Sometimes I just like to take a chance, and read an author that I have never heard of. My local library easily allows me to do this with their many offerings of books for sale. For $.25 (a mere two-bits), I was able to acquire this little gem, “Root Of All Evil,” written by E.X. Ferrars, a short 182 page crime mystery, published by Doubleday & Company, in 1984. What sold me on it, however, was the photo of the writer on the back.
The author, E.X. Ferrars aka Morna Doris MacTaggart Brown, had a 45 year career as a crime and detective fiction writer, until her death in March of 1995. (She was born in 1907).
Just one look at her, and I thought, “She looks like she would be a good fiction writer, and she reminds me of my grandmother, Stella Burns.” My grandmother would have been a good writer, I bet, since she had such a love of reading, and was very articulate. So, I suppose in a way, I decided to honor my grandmother’s memory, by reading Mrs. Ferrars. I was not disappointed.
This book, I found out later, is the second in a series of detective novels that involve a main character named “Andrew Basnett,” who is a 70 year old retired botany professor, from one of London University’s colleges. He has just received a phone call from Felicity, an 85 year old very well-to-do cousin of his dear departed wife Nell, inviting him to come visit her in her Berkshire home for the Easter holiday. He accepts, and so begins a visit that will entrench him in a mystery, that begins with the confession to a murder that hasn’t even taken place yet! A family party ensues with all of Felicity’s children and grandchildren, lending to the intrigue, Andrew finds himself swimming with everyone in a sea of suspicion. If I were to share any more, it would make me a spoiler, and this mystery will surely have you guessing.
This was a very pleasurable book to read, no great revelations, just an enjoyable pallet cleanser. The reason I say this is often after reading a novel, I feel changed somewhat, as some new understanding has been offered me about something that came up in the book. This book was just a nice read and a good mystery. I do think I know why it didn’t raise me up however, (except with her very excellent writing style, easy to follow.)
I found out through looking at the author, E.X. Ferrars, did not profess any faith. In fact, it is mentioned on “Wikipedia” that she most likely assisted in turning her first husband from evangelism to agnosticism. When she died she was buried in a nonreligious manner. I found this to be so sad, if true, to have lived this life, and never known Christ, and then to have no Eternity with Him. Perhaps the researcher who supplied this information may gotten it wrong. I hope so. You can read about it here:
Hopelessness seems to breed hopelessness, and a life without Christ is the most hopeless state of all. The greatest mystery of all time, is how God puts Himself back into man, (after the Fall). For any not to not avail themselves of this glorious Privilege, is the second greatest mystery to me.
That being said, I would read E.X. Ferrars again. I hope you will also.