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on 4 July 2011
Embarking on a research trip for his new book to be set in Egypt, writer Ethelred Tressider sets sail up the Nile on the luxury paddle steamer Khedive. His intended companion for the trip was the attractive widow of the late Lord Muntham, but things rarely go according to plan, and so accompanying him is his agent Elsie Thirkettle.

Joining the ship the first passenger Ethelred sets eyes on is inept Private Eye Herbie Proctor, who imparts that he is there to protect his client, but doesn't say who his client is. Conversation with a Mr Pirbright takes an odd turn when it appears he thinks that Ethelred is the Ex-MI5 spy turned author Paul Fielder. The two Egyptians tell Elsie they are undercover detectives chasing two criminals, but they won't say who they are, but to keep it to herself. After overhearing a couple of disjointed conversations, Ethelred and Elsie think all the other passengers also seem a pretty shady bunch.

When the boat's engines fail, and a body is discovered, there is of course no end of suspects. And Ethelred is in the thick of it.

A wonderful tribute to Agatha Christie, and at the risk of being hunted and tortured by Agatha Christie fans far more fun than `Death on the Nile'.

If you haven't read any L C Tyler books before you are in for treat. The whole book is a joy - an intriguing mystery with some great characters. And the last paragraph is an utter delight.
Lizzie Hayes
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on 23 July 2011
I anticipated a clever mystery and a fine entertainment, and that's just what I got.

Ethelred is a middle-aged crime writer, scraping a living by writing three different series under three different aliases. Or rather he was. Ethelred has received an unexpected inheritance. He has a new lady friend too. And those facts might just be linked...

He books a Nile cruise: a holiday with his new love and a research trip for a new novel. But then he is jilted.

Elsie, his literary agent, is quick to invite herself along for the trip instead. But it is a decision she lives to regret.

There are threats, murder, kidnapping, and terrorism. There are misunderstandings, mistaken identities, and much confusion. And there are twists aplenty.

Yes, there's plenty of plot. And a fine cast of characters to play it out.

And there's more: intelligence, wit and lovely details. Too many wonderful things to pick out, but I must commend Ethelred for continuing to provide answers to the interview questions from local newspapers at Elsie's behest. They reflected his changing circumstances, they reflected his life as a writer, and they were an absolute joy.

The similarity of the title of this book to a certain novel by Agatha Christie is not a coincidence. There are echoes of that story in this book, but there are differences too. it is a fine tribute, but a fine book in its own right too. Not a pastiche, but a modern novel following in a fine tradition.

I had a lovely time travelling with Ethelred and Elsie, and I'm hoping to meet them again in the future.
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on 28 July 2011
This book, the 4th instalment by L.C. Tyler takes the 2 main protagonists, Ethelred the below average crime writer and his overbearing agent Elsie on an Agatha Christie inspired trip down the Nile. There, very much like the other books in the series, they encounter a myriad of characters one or more of whom may or may not have, committed a murder on the boat.

This book like the others sets the 2 sleuths in another similar scenario and is very much an homage to the Christie classic.

Though I did enjoy this book a lot, it was a bit slow, particularly at the start and the murder does not happen until nearly half away through. So you end up with a lot of scene setting and getting to know the characters on the boat, who then have a murder to solve in about 130 pages!!

It's very much based on the Agatha Christie formula and if you love those, there is definitely something here for you. I particularly like the way that even though they are set in the present day, until they mention modern items or objects (iPod's, e-mail, mobiles etc) you feel that this is all going on in the 1930's or 40's!!

This probably isn't as good as his last book ("The Herring in the library"), but even so it has some really good twists and turns and well worth a read for Tyler and Christie fans alike.
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This is the fourth book in the “Elsie and Ethelred” Mystery series. Ethelred has decided that a ‘research’ trip to Egypt will inspire him for his great literary novel; unfortunately Anabelle won’t be coming along with him (or perhaps that’s fortunate), but Elsie has decided that she will be able to reschedule her own life, given that the trip on the Khedive is advertised as luxury. It’s the least she feels she can do, to help Ethelred out. In the style of the classic Agatha Christie, we find a group of rather disparate charcters all on the same boat travelling on the Nile; in very quick order both Ethelred and Elsie find themselves the targets of what appears to be official attention, and overhear some rather strange conversations. What exactly is going on, and who, if any of the passengers, are actually telling the truth?

