The Home Front Detective Series, No 1
Allison and Busby
26 September 2011 (US 15 December 2011) / ISBN 9780749009908
Historical Mystery / 1915 / London, England
by Rachel A Hyde
May 1915 and the Germans have just torpedoed the Lusitania. Anti-German
feeling has caused some people to rise up against the Hun in their
midst, and no German is safe. Jacob Stein’s tailor’s
shop is burnt down one night, its owner murdered, and his daughter
raped. Detective Inspector Harvey Marmion is assigned to the case,
alongside Sergeant Joe Keedy, and the pair have to discover whodunit.
But what exactly is the real motive behind such a planned murder?
In the wake of hit TV series Downton Abbey, I fancy we can expect
both more tales of early 20th century country houses and WWI novels.
This is very much the latter, only looking largely at what it was
like in London during the conflict rather than in the more usual
trenches. Opening with two of the main characters on the Lusitania,
this one hits the ground running in fine style and is an entertaining
way of learning more about certain aspects of the period. Anti-German
riots, career opportunities for women, political ideas and a quick
sortie into Belgium all add to the atmosphere. Typically for this
author, you are sure not to be bored. At the heart of it all is
a murder mystery, but I thought at times that the other aspects
of the case were explained too early on and even more mystery would
have made a good story even better. As the Railway
has now ended, you can expect more in the same vein – a rousing
opening to what is sure to be a popular new series.