The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy (Burford Family Mysteries 1) Paperback – 28 Apr 2008
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The theft of the diamond necklace and the antique pistols might all be explained, but the body in the lake - that was a puzzle. "Don't expect me to solve anything," Inspector Wilkens announced modestly when he arrived to sort out the unpleasantness. And at a house party that included English aristocracy, foreign agents in disguise, a ravishing baroness, a daring jewel thief, a Texas millionaire, and of course, the imperturbable butler, it was going to take some intricate sleuthing to uncover who killed whom and why...
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The plot is tortuous and I only guessed the identity of the jewel thief - the rest was a mystery! The police inspector, Williams, is a great character. He is "not sanguine" about his ability to solve the case, bears more than a passing physical resemblance to Hercule Poirot, wishes he was back in traffic, wants to call in Scotland Yard and yet solves all aspects of the case brilliantly (except the bit about the egg cosy).
If you want a gentle, humorous read this may be the book for you - I wasn't expecting much when I started it but it kept me up reading way past my bedtime as it pulled me in and kept me reading.
As a cosy parody, it has everything - literally everything. It becomes quite serious towards the end, and the answer is provided for pretty much everything.
I read it over a period of time which I think was a mistake, because I found it difficult to get properly engaged with the many storylines and characters, and the detective became lost in the various strands, which was a shame as he should have been quite an endearing character.
This is a jolly romp with plenty to keep you guessing, enjoyed over the course of a lazy weekend.
Jane Hetherington's Adventures in Detection Omnibus (Books 1-3)
The Magpie Murders - Omnibus Edition
Very well written with well drawn characteres. Easy to read on a snowy evening. Would recommend.
The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy has supurbly wrought plotting and is a well-crafted novel; as well thought-out as any of Christie's in my view.
I have bought all three and hope that his publishers will release more of his novels in the future. A deserved 5 stars.