on 31 March 2012
The Filey Connection by David W Robinson
I had a lot of fun reading this book! The characters all seem like people you've met at some time, so real in speech, or in nature. Joe, the amateur detective, is an irascible guy who comes across as a man glad to be unattached...but actually, I found he gravitates well, and often, to enjoying the company of his two female side-kicks. D. W. Robinson has a really neat turn of vernacular phrasing in The Filey Connection, humorous and wittily scathing, that made me want to read on to find out what was coming next! A crime committed immediately in the prologue plunges the reader straight into the mystery, the resolving of it through tenacious deduction. Hit and run, or murder? And then, was it a suicide? Or some other nefarious cause of the second death? The resolving of the deaths all takes place over a short few days. The seaside location for the 3rd Age Club, and the extended heatwave, lend and extra edge to the mystery-nothing rushed about the uncovering of the clues that lead to the perpetrators of the crime. There's nothing gruesome or nasty about the deaths, they happen alongside the teasing wordplay between Joe and everyone he meets. I loved D.W. Robinson's version of the `good cop versus bad cop'...except, of course, Joe wasn't really a cop. I found it quite poignant that at five feet six Joe was too short to be recruited to the police, the regulation height lower limit being something that prevented quite a few people from joining the profession in former times. The interaction between Joe, his police friends, and the bad guys worked for me since as a non cop Joe could say things the official police detectives were unable to! I wouldn't want to ever be on the drolly sharp end of Joe Murray's tongue. I look forward to reading more of D.W. Robinson's writing.
on 12 March 2012
Another reviewer described this book as a cosy mystery and I have to agree. It's Angela Lansbury meets 1st Lady's Detective Agency. With all the music references and the average age of the characters, it's a good read for the over 40's.
A cosy kind of crime mystery story, The Filey Connection tells of the intrepid investigations of amateur sleuth Joe Murray, and his two friends, Sheila and Brenda, and is set in Sanford, a small fictional West Yorkshire town. Joe is the long-time owner of 'The Lazy Luncheonette', a popular cafe in the town, frequented by the locals and by staff from several nearby businesses. Joe keeps a very tight rein on all matters business and financial. He is also the chair of the 'Sanford Third Age Club', which provides entertainment and outings for the town's many elderly, divorced, widowed or otherwise lonely inhabitants over 50 years old, and it has over 300 members. Sheila and Brenda, who work for Joe at the cafe, are also secretary and treasurer of the club, respectively. They are both cheerful ladies, both widowed. It's summertime, and the next outing coming up for members is a long weekend away in the east coast seaside town of Filey, and everyone is looking forward to this. Joe is also 'a renowned amateur detective', and has been for many years. 'Puzzles and mysteries had been a joy to him since his childhood.' Along the walls of his cafe sit the many booklets he has written and typed up detailing the various puzzles and crimes that he has cracked over the years, for customers to peruse whilst enjoying their meal.
The novel starts off with a bang as a crime occurs in the prologue. The inhabitants of Sanford, and in particular the members of the 3rd Age Club, are shocked to hear that one of their number has been killed. Joe is immediately intrigued by the case, and starts to look for clues, taking the information the police have so far, which he has gathered from his niece, policewoman Gemma. He sees things that don't fit in how 'Knickers-off' Nicola, with a reputation for being rather loose with her affections, died. Meanwhile, a relative newcomer in town, Eddie Dobson, wants to join the trip to Filey at the last minute, and comes to see Joe about it. As the 3rd Age Club members descend on the Beachside Hotel, Filey, the mystery deepens, as another club member apparently loses their life. When DCI Terry Cummins, previously known to Joe, takes up the investigation, Joe confides in him all that he has learned so far and together they seek to wrap up the case.
Joe is a self-confessed 'shortarsed, crinkly-haired, bad-tempered old bugger', whose wife Alison left him 10 years ago. But he has built up a strong reputation in his hometown for the power and accuracy of his detective skills, '...before he was thirty, people from all over Sanford began to talk about this whizz-kid detective. Individuals and companies called him in to clear up mysteries and puzzles, and over the following decade, he established a reputation for the accuracy of his deductions.'
This is a gentle crime story, there is nothing exceptionally shocking or gruesome here, neither is the crime over complicated or incredibly intricate; rather it is a cosy mystery. There is plenty of banter between Joe, Sheila and Brenda as they mull over the happenings and try and unravel the clues and identify the guilty party. The writer has added some local dialect here and there amongst some of the Yorkshire folk but nothing that is difficult to comprehend. What is the Filey connection of the title? Well, the clues are there dotted in the story for the reader to spot. An easy to read, enjoyable murder mystery story with a clever but grumpy amateur detective.
on 7 May 2012
A really good read. The characters are very believable. Joe the amateur sleuth is especially good. The plot keeps you thinking. It is similar to Murder she wrote,with a Northern twist. I am a Filey person, and I think it brought the town to life very naturally. I would recommend this book.
on 28 April 2012
Joe Murray is the owner of the Lazy Luncheonette in the fictional Yorkshire town of Sanford. A self-confessed grumpy old sod, with pockets deeper than his short arms can reach and a mild case of `duck's arse disease', Joe has developed a reputation as a successful amateur detective.
