Top critical review
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An easy read, but rather repetitive
on 6 January 2016
I gave The Celtic Dagger and Lane's End 3.5 stars, but I didn't think was as good.
Laurence Harford is murdered and there is no shortage of suspects. There were about
40 characters, which took a bit of remembering. There were several deaths (including some
from years ago) but no bloody gore, bad language or sex.
The book felt old fashioned and I am surprised it was only written recently. It reminded me of
Agather Christie's writing in that it was a bit repetitive. Nick, Laurence's nephew asked the same
questions of several characters - "do you know why my father and uncle hated each other?" and
"have you seen this locket before?" Inspector Fitzjohn also asked the same questions.
Bits of information was shared with various people telling the same thing. I also got very tired of hearing
Fitjzjohn introduce himself and Betts with their full titles, where they were from and whose death they were
investigating. I know in real life they would have had to do that but I think the author could have varied it with
"he showed his ID" or "once seated in so-and-so's lounge Fitzjohn ........" Hence a loss of a star.
Also, it was never explained why Laurence wasn't killed before or why a man was killed in Vietnam years ago, so
the book felt a bit unfinished.
Having said all that, it was an easy, gentle read (despite the murders!).