Chief Constable Sir Clinton Driffield is on holiday for once, going to visit his friend “Squire” Wendover for a spot of fishing. The morning after arriving, though, he is roused at an early hour and called to help in a murder enquiry. A local gamekeeper has been found by the boathouse, shot to death with his own gun.
As investigations proceed it seems as if everyone in the vicinity may have visited the boathouse at some point that night. With the local land-owner’s wife missing and a second body waiting to be found, it seems that the case is going to get a lot more complicated before things get resolved.
A peaceful evening at the Queen household is cut short by the arrival of some uninvited guests. Soon Ellery and his father are winging their way to the mysterious Bendigo Island, recruited by Abel Bendigo to protect his even-more-oddly named brother, King Bendigo.
King Bendigo is a man with his own private army, navy and airforce, a man of power who can topple governments, a man who brokers both war and peace and makes a handsome profit doing so. He is also a man who is receiving death threats, which, while he does not take them seriously, his brother does, which is why Ellery has been summoned.
As the threats become more and more specific, King Bendigo ensures he is safely sealed away at the time the threat is due to be carried out. But when an impossible bullet strikes him down, Ellery finds himself with one of the most baffling cases of his career.
So, February 2015 and I may have got a little carried away with my reading. It’s the fault of Readathon UK, an event that supports a number of children’s charities through sponsored reading in schools. Our school librarian asked for staff to take part and I stepped up, claiming that ten books (still got five days to go, by the way) would be an appropriate challenge. Now it’s just possible that I may have got a little carried away…
Fourteen books later…
A month ago, I had a look at the first half of Series Four of Death In Paradise, concluding that the series had taken a strong lead, beating me 3.5 to 0.5 – I half got the surfing one. So I had everything to play for in the second half – could I possibly catch up with the devious writers who had really upped their game from the previous series.
And of course, Humphrey’s team has gone a change of personnel from the first half of the series, with Camille having departed for Paris, leading to Florence’s promotion to Detective Sergeant and the arrival of J.P, a young police officer. With such a shake-up, could the series continue its strong run?
1805, Northern France, and Napoleon’s forces stand ready to cross the Channel and invade England. But here is dissention in the ranks as the night is patrolled by a shadowy figure, killing without a trace, leaving a note, signed Captain Cut-Throat, a man who can kill victims who stand in plain sight without being seen.
Meanwhile, Alan Hepburn, an English spy is at the mercy of Joseph Fouché, the Minister of Police. Rather than be executed, Hepburn is coerced into tracking down Cut-Throat. He already has an idea as to who is involved, but Fouché is playing a much deeper game than simply finding a killer. With both his and his wife’s life at stake, can Hepburn avoid both Fouché’s reach and the blade of Captain Cut-Throat?
Lacey Flint has spent the last three books bouncing from trauma to trauma, but, having resigned from CID, life as a river policeman seems to be a perfect choice for her. Things can’t possibly go wrong…
… until her sort-of boyfriend vanishes into an undercover assignment that has put him at odds with his colleagues. Someone is stalking Lacey along the river, leaving messages for her on her houseboat. And when the first body, shrouded in linen, floats to the surface, things are going to go even further downhill. Or down river, I suppose…
November 1879, the Agricultural Hall, London, the venue of the Six-day “Go As You Please Contest” or “Wobbles”. The aim – to walk or run as far as possible around a track over six days. Simple. Captain Erskine Chadwick and Charles Darrell, both experienced competitors, are the main draw for spectators and, more importantly, gamblers, but there are many other amateurs with their eyes on the prize.
Things progress well on the first day but soon one of the competitors lies dead. At first it seems that it is due to natural causes – tetanus contracted from the track through the blisters on his feet – but it soon becomes evident that the cause of death was strychnine. Luckily Sergeant Cribb is on the case…