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The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye
Anthony Bathurst Mystery – Book III
By Brian Flynn

Dean Street Press
7 October 2019/ ASIN: B07XQQ1G7F

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde 


Beautiful Sheila Delaney spends a fairytale evening at the hunt ball dancing with the mysterious Mr X. A few months later, Anthony Bathurst is hired by the Crown Prince of Clorania to deal with a blackmailer, and is shortly afterwards also investigating the mysterious death of an anonymous girl who is found dead in a dentist’s chair. Surely these events cannot be connected?

This is the third Brian Flynn mystery to be released in paperback and ebook format by Dean Street Press. He was one of the less well known authors from the Golden Age of mysteries, but one of the better ones, and a long overdue reprint. This is often held to be his best novel, and although I also very much enjoyed reading his debut novel, The Billiard Room Mystery, (also reviewed on this site) this is a far more polished work. It boasts an extremely complex and tortuous plot with plenty of surprises and red herrings galore. I think it will appeal to Agatha Christie fans, as there is much about it that recalls her work. Gradually the disparate strands weave together and culminate in quite a surprise, unless you are a better sleuth than I am and got there first. I don’t think the urbane and rather conceited Anthony Bathurst will ever be a great favorite of mine, but he has calmed down from the first book and mostly comes over as merely sharp. This is a series that you read for the wonderfully twisty plots and portrait of Britain between the wars. You will spend most of the book wondering what the peacock’s eye is, as well as trying to fathom out who on earth could be guilty. I look forward to reading all the works of this author; thank you Dean Street Press (and foreword writer Steve Barge for insisting on a reprint).

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2019