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3.6 out of 5 stars
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 27 August 2013
This is a good old fashioned traditional murder mystery. When school headmaster, Harold Medburn, is found murdered, it seems that every single member of staff or member of the Parents Association had a reason to kill him. Whilst Inspector Ramsay is in charge of the case, and firmly believes Medburn was killed by his wife, school caretaker Jack Robson is not so sure and is determined to carry out his own investigation with the help of his daughter, Patty.

The story moves along at a good pace, it is a quick read that can be read in one day, but the story flows well, twisting and turning and throwing suspicion on different characters left, right and centre, until the very end when everything is tied up in a satisfactory manner. I didn't guess the ending until it was revealed in the story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2013
I decided to try the Inspector Ramsay series because I had enjoyed the Shetland books so much, and the Vera series too. It is obvious that she wrote these books much earlier in her career, as the writing is not so polished, but nevertheless, I am really enjoying them. The setting on the Northumbrian coast is accurately depicted, capturing something of the bleak chill which can envelop it, and the main character too is a convincingly ordinary flawed human being.
The story is set in a village, around a school. The story and characters are believable and the denouement cleverly hidden from us until near the end. As soon as I had finished it, I downloaded another, blessing my kindle for making hard-to-find books so accessible!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2013
It's a long time since I read a book so quickly. Cannot put my finger on why, it's a straight forward plot. Old fashioned in the sense that there are no gruesome scenes etc. A headmaster is murdered, hanged and as the story develops, it turns out that he was a very nasty piece of work. The wife is soon arrested but an old flame is determined to prove that the police have got it wrong . It's not a classic perhaps but I shall be reading more of this series.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2013
Doing the reviews in retrospect as have now read all the series.
Great books, love the main characters, the plots are intelligent, the narrative draws you in.
Gutted that I have now read them all. Would read the Vera series but already watched the TV series and doing that always drives me mad as I compare them !
Thoroughly recommend this book and the rest of the series, read them in order if you can.
Enjoy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2013
It was a good introduction to the character of Inspector Ramsay. The geographical area was known as I have spent enjoyable holidays there so it was nice to be reacquainted with some of the places. Well constructed plot and characters were interesting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2014
A workmanlike telling of a routine crime, with a police inspector who nobody likes (why?) and a retired, widowed bloke who gets drawn in because he knew the prime suspect when at primary school. The eventual murderer turns out to be crazy and just a touch implausible. An enjoyable enough read if you like crime fiction but not the best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2014
A gentle murder mystery with believable characters and interesting twists and turns in the plot. Not too complex. The small town setting and gossiping neighbours makes for a page turner that gradually gives the reader all the pieces of the jigsaw so you can begin to work out who the murderer might be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2013
I got this because I love the Shetland Quartet and the Vera Stanhope stories so much. In contrast to her 2 previous detectives, the author seems to have made Ramsay somewhat incompetent. Not quite sure if that's going to irritate. The rest, however, is well up to her usual impeccable standard.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2014
An interesting and entertaining read but not up to the standard of the Vera or Shetland series. The rather clichéd ending where the detective gets all the suspects together seems rather old-fashioned nowadays. Well, worth a read, however, to see how Ann Cleeves has developed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2014
When I saw a series by Ann Cleeves which I hadn't been aware of, I looked for and downloaded the first Inspector Ramsay book. I think that it became clear pretty quickly that this book was written before the Vera and Shetland series. I am a huge Shetland fan, prefer the books to the TV series (how can Jimmy Perez be blond after all!!). I did enjoy this book, but felt that it didn't have the depth of her later writing - hence the four stars rather than five. Will I buy the rest of the series - I'm not sure yet, but it's good to know that they are there ready to download. A good read, but not the best of Ann Cleeves.
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