When Miss Marple meets with her old friend Ruth, she is persuaded to look in on Ruth’s sister, Carrie Louise. Currently living in a mansion with her extended family at Stonygates, which has been converted into a home for delinquent youths, run by her husband, Lewis Serrocold. Ruth is convinced, in that old detective fiction way, that something is undefinably wrong at the house. When Miss Marple arrives, she too senses… something. But not before tragedy strikes.
Carrie Louise’s stepson arrives with suspicions as well – someone is trying to kill her. But before he can clarify his suspicions, he is shot dead on a night full of incident. As the police arrive and enlist Miss Marple’s help, it seems that the killer is becoming more determined to carry out their plan. And all the time, Miss Marple’s thoughts keep returning to magicians – hence the title…
In 1976, Marcus Falbrook was kidnapped from his family. Ransom notes were sent were Marcus was never seen again. Until the day he returns to his family with little memory of what happened to him. At the same time, Leah Wakefield, a local teen pop sensation is kidnapped. It seems to be simply a bizarre coincidence until the ransom notes for Leah arrive – written on the same paper and in the same style as the notes for Marcus. Has the same kidnapper returned after more than forty years?
In the meantime, DI Wesley Peterson and his team are busy hunting for the Barber – a dangerous man who impersonates taxi drivers in order to attack women and cut off their hair. Meanwhile, Wesley’s archaeologist friend Neil Watson finds a coffin in a churchyard with two bodies in it. His investigations lead to a local religious cult from the Georgian era. As the various investigations continue, things start to dovetail together – but how does a Georgian cult possibly link to a pop star kidnapping?
Last Tuesday, Death In Paradise came to the end of its third series and it was presumably a bit of a gamble for the creators. After the second series, star Ben Miller – DI Richard Poole, the very British detective sent to the island of Saint-Marie – decided that he had to leave the show in order to spend more time with his family in the UK. A completely understandable decision but viewers were at a bit of a loss as to how it would continue with a new lead. And I’ll happily admit, I was concerned when the replacement lead actor was announced as Kris Marshall, famed primarily for My Family (ugh!) and some BT adverts.
I’ve posted my thoughts on the first two episodes, but now the series is over, let’s have a look at the eight episodes together, shall we?
James Caplon Answell is visiting Avory Hume, his prospective father-in-law. As far as he knows, it’s just to sort out some business concerning the marriage to his daughter Mary. As he’s escorted into Hume’s office – an impregnable of a fortress of an office, Hume seems to be acting in a strange way. After accepting a drink, Answell collapses to the floor, drugged.
When he comes to, Hume is lying on the floor with an arrow in his chest. There are clear fingerprints on the arrow – Answell’s, of course – and the room is as locked as it could possibly be – from the inside of course.
Leap forward several months and Answell is on trial for murder. All seems lost – it’s an open and shut case. No one could possibly have got into the room, even if Answell’s story is true. But one man thinks he knows how the murderer got in – through the Judas Window – whatever the heck that is… And luckily that man is Answell’s defence council – the one and only Sir Henry Merrivale!
Being Master of a leper hospital probably isn’t the most popular career choice, but that is what faces Ralph of Houndeslow as he comes to Crediton. Guardian of a group of seriously ill individuals who are shunned from society – indeed, who have very few legal rights – it’s not something that I could do.
Meanwhile, in the town itself, the merchant Godfrey of London is found murdered and his daughter Cecily has been attacked. People seem keen to point the finger at John of Irlaunde – a womaniser with a dubious reputation – but while Sir Baldwin Furnshill knows John is a reprobate, he doesn’t strike him as a murderer. Soon the townsfolk are looking for someone else to blame as well – and someone is whispering evil claims about those evil lepers…
The sixth book in the Furnshill-Puttock series, which so far has ranged from very good to excellent. Is this a continuation of that trend?
Egypt, circa 1475 BC, and there’s a poisoner on the loose. Some years previously, a priest at the temple of Ptah (Egyptian God of Craftsman) was finally revealed as the assassin known as the Rekhet, an expert at poison and responsible for countless deaths throughout the city. Banished to a desert prison, he was expected to die there. But he has escaped, bent on revenge. And no-one seems to know exactly what he looks like…
Meanwhile in Thebes, a delegation of Libyans are being welcomed with all of the ceremony that Hatusu, Pharoah of Egypt, can provide. After a drinking vessel is passed around, three Egyptian priests drop dead – poisoned! But the Libyans drank from the vessel as well. Did one of them poison the bowl – or is the Rekhet resumed his deadly tricks?
As Amerotke struggles with this mystery, he is also charged with finding the truth behind the death of a merchant and his young wife, drowned in their pool which no-one could have approached. But he soon finds a link with the Rekhet there as well. Can he possibly locate this shadowy assassin before the body count hits double figures?
Seriously? It’s March already? Blimey, February flew past just like that. Almost forgot to sort out the most important monthly event on the entire internet (other opinions may differ on this). Yes, it’s time for the chance to provide the background wallpaper for my blog for the next month and all you have to do is write the book that I enjoyed the most this month. Easy.
February was a busy month – eight books (nine if you count the book that I haven’t got round to reviewing yet) and much rambling about Jonathan Creek. I’m not going to do an episode by episode review for this series, just an overall one. But the first episode was odd, to say the least – not sure yet if it really worked for me or not.
But more importantly, let’s have a look at this month’s reading: