The Mad Monk Of Gidleigh by Michael Jecks

Mad MonkWinter 1323, Dartmoor. Mark has been isolated as the parish priest of the town of Gidleigh, his high hopes of a promotion into the Bishop’s staff or even just a reconciliation with his father fading with time. And then a spark of light comes into his life – Mary, the miller’s daughter. But friendship becomes something else, and when she tells him that she is pregnant, he is witnessed striking her and fleeing. His guilt is obvious, especially when he flees town…

Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper Of The King’s Peace, and Simon Puttock, Bailiff of the Stanneries, are called to bring Mark back to Gidleigh to face justice. But Gidleigh is the one place that he can never get a fair trial. Sir Ralph, the Squire of Gidleigh, is determined to see Mark hang – but why is he so concerned for justice for Mary? Baldwin and Simon discover that the town conceals some dark and horrible secrets. Death is coming to Gidleigh – and he’s not leaving empty-handed.

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Posted in Furnshill & Puttock, Historical Mysteries, Michael Jecks | 2 Comments

Time Of Death by Mark Billingham

Time Of DeathFollowing what can only be described as the trauma of The Bones Beneath, Tom Thorne and his girlfriend Helen Weeks are taking a break. When news breaks that two girls have been abducted from Helen’s home town in Warwickshire – and the husband of a friend from school is arrested for the crime, Helen feels compelled to visit her friend, despite not having returned for twenty-five years.

Needless to say, Thorne cannot resist being drawn into the investigation. Despite there being insurmountable evidence against the suspect, Thorne has a hint that something else is going on. But he is out of his element – i.e. not in London – and not part of the official investigation. As Helen starts behaving oddly, and a body appears, is there any chance that the second victim is still alive?

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Posted in Mark Billingham, Tom Thorne | 2 Comments

Cards On The Table by Agatha Christie

Cards On The TableLots of people collect things. I used to collect Spider-man comics. That’s a safe thing to collect. Mr Shaitana collects murderers. That ISN’T a safe thing to collect… especially when you invite four of them to dinner.

Shaitana invites four suspected (by him) murderers and four sleuths – Ariadne Oliver, Colonel Race, Superintendent Battle and a certain M. Hercule Poirot. And while the four suspects play bridge together while Shaitana watches on, one of them leaves the table and stabs him. But as the murder was silent, nobody witnessed it – and everybody left the table at some point. With no evidence at all, apart from the bridge score cards which fascinate Poirot for some reason, how will it be possible to find the killer and even more, to prove it?

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Posted in Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot | 18 Comments

The Detective Wore Silk Drawers by Peter Lovesey

imagesSergeant Cribb has been tasked with improving the crime statistics at Scotland Yard – yes, even in 1877, target-setting was an issue. When a headless corpse is pulled from the Thames, Cribb identifies him as a bare-knuckle fighter, a highly illegal gambling activity that seems to be getting more dangerous by the day.

Recruiting a young police boxing champion, by the name of Henry Jago (yes, really), the partially pusillanimous and pugnacious puglist (all right, I’ll stop it now) goes undercover, gaining entry into Radstock Hall, a training camp run by the mysterious Mrs Vibart. Can Jago keep his cover intact before Cribb unmasks a murderer?

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Posted in Peter Lovesey, Sergeant Cribb | 5 Comments

Mrs Pargeter’s Principle by Simon Brett

Mrs P PrincipleMrs Melita Pargeter has a comfortable life. Widowed, her late husband, who just may have had a hand in a number of rather dubious businesses, has set her up with some of his old associates only too happy to help her out with any problem, no matter how small. Her little black book, containing the names of her husband’s contacts, is an invaluable resource for her, but when one of the earliest names in it dies, Mrs P finds herself at his funeral, determined to find out who exactly he was.

She becomes determined to find the truth as to who Sir Normington Winthrop actually was, especially when “advised” not to by a large unpleasant man at the funeral. But as she pursues her investigation, along with helping out some other of her husband’s old friends, she soon finds that someone is willing to kill to stop the truth coming out.

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Posted in Mrs Pargeter, Simon Brett | 4 Comments

The Case Of The Dotty Dowager by Cathy Ace

Dotty DowagerHenry Deveraux Twyst is the eighteenth Duke of Chellingworth, living on the estate of Chellingworth Hall in Powys, Wales. He receives a late night telephone call from Althea, the Dowager Duchess (i.e. his mother) claiming that she has found a dead body on the floor of the dining room. When he arrives – guess what – the body has vanished. This seems to confirm his suspicions that his mother may be losing her faculties, when she produces a woolly hat that she found next to the body – a hat covered in blood.

Enter the women of the WISE Enquiries Agency – WISE standing for Welsh, Irish, Scottish and English – a quartet of female sleuths with a variety of skills. Going undercover in the Hall and the surrounding village, there seems to be little to go on. Nothing was stolen from the Hall and the alarms weren’t disturbed. But when one of them goes missing, it seems that someone is very concerned about the truth coming out…

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Posted in Cathy Ace | 7 Comments

Crime On My Hands by George Sanders

crime on my hands coverGeorge Sanders, star of the silver screen is bored of playing the same old roles – namely a charmer/cad of various shades of grey. Most notably, he is known for his heroic roles as The Falcon and The Saint, but he is in need of a change; hence he takes the lead role in a western.

Needless to say, it’s not long before a body is found, an extra shot dead in a gunfight scene and an attempt is made to frame George. Obviously this wouldn’t be a problem for The Falcon or The Saint. Unfortunately George is neither of these people – but it’s not clear if he, or the killer, is completely aware of that fact…

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Posted in Craig Rice, George Sanders | 5 Comments