While trying to find information about the author, I came across this blog which gives a brief account of Louis Tracy's life - the first 21 years of which are shrouded in a bit of mystery - and a picture.
"The Postmaster's Daughter" was first published from July to September 1916 as a series in "Country Gentleman" and then printed as a novel the same year.
It is a fun-to-read detective story, with (of course!) a love-story thrown in, and kept me guessing at the "whodunnit" until fairly far ahead. The characters are described so well you can easily run the movie in your mind. Some of them are likeable, some less so, but all are very much "there".
The book is neatly divided into 23 chapters (probably the way the story was originally serialized in the "Country Gentleman") with such intriguing headlines as "The Face at the Window", "The Seeds of Mischief", "On Both Sides of the River", "A Matter of Heredity" and "The Truth at Last". Don't some of these sound like the names of episodes in Midsomer Murders?
To briefly summarize the story without telling too much, let me just say that well-to-do bachelor John Grant finds the body of a famous actress he once was in love with but has not met in three years on his own grounds, miles away from her London work place. What was she doing there, and who had a reason to want her dead?
The village near his house is soon buzzing with rumours and suspicion, especially when it becomes known that Grant spent part of the evening of the murder in the company of the prettiest and cleverest girl around, the postmaster's daughter.
What roles do the calm and polite village chemist, the butcher, the landlord of the "Hare and Hounds" and the sporty horse dealer play? And where does the ghost of Owd Ben fit in?
Grant summons his best friend for moral support when everyone seems to point at him, and it does not take long for Scotland Yard's best men to appear on the scene.
In the end, all is revealed, although the culprit is not brought to justice (in a way, he is, but I won't say another word!).
This was, as you probably have guessed, a free ebook from the Kindle store, and one I very much enjoyed for its witty dialogue and good characterization of people.