Murder with Relish was the first novel written by C.Lindsay Taylor, and the only one to appear under that name. Constance Lindsay Taylor subsequently adopted the pen-name Guy Cullingford, and earned considerable admiration for a small number of books written with some distinction, the most famous of which by far is Post Mortem, a novel which counts Peter Lovesey (and me) among its numerous admirers.
Murder with Relish appeared in 1948, when its author was already in her mid-forties; she'd started out with journalism and poetry, but marriage and raising a family seems to have kept her fully occupied for some years before she tried her hand at a novel. Alternatively, the fact that the story is set in the mid-Thirties may suggest that she started work on it long before the publication date.
The story concerns a cook, Mrs Bonnet (who has never actually been married; those were the days when it was thought to be courteous to confer honorary marital status on a senior member of domestic staff) who has served the Everard family for many years. Her world is turned upside down when her employer, a widow, dies after a family meal .Mrs Bonnet suspects murder (though nobody else does) and turns detective with a view to achieving justice for her late employer.
This is a witty and unusual story, which affords considerable insight into the class divide in British society at the time. Even though it's a first novel, you can tell that the author is a novelist of genuine talent. I really enjoyed this story, and can recommend it. As for Taylor/Cullingford, she eventually earned election to the Detection Club, and Peter Lovesey recalls appreciating her company at Club dinners. She was born in 1903, and died as recently as 2000. An interesting writer, who deserves to be better known.