NO MOTIVE FOR MURDER

First Published in January 1958 - 190 pages

Published in the USA in 1959 - 190 pages

Republished in paperback by Norman Wright in 2004 - 191 pages

 

Tony West is asked to visit the offices of Chalson & Co., solicitors. When he does he is informed that his brother Peter, whom he thought was living in Australia, has died and has left his estate to Tony. Tony is surprised to hear that Peter has died in Paris, where he was living, and that Peter was murdered. Chalson & Co. are acting as agents for Peter West's Paris solicitor, Monsieur Boulenger and they hand to Tony a sealed letter from Peter, written before his death. This letter asks Tony to look after a woman called Colette Dufoy. Tony didn't expect to receive anything from his brother Peter, because the two brothers had become estranged following Peter's divorce and a car accident in which Peter had killed his wife's lover and had been sent to jail. Travelling to Paris to deal with the estate, Tony first meets with the French solicitor, Boulenger and then goes to Peter's old Paris flat. Here, he meets Francois, a 'cordonnier' and Madame Charlot, the housekeeper. Tony also meets Colette Dufoy and he finds out more about the circumstances of Peter's death. Three sinister men, an American called Delano, a Frenchman called Louis Le Lapin and a German called Stanislaus Schultzer, also visit Tony at the flat. They want money from Tony, saying his brother owes it to them. Tony refuses to pay. Colette tells Tony how Peter befriended her and another girl called Isobel Brice. Isobel grew jealous when Peter paid more attention to Colette. Since Peter's murder Isobel has disappeared and the police are looking for her. The next day, Tony meets up with Denis Coulestin, a journalist investigating Peter's death, and learns valuable information from him. Denis knows about the three villains who have visited and he knows that their solicitor is Boulenger. Denis tells Tony about the region of France known as 'La Sologne', which is where Peter has a country property called Montmarron. Denis has reason to believe that a Gestapo agent called Ernst Leffers has hidden a stolen fortune somewhere in La Sologne. Schultzer was one of Leffers' men and Delano was an American deserter who stayed in La Sologne. Denis tells Tony that Peter was associated with a black market currency manipulator called Serge Rodinsky. Denis suspects that, through Rodinsky, Peter got to know the three villains and they let him into the secret of Leffers' hidden fortune in order to get financial backing whilst searching for it. Louis Le Lapin comes to see Tony alone one night and offers to tell him who murdered his brother, for a price. Tony pays for the information. Louis says it was Isobel who killed Peter. He dropped her off to get money from Peter by saying she was pregnant by him. She never came back. Louis says Isobel must have panicked and ran after killing Peter. Tony has good reason to believe the story because it fits in with other facts he has secretly found out. The next morning, Denis rings Tony to say that Lapin has been found dead in the river. Tony and Colette travel to Montmarron, Peter's property in La Sologne. Here they are confronted by Schultzer and Delano but manage to see them off. The following day, a priest calls at Montmarron. His name is Father Delamain and he was a good friend of Peter's. From the priest, Tony learns the truth behind the mystery about Peter's behaviour. Tony also learns that Schultzer and Delano have been arrested for the murder of Lapin. Returning to Paris, Tony and Collete meet again with Denis Coulestin. Tony has now figured out the story and knows who murdered his brother Peter. The murderer must be confronted but an even greater surprise awaits when this happens. Strangely, the surprise is illustrated on the cover of the English edition of the book although you don't realise until after you have found out what it is!

 

No Motive for Murder

Subtitle - Tony West had always preferred to take things easily, but he found this impossible when he discovered his brother had been murdered in Paris, and even more impossible after his first meeting with Colette.

Publication Details - originally published by Hodder and Stoughton

 

 

First Edition dustjacket

 

Close up of the front and back so you can read the interesting biographical details

 

American Edition dustjacket

 

Cover and spine from the Norman Wright 2004 reprint

 

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