Together with his closest friends and colleagues, Sheila Riley and Brenda Jump, Joe is also the chairman of The Sanford Third Age Club... where the more mature population of Sanford can enjoy growing old disgracefully.
On the run up to The Sanford Third Age Club's weekend trip to Filey, one of their more colourful members becomes the victim of a hit and run with fatal results. Given the circumstances, the police believe that this is just an unfortunate accident. Joe disagrees. There is something about the event that just doesn't sit right, if only he could put his finger on it.
When the newest member of the merry band, Eddie Dobson also disappears during a fishing trip whilst in Filey, the inevitable police investigation follows. Once again, the police seem intent on this being an unfortunate accident. Initial suggestions indicate that Eddie may have fallen into the sea and been carried away by the currents. Joe and his companions think otherwise. Did Eddie fall as suggested?
David W Robinson has created some wonderfully real characters, situations and relationships that work effortlessly with each other. Joe Murray would give Scrooge a run for his money whilst Brenda and Sheila have their own endearing qualities that make them the perfect Roses to his Thorn. A good mix of references to the 70's music scene will strike a nostalgic note with many forty-something's and as usual, a good dose of northern humour to give your chuckle muscles a gentle workout.
The plot moves at an easy and realistic pace, with plenty of clues and red herrings to keep you guessing about the outcome. And just what is `The Filey Connection'?
Sorry, I could tell you, but then you would miss an enjoyable, cosy murder mystery, where the main characters endear themselves to you like long lost friends. Now, that really would be a crime.
Enjoy the read.
on 14 January 2013
I have just read all 5 books in no particluar order and have enjoyed them all.
My only criticism is that Joe is only 55. The way these have been written, I expected him to be so much older.
Im 57 and can relate to his era, but not his attitude.
Despite that, he is a very likable character and I like how he can get to 'places' that the police cant.
I cant wair for the next installment. ;-)
on 20 March 2012
The Filey Connection is set in the fictional town of Sanford, West Yorkshire, and follows the adventures of Joe (who runs the Sanford Third Age Club), and his two employee/friends, Sheila and Brenda. The tale kicks off with a murder, always a good way to start crime novel, and Joe (an amateur sleuth) is on the case from the word go because the victim is a member of STAC.
The Sanford Third Age Club set off for a weekend in Filey and the mystery deepens as another club member disappears, believed to have committed suicide, but Joe doesn't believe the evidence and sets out to prove the missing man has been murdered.
Without including any spoilers, it's impossible to write more, other than to say this is a cosy crime story, with lots of humour and witty repartee between Joe, Sheila and Brenda.
If I had a fault to find it would be the author's insistence on telling us how great Joe is at being a sleuth, instead of leaving us to make up our own minds. In fact, it would be easier to believe in his powers if they had been mentioned just a little less often. But that is a minor gripe and it didn't spoil my enjoyment of this delightful tale.
on 13 April 2012
The Filey Connection, being a crime mystery of the cosy variety is just up my street. The Sanford Third Age Club (STAC) - an assortment of middle-aged rockers, widows and divorcees - is run by cafe owner and amateur sleuth Joe Murray and his friends and colleagues, Sheila Riley and Brenda Jump.
The book opens as Nicola Leach, a member of STAC, is the victim of a hit and run and Joe suspects foul play. Someone seems overly eager to join the club's weekend outing to the seaside town of Filey and when one of the club members goes missing, Joe's investigative antenna really starts to twitch.
When it appears that Eddie Dobson has also lost his life, DCI Terry Cummins is assigned to the case, and together with Joe's observations and analytical mind - and several twists and turns - they eventually solve the mystery.
A very enjoyable read with a wealth of appealing characters.
on 6 November 2012
In fact the back cover tells you too much, in my opinion. Fortunately I didn't read it until after the last event described! It's what everyone says, and they are right (except for our Scots friend). It is what David set out to write, a fun enjoyable read, not taxing or demanding, but nicely intriguing, and therefore very welcome. I have already got the next in the series and shall buy the remainder. What more can I say. Put it/them in your bag for a trip/holiday and the time will pass most pleasantly.
on 7 June 2012
When one of the Sanford Third Age Club members appears to have committed suicide during a trip to Filey, amateur sleuth - the delightfully grumpy - Joe Murray, senses something more sinister might be afoot.
Aided by his trusty side kicks, Sheila Riley and Brenda Jump, Joe puts all his investigative powers to the test in order to figure out just what really did happen.
The Filey Connection is a terrific little murder mystery, filled with enough twist and turns to keep even the most ardent of mystery readers turning the pages. The characters are engaging, beautifully written, and bounce of each other perfectly, and the story is littered with a dry humour that really does make the reader laugh out loud.
I tried to put the book down several times, but found myself constantly going back to it.