Saturday, May 18, 2013


Number two in the series. A body is found buried in a peat bog and is found to be over 50 years old. Fin McLeod is out of the police and has returned to the Hebrides to restore his family home. He gets a head start on the investigation as the police are in no great rush to send investigators to the islands.

One again much of the story is told in back story by one of the characters told in the first person while the main story is conducted in the third.

Its a good solid murder mystery with only the authors true ability to set a brilliant atmospheric scene stopping it from being humdrum. The domestic side issues are a bit tedious and feel like filler rather than being an integral part of the story.

In my opinion this isn't as strong a story as'The Black House', its solid without out being brilliant.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Murder in the Outer Hebrides. A former local arrives to help solve the crime and confront his past,but its much better than this cliche sounds.

My only real complaint is that this is obviously the first of a trilogy and was planned as such and as such we have a huge back story placing all the characters in their place. The mystery is a cheat as well as there is no way the reader could have any chance of solving the murder by clues alone. But the ending is a ripper. Just when you thought things couldn't get anymore sordid they do.

The author has a background in television and knows how to set a piece. The characters are pretty one dimensional but his description of a landscape and the character's surroundings are superb. He writes pictures which I love.

This is a bleak sad story set in a bleak harsh place, populated by unfulfilled lives but it is a book you have to read if you want to complete the set - I do, so it is time well spent.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

THREE MEN IN A BOAT - Jerome K.Jerome

There is not much to add about this remarkable book. Three men and a dog go on a boating trip, not a remarkable premise but it is remarkable for the fact that it could have been written yesterday and not 127 years ago. The jokes and observations regarding the human condition are as contemporary today as when they were first written.

It is totally understandable that this book has never been out of print. It you are feeling a bit down, dip into it and you will have a smile for the rest of the day. Wonderful. Really funny.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

THE LADY IN THE MORGUE - Jonathan Latimer

From 1936 the tale of a body being stolen from a mortuary. The alcoholic Private Investigator along with his equally sodden side kicks raid parties and graveyards alike to locate the body and solve several concomitant homocides.

Its very funny and I would have thought reasonably risque for its time.

It ends with all the crimes being solved and a happy ending in that our hero gets to go off to another party. Not up to'The Thin Man' in quality but not too far away, good fun.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

RIPTIDE - John Lawton

This is one of the first "Inspector Troy's". The story is split into two halves. The first part has an American Army Officer teaming up with a Special Branch officer attempting to locate a high ranking Nazi who has been spying for the Allies. This spy has escaped to London after the Nazi's discover his duplicity. He is hiding in London rather than coming into his Controller because he does not trust anyone.

The second part of the story is Troy's investigation into a several murders that occur during the search for the spy. The conclusion pulls the two parts together to result in a very satisfying read

A good solid historical procedural. Lawton will not disappoint, his stories are well written and appear to be historically accurate from what I can locate through reading other sources.