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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 26 July 2006
I had wondered whether, having returned from India, the colour might have faded but - no. Cleverly is a master when it comes to distilling the essence of a place and time and she confidently takes the reader back into 1920s London with its dark as well as its limelit side. From the Ritz to the backstreets of Soho, Joe's London is convincing, fresh and beguiling. And in this book there are welcome flashes of humour - Joe's light-heartedness breaks through. Perhaps he's more relaxed now he's back on his own patch? The plot goes at the usual Cleverly gallop and - though I hung on! - again, I didn't guess!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 October 2005
I always enjoy Cleverly's writing. Her characters are interesting; she provides an excellent sense of place and very good dialogue. Joe is romantic, confident, and dogged in searching for the answers. I enjoyed the story moving from a basic crime, the complexity of the characters and the way the mystery turned to something else, yet their still being a basic crimes at the end. Very well done.
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on 12 May 2007
Before I read this I was a bit disappointed that Joe was no longer in India as I found the settings of the previous books fascinating. However, the backdrop of 1920s Jazz and General Strike were equally absorbing. The murder mystery element was excellent, I didn't guess the ending.
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on 17 March 2013
Superb detective fiction on a classic framework. I can't understand why these haven't made it to the screen. Obviously well researched and full of authentic detail, the plots contain many twists and reversals, pushed on by characters that are well rounded and act within the framework and social conventions of the time (1920's - 1930's). I'm not your typical Detective reader either, but found all the books in this series completely absorbing.
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on 1 March 2013
This book, and indeed the series, is good for a light read. The policeman is an English 'bobby' but stationed in India in the 1920's so a bit of a mixture. If you like learning a bit of history but in a general easy way, with a detective story as well, then I would recommend this and others in the series.
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on 4 March 2015
After four Indian adventures it was nice to have Sandilands back in England. A great sense of time and place plus a good adventure. The characters were well defined. I look forward to reading the next book
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on 23 February 2013
Set in the 1920's this Crime novel, set in England, is a good enjoyable read. The characters are believable and well formed; each contributing to the story in different ways. When a well known, but universally disliked, grand-dame is murdered at a party not many people mourn her passing. It's up to Commander Joe to tease out a reason and weed out the perpetrator from many likely suspects. Occasionally cliches appertaining to peripheral characters and locations are obvious but these do not detract from the story and I look forward to reading more books by this author.
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on 12 June 2013
It is a well written book with a good plot. Somewhat reminiscent of Enid Blyton's 'Secret Seven' but for grown-ups. I am sure If you enjoy historic who has done it, it is a very good read. I found all the gushing language and class structure a little bit dated and boring. Set after the war it seemed to lack authenticity, too rosy by far. However I would still recommend it, if you enjoy 'Midsomer Murders' end do not want to read bad language, violence and sex for the thrill of it. I will read some of her other books, when I am in need of quiet time.
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on 28 January 2008
This began as an entertaining read, there was an excellent feeling of period which worked well.
The plot carried me along, gradually laying down layer after layer of detail and promising me a clever and carefully crafted ending, but suddenly there was a complete change of direction.
The police investigation is ended and there are hints of espionage and the presence of heavies from Special Branch and the then infant Secret Services.
The reason was eventually shown, but I'm afraid I found that part very unsatisfying.
The characters were all very good and very well drawn, but I thought the young WPC was wasted, I'd have liked more of her and her fate at the very end was out of character with the girl we'd been shown before.
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on 8 April 2013
Another great story by, I think, a most entertaining, author. Good plot, good characters and a great read. I love her books.
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