You’ll see mention again and again in Holmes, Poirot and Miss Marple stories about an inquest being held after Lord Thingummy is found dead in his locked study with a frozen look of horror on his face. A coroner called the inquest to determine the nature and cause of death and whether foul play is involved, and if so, refer the case to court, usually the Assizes (periodic criminal courts). Until 1924, a jury ruled on the evidence. Increasingly, coroners are now medical examiners, but at the times of Austen and even Holmes, coroners were rarely medical doctors. There is an extensive inquest scene in The Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor.