The Black Eye by Constance and Gwenyth Little is a mystery redeemed by being written while the world was at war. Although the mystery is somewhat on the contrived side, the sense of ordinary life impacted by war is well-conveyed.
In reviewing Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones, I mentioned how the characters in it have lives before and after the book. In The Black Eye the opposite is the case. The characters exist only for the length of the mystery. There is little background shading and precious little suggestion of the future. Is that because it was wartime, a living in the present? I’ll have to read some more books by the Little sisters before I decide.
I seldom comment on format, but Rue Morgue Press presented this reprint in an odd tall, wide, thin size that flopped around and was decidedly unhandy to carry anywhere. It also took me a few pages to adjust to reading it.