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A Fête Worse Than Death

by Dolores Gordon-Smith


Jack Haldean, former RAF pilot and now a promising crime writer, is staying with his cousins, the Rivers, at their stately home in Sussex . Attending a fête on a glorious summer day, he reflects how he dreamed of this sort during the war, but surely his idyll did not include a murdered man in the fortuneteller's tent? Nor another body in the local inn? Jack has tried his hand helping Scotland Yard before and had some success can he solve the murders and prevent any more happening?

Old sins cast some long shadows in this highly promising debut. The early years of the Roaring Twenties are sketched lightly in, instantly bringing the era to life without overdoing too much extraneous detail. It is a rattling good plot too, with plenty of plot-appropriate period detail, the necessary red herrings and constant action of some sort or another. It is a remarkably polished work for a first novel, and I look forward to reading more in the series. Perhaps inevitably Jack is not a terribly interesting protagonist, but he is amiable and makes a decent detective who manages not to make the obvious mistakes that mar many books of this type. All in all, highly recommended and the best crime series debut of this year to date.


The Book

Constable & Robinson
28 June 2007
13: 9781845295950
Historical Crime - 1922, Sussex , England
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2007