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Death at the Jesus Hospital
Lord Francis Powerscourt Investigation, No 11

David Dickinson

Constable (Constable and Robinson)
19 January 2012 / ISBN: 9781780330297
Historical Mystery / 1911 England, various locations
Amazon US - UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Why would anybody want to murder an old man living in an almshouse just outside London? But then, what would the motive be for killing a school bursar up in Norfolk or a banqueting former Lord Mayor of London? It is up to Lord Francis Powerscourt to discover the connection and bring the perpetrator to justice, but this is going to be a long and involved business…

There is plenty in this book and a rich variety of settings, rather like the courses in the banquet attended, fatally, by Sir Rufus Walcott. Lord Powerscourt has to work with three very different inspectors in three locations and interview many suspects, all of which combine to make for a good red-herring-strewn murder mystery in the classic style.

But this is not quite the case, as we actually learn whodunit - if not their name and full identity - fairly early on in the book. This rather spoils the story, at least for me and all those who prefer their mysteries to be mysterious rather than watching the detective go through his paces, interesting as that is. On a more positive note, this author is adept at evoking times and places, and this is a good picture of England in 1911. It is a time when the country was stepping out of the Edwardian era and into a new one, although the past still has the power to haunt and cause trouble. Mr Dickinson has produced a good book, but in my opinion if he had made it more of a mystery it would have been even better.

Other reviews in this series

Death & The Jubilee, No 2
Death of an Old Master
, No 3
Death on the Nevskii Prospekt, No 6
Death on the Holy Mountain, No 7
Death of a Pilgrim,
No 8
Death of a Wine Merchant
, No
Death of a Chancellor, No
Death Called To The Bar, No
Death in a Scarlet Coat, No 10 [review 1] [review 2]
Death at the Jesus Hospital, No 11

Reviewed 2012
© 2012