These books are rather delightful; witty, and funny to boot, they offer for the reader a narrative which is at times told by Ethelred, and at times by Elsie. Sometimes we get the same scene told by both in their narratives, and it’s very funny to see how differently they can both see and record the same account; very telling of the different character types that Ethelred and Elsie are, and very amusing. The mysteries which thread through the books are of course also intriguing, and very cleverly laid out, with great pacing, wonderfully drawn characters, and laced with humour all the way.

This fourth book is, I think, the wittiest and the funniest of the series so far. There is absolute droll humour throughout, and the ending had me laughing out loud. The characters of Ethelred and Elsie, while they would probably drive you crackers if you met them in real life, are deliciously funny on the page. I look forward to the next in the series, ‘Crooked Herring’.
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on 22 March 2014
I read this straight after Herring in the Library, which it follows on from, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The alternating narrators scheme works well, and the recurring answers to the Sunderland newspaper's questions amused me. The only thing left hanging is that there should have been some comeback on telling the good people of Sunderland that you are a Newcastle supporter. I didn't guess who dunnit, but I never try to. The various characters are well differentiated.
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on 10 March 2012
Herring on the Nile is an ingenious mystery, and a darkly funny tribute to Agatha Christie and the golden age of crime fiction.

I've been looking forward to reading LC Tyler's Herring on the Nile for some time now and although I've had it on the "to be read" shelf for a couple of months or so I decided yesterday was the day - a very hot summer's day, armed with a glass of chilled white wine (Pouilly-Fumé for those interested in that sort of thing) and a comfortable chair - evoking memories, page by page, of a dusty Egyptian landscape with no possible escape from the harsh sun. It's the closest I'll get to Egypt at the moment.

With the obvious comparison to the late great Agatha Christie aside - this is after all an updated version of the classic Death on the Nile", Tyler has written an incredibly light and entertaining book that not only has that old fashioned feel about it but ingeniously brought bang up to date with the threat to holiday makers in Egypt and the obligatory terrorism angle!

Herring on the Nile serves as my introduction to the Ethelred Tressider series, a title I found delightfully infectious and entertaining throughout. The humour was as dry as the Saharan desert and frankly just up my street! I couldn't stop laughing from beginning to end and should I ever get the chance to interview Len Tyler I now have a list of questions I know he'll be able to answer (reference to the numerous newspaper interviews Ethelred has to endure throughout the book).

The narrative is heavily influenced by dialogue from start to finish and makes for a very quick read and although I would have liked to see a little less dialogue - I can't unfortunately compare "Nile" to his earlier novels - it was so well written I had to remind myself I wasn't actually eavesdropping on the Egyptian paddle steamer!
Characterisation is excellent and the one thing I found different to a lot of crime novels "out there" was the fact that the murderer (or murderers) could have been anyone! Normally, within the first few chapters, you have a feeling about one or two suspects but never seven or eight - this made the book even more enjoyable and along with copious amounts of red herrings you were never quite sure who the culprit was.

Despite the fractious working relationship between Ethelred and Elsie - author and literary agent - their partnership reminded me of a happily married couple celebrating forty years of wedded bliss! They never agreed on anything, were often at odds with each other and I guess never will - until the Nile runs dry that is!

So there we have it. An incredibly light summer read, best served with a nice chilled white or a fruity Pimms, Herring on the Nile - despite the murder - will have you yearning for a sojourn up the Nile taking in everything the Egyptian landscape has to offer. Highly infectious, thoroughly entertaining and most definitely recommended. Take a bow LC Tyler.
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on 6 December 2012
Love the characters of Ethelred Tressider and his literary agent, Elsie Thirkettle. The book is a clever parody of Agatha Christie.

Misunderstandings, mistaken identities,threats, murder, kidnapping, and terrorism. This book is packed.

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on 16 June 2012
Ethelred is a hapless crime writer who takes his literary agent with him on a research trip down the Nile. Things go wrong. Someone is murdered. The plot thickens.

So far, so Agatha Christie, and the book is a wonderful parody. But there is also clever plotting and characterization here, deftly camouflaged. Plus it's really funny. And I love Ethelred: he seems useless, in the way we are all useless on our worst days, but he has flashes of inspiration which make you proud to be reading about him. Excellent stuff.
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on 4 September 2015
I'm hovering between a 3 and a 4, but Elsie swayed me. She is very good, very Agatha Raisin. The stories tend to be going on a bit too long.though ...still, an entertaining and at times funny read.
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on 25 December 2012
Another set of books with a good laugh in each, an author with a tag along publisher having an Agatha Christie experience on a cruiser in Egypt You have to love them
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