebody at the Door is compounded of the stories of the people involved in the murder — Grayling, the murdered man, over...

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