- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Severn House Paperbacks Ltd; Reprint edition (30 Dec. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847516963
- ISBN-13: 978-1847516961
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,891,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Murder at the Loch: A traditional murder mystery set in 1950s Scotland (A Langham and Dupre Mystery) Paperback – 30 Dec 2016
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"This book is part of a series but it can be read as a standalone mystery. It is very much in the tradition of the Golden Age writers so anyone who enjoys those well known authors is likely to enjoy this book and this series."--J Weekes, reviewer
About the Author
Twice winner of the British Science Fiction Award, Eric Brown is the author of more than twenty SF novels and several short story collections. Murder by the Book marks his crime writing debut. Born in Haworth, West Yorkshire, he now lives in Scotland.
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When we re-join the characters, Charles Elder is just about to released from prison and Donald and Maria are looking forward to welcoming him home. However, Donald gets a call from his old friend, P.I. Ralph Ryland, who tells him that their old commanding officer, Major Gordon, has just contacted him. Major Gordon has started a hotel, at Loch Corraig Castle in Scotland, and he believes someone is trying to kill him. Although Donald is loathe to leave the beautiful Maria, he feels obliged to go and so he and Ralph set off for the castle.
Major Gordon is currently planning to raise the wreckage of a Dornier aircraft from the loch. While talking to the Dutch engineer, Hans Vermeulen, someone shoots at them - but was the Major the intended victim or Vermeulen and why was a German plane flying across the loch in 1945? Is someone trying to stop the plane being raised and, if so, why? This is a traditional mystery, set in a snowbound castle, with a good cast of suspects, which includes a Professor interested in ghosts, the Major’s son, Ulrich Meyer, a visiting German specialist in aviation and Renata Kaldor, who claims to be Hungarian royalty.
This is an enjoyable series, with likeable characters and a good sense of place and time period. Donald and Maria make a good couple and, with Donald needing more money if he is to marry the wealthy Maria, hopefully he will be joining Ralph Ryland in doing some more P.I. work and having more interesting cases. This is not quite a cosy series, but it is more about the characters than the crime, and is certainly a series I will follow. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
The sleuths arrive at the castle in a snowstorm and soon find themselves snowed in along with an assortment of guests. The Major's current project is raising the wreckage of a Dornier aircraft from the loch into which it crashed. This seems to be causing some friction among the guests and there is some doubt as to whether it is the Major's life which is threatened or the Dutch engineer who is helping him with the project.
This is an enjoyable 1950s mystery featuring a group of suspects confined in the conventional country house. When the threatened murder occurs, almost anyone in the castle could have done I and Ralph and Donald start to think they are not going to be able to solve it. I thought the story was well plotted and I like Donald and Maria. I would have liked to see bit more of Maria in this story and of Charles who I think is a marvellous character.
This book is part of a series but it can be read as a standalone mystery. It is very much in the tradition of the Golden Age writers so anyone who enjoys those well known authors is likely to enjoy this book and this series. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review.
If you enjoy reading mystery novels with the feeling of having been written in a past historical time, this series by Eric Brown may just be a good fit for you. I read the previous book to this one (Murder at the Chase: A Locked Room Mystery Set in 1950s England (A Langham and Dupre Mystery)) and enjoyed the feeling of both the 1955 time period and the characters developed by the author. I'm glad I gave this one a chance also because it was very well written.
Donald Langham, a mystery novelist, and his friend Ralph Ryland, a private investigator, are requested to travel from London to the Scottish Highlands and to Loch Corraig Castle owned by Major Gordon, their commander from World War II. It seems the Major thinks someone might have tried to kill him and he needs help figuring out who among his guests at his remote castle might have been involved. The story involves trying to salvage a German fighter plane which crashed in the loch in 1945, and figuring out who would want the Major removed from the scene and why. There is a blizzard which adds to the atmosphere and a diverse group of guests and servants from which to pick your favorite suspect. Donald and Maria Dupre are engaged and have plans for a May wedding. The author has to stretch things just a bit in order to get Maria completely involved in the novel this time, but stretch he does.
The two novels I've read in this series have been very entertaining reading experiences. It will be interesting to see where the series leads next with the wedding on the horizon and Donald taking on a new part-time career. How will he ever have time to write his popular mystery novels?
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