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on 19 May 2017
Sorry but after buying the first book in this series i was very disappointed, however thought it may be just that story so thought i would give these books another go. wish i hadn't bothered. I'm not sure what it is but i just cant get into the characters in these books, i find them unbelievable. this story seems to go all round the houses and i found i kept skipping pages as the background info that keeps being referred to was uninteresting and i felt had no real relevance to the actual murder. Lard Edward seems to fall for every remotely attractive women in the stories and i fin verity as very unlikable person all together. I wont be buying anymore of these stories.
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on 2 July 2017
This is a fascinating book, which provides accurate historical information as a backdrop to interesting relationship dilemmas.
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on 25 June 2017
All good buys and up to standard
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on 27 October 2014
This is the second in the series of murder mysteries set in the 1930s with Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne as the privileged amateur detectives. These books attempt to recreate the Golden Age atmosphere and the two main protagonists bear more than a passing resemblance to DL Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. It is an entertaining and competently narrated tale, involving murders in Spain and London. As with most good detective stories, the author allows the reader to think that they have a good idea of what may be going on, only to have a card or two up his sleeve. The essence of the story is the relationship between the aristocratic Corinth, brother to the Duke of Mersham and Verity - a feisty, combative member of the Communist Party, though naturally from the “right” sort of family. Although these key characters are strongly defined, they can appear inconsistent and lacking credibility. Corinth, for example, is at times a highly capable and intelligent man of action that can be found in the John Buchan novels of the period, while at other times he slips in the silly-ass mode, scenes and language which could be taken straight from PG Wodehouse. Verity can be just plain irritating. It is also a little disorienting to read such crime fiction in the style of the Golden Age that has an element of fairly explicit sex. The overall quality of the writing is not as good as the type of books it imitates (though there are some very well written passages) and neither is the plot so well structured. But it is an enjoyable read by a capable writer.
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VINE VOICEon 20 March 2008
I was moved to write this review as a five star review below stated "This is a fantastic book and a must for any fans of Agatha Christie or Dorothy L. Sayers, although in terms of detail and character development David Roberts is a far superior writer to either"

As DLS's Wimsey novels are considered by many well informed people to be both the birth of the litery crime novel and the greatest of all dectective novels I find this comment to be beyond belief. Even Agatha Christie is a better writer than Mr Roberts, and far better at creating plots.

This series suffers from being written with the hindsight of history and being just a little bit boring. Like another reviewer I may read others in the series but only if I find them in stock at the library.
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on 12 February 2010
Unfortunately, the author falls into the same trap he did, with the mystery, 'Sweet Poison'. The characters of Lord Corinth and Verity are likeable, if slightly, unbelievable. The murder mystery angle is extremely dull, drawn-out and once resolved isn't particularly satisfying. All the country-hopping the characters do isn't terribly thrilling and their detective skills are negligible. The sense of time and place is not un-interesting but the book seems to lack focus and wanders around like the characters, when really it should, like them, get on with it.
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on 24 January 2003
Its 1936 and, since we left him six months ago at the conclusion of the dark actions at Mersham Castle in Sweet Poison, Lord Edward Corinth has spent his time in New York falling out of love. Meanwhile Verity Browne has spent a slightly more interesting time in Madrid discovering the joys of sex, reporting on the lead-up to the Spanish Civil War and getting more involved in the Communist Party. When Verity's revered ex-lover and political mentor is found guilty of murder by the Spanish authorities, Lord Edward leaps upon his white charger (in this case a de Havilland Dragon Rapide from Croydon Aerodrome) to extricate the fellow from jail by discovering who really did the dirty deed. Before you can say "viva Franco" the body count is raising both in Spain and back in Blighty.
The novel like its predecessor is highly historically accurate and there-in lies one of the problems as all the characters are portrayed as extremes of their time and consequently none come across as a likable or even believable.
Lord Edward is an almost carbon copy of Lord Peter Wimsey right down to his unrequited love for a professional female who his family find perplexing. But unlike Wimsey, Corinth is a disappointing detective. He stumbles on various truths because they literally come up to him and slap him in the face. He is helped because the police are so incompetent as to beggar belief (I'm not going to give the game away but the major clue in a police photograph that the boys in blue ignore is just plain stupid).
This isn't Dorothy L Sayers, the heroine's totally redundant and, for a whodunit explicit, sex scene proves that and I don't remember Lord Peter leaping into bed with another 'gal' seconds after saying goodbye to Harriet Vane the way Lord Edward does having taken his leave from Verity. More importantly the story telling is not in the same league. Miss Sayers knew how to tweak interest by giving all the information the reader needed throughout the story in little snippets liberally surrounded by red herrings. Like in Sweet Poison, David Roberts relies on an individual revealing an hitherto totally unrecorded history and event, which brings the story together for an unsatisfactory conclusion.
I won't be buying the next volume in the series in hardback. I might purchase the cheaper paperback to follow the adventures of Corinth and Browne but for the history rather than the detection.
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on 23 July 2013
Good read though not completed yet. Three quarters of the way through.. Interesting storyline. My one concern is the main character has dropped hints that he knows who the killer is and now needs to tie up the loose ends. However, there has been no sign of how he could have reached this conclusion. Nevertheless, I am enjoying it and would recommend this series. You do though need to read the first book to gain insight into the main characters.
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on 4 February 2014
Whilst being enjoyable, I felt that some of the situations were almost too contrived; however, on the positive side, the gradual, almost imperceptible shift in Verity's attitude towards the Communist party of the day was very well done and her realisation that most of us are not all either good or bad but a mixture of feelings and attitude.
Altogether a jolly good yarn.
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on 9 February 2014
I enjoyed this sequel, a story of 3 men murdered and Edward and Verify's struggle to unravel the mystery. There is of course the on going relationship between the two main characters which never fails to entertain. I purchased the entire series of 10 books at a very reasonable price and look forward to the rest.
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