Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Robert Hale
Release Date: April 2003
ISBN: 0709073968
Format Reviewed: Hardback
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Genre: Historical Crime [1893, London]
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde
Reviewer Notes:

The Hansa Protocol
By Norman Russell  

     Norman Russell formerly swam against the tide with his Gothic whodunits featuring the Warwickshire-based duo of Inspector Jackson and Sergeant Bottomley. Now he turns his attention to Scotland Yard and DI Box with his large sidekick, Sergeant Knollys, who have their work cut out for them in foiling a fiendish plot to give the Kaiser the upper hand.

     When Dr Otto Seligmann is blown up in the garden folly that he used as a library, it is a blow for England, as he was in favor of peace. But others are rattling the sabers and want war and a brave new Germany that will have an empire greater than England’s. Box has to find out who the conspirators are. He is aided in his task by the sinister Colonel Kershaw, head of secret intelligence, who is also keen to enlist a young female friend of Box’s. As events overtake them, they are engaged in a desperate race to avert a disastrous war.

     Bombs, sinister spies, charismatic agents and dastardly plots abound in this delightful thriller that mixes whodunit and spy story elements. Swiftly-paced and introducing the entertaining character of Colonel Kershaw, this novel has at once the old-fashioned charm of a Victorian adventure story whilst being pleasantly unlike many other historical crime novels. There is a compelling plot, but it might have been even better if it had been less predictable. Otherwise, good Boys (and Girls) Own stuff. Russell continues to have fun with the historical crime sub-genre. More, please.

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