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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Past and present
Hannah Scarlett and her cold case team are forced into investigating the disappearance - or is it murder? - of Emma Beswick, by an investigative journalist. Hannah herself was part of the original investigation and felt that there was more to the case than they'd discovered. Daniel Kind - the Oxford historian who has moved to the Lake District, is also curious about the...
Published on 5 Oct 2008 by Damaskcat

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moderate.
Not I fear for the first time, I find myself at odds with fellow reviewers. Recently I have run into a number of somewhat indifferent crime novels after hitting lucky with some very fine ones.

I need to confess that this is the first of Martin Edwards' books I have encountered and only afterwards discovered that this is the third in the Lakes murder series...
Published 13 months ago by Bluecashmere.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Labyrinthine in its mystique, 30 Dec 2012
By 
Jane Baker "jan-bookcase" (Somerset) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: ARSENIC LABYRINTH, THE (Lake District Mysteries) (Paperback)
Brilliant! From the opening line "I killed a man once" the reader is hooked until the final denouement, terrifying in its unpredictability. The novel is a complex mass of "baggage" - from the disappearance of Emma Beswick, ten years earlier, the deteriorating relationship of Daniel Kind and Miranda who is unable to settle with the ease with which Kind has done, glad to leave behind the ivory towers of Oxford. His relationship with Hannah Scarlett, confusing because his father Ben Kind always seems to be in the background with its effect on Scarlett, confuses more against Scarlett's unstraightforward relationship with Marc. Then there is Guy and the journalist who is desperate to have this case re-opened. Yet despite complexities and contradictions Edwards weaves his plot with consummate skill to its last page. This series is a must-read for all who-dunnit fans. Edwards is a serious crime fiction author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a good read, 13 April 2014
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This is a light read with a clever plot. Much better than the first book so I'm glad I stuck with the author. Characters are good and story line believable. I would read another of his books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, empathetic mystery, 23 Oct 2013
Martin Edwards's Lake District novels are always reliable for intelligent and compassionately portrayed entertainment, and they keep getting better. The mystery here, about the years-old disappearance of a woman, is engrossing, and Edwards's character's voices are always memorable, especially that of the amoral drifter Guy. The principal pleasure of these novels are the sensitively portrayed series leads, DCI Hannah Scarlett and historian Daniel Kind, two interesting, very competent yet vulnerable protagonists. The resolution of the mystery is particularly satisfying here - very morally ambiguous, very thought-provoking, very well-characterized. The Arsenic Labyrinth is an absolute treat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT SERIES, 8 Sep 2013
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Lori "Lori" (Campbeltown, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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I enjoy all Martin Edwards' books. The Lake District is a fine location and the characters are well-drawn and believable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another Lake District, 22 July 2013
By 
Noel (Belfast, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: ARSENIC LABYRINTH, THE (Lake District Mysteries) (Paperback)
This is my second trip into Martin Edwards' Lake District. The adventure began with a trek along the 'Coffin Trail' and now I've got reacquainted with the Lake District in the 'Arsenic Labyrinth'. This is the Lake District but not as I know it. It is sinister landscape of claustrophobic villages peopled by deranged and murderous people. My lasting impression is of dark cloudy hills, cold, and brooding evil. Martin Edwards does such a very professional job to shatter my happy image of one of my favourite areas. He had me convinced.

The central characters in this book, as in the first, are cold case detective Hannah Scarlett and erstwhile Oxford historian Daniel Kind. The 10th anniversary of the disappearance of a local woman is marked by an article in the local newspaper. That article has unexpected consequences for Hannah when this stone-cold case comes back to vibrant life. The central story line of Emma Bestwick's disappearance was not terribly gripping for me. You learn quite early in the book how this disappearance came about and the rest of the plot follows the efforts of the police to catch up with your state of knowledge. By the end of the book they seem to have got there despite all the efforts made to prevent that. In the process of unravelling the story of Emma Bestwick the tawdry distant and recent past of some of the leading local families is laid bare. Lives are disrupted and destroyed. Old and new murders are uncovered and solved (kind of). There are some plot twists and turns along the way, and very near the end a surprising new development.

This is an acceptable read but for me not a page-turner. It was interesting to meet up again with a few of the characters from the 'Coffin Trail' (which I recommend as the place to start in this series) and see how relationships continue to develop and disintegrate. Perhaps my mistake was to read it during a heatwave, it is a book better suited to a winter night by a warm fireside. I'm still not sure whether I should forgive Martin Edwards for making the Lake District feel so uncomfortable. I will go back again with him to 'The Cipher Garden' in due course hoping to see a more pleasant though no less murderous Lake District.

One final thought about the publishers Allison & Busby. On the front cover of my paperback issue of 'The Arsenic Labyrinth' there is a recommendation attributed to Ann Cleeves which says 'A beautifully crafted book, and for lovers of the classic whodunnit, there's a delicious twist in the tail.' Turn to the end of the book and the brief synopsis of the first book in the series 'The Coffin Trail' and guess what - there is Ann Cleeves again saying 'A beautifully crafted book. And for lovers of the classic whodunnit, there's a delicious twist in the tail.' Slightly different punctuation but same sentiment. A little careless A&B!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, 21 May 2013
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Love the characters and the interactions.....will they, wont they? Good description of the Lakes and I grew up visiting there so know it well. Can't wait to read the next........will they, wont they?
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Arsenic Labyrinth, 21 April 2013
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I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Lake District Mysteries and am hoping for more to be forthcoming. The stories are very good and the characters believable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Arsenic Labyrinth, 9 Mar 2013
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Another gripping read in the Lake District Murder series. D.I. Hannah Scarlett is an interesting and believable character. So is Daniel Kind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First read..., 30 Aug 2012
My first Martin Edwards' crime novel and well worth the anticipation. An enthralling mystery with engaging characterisation and evocative scene depiction that takes the reader into the heart of the story. A very good book indeed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Arsenic Labyrinth, 27 Aug 2012
This review is from: ARSENIC LABYRINTH, THE (Lake District Mysteries) (Paperback)
The reviews already printed here have given an indication of the theme of 'The Arsenic Labyrinth' but I should like to echo some of the comments about this book and the others in the Lake District series. All the novels are enjoyable to read, well-paced and full of insights into human behaviour, tinged with a wry humour; they also have terrific beginnings and gruesome endings, so important in crime novels and, with the back-drop of the Lakes, they would probably adapt very well to the small screen.
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ARSENIC LABYRINTH, THE (Lake District Mysteries)
ARSENIC LABYRINTH, THE (Lake District Mysteries) by Martin Edwards (Paperback - 25 Feb 2008)
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