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Thursday, 12 June 2014

'The Fruit Gum Murders' Roger Silverwood

 Published by Robert Hale,
31 March 2014.
ISBN 978-0-7198-1231-6

We begin at a gala dance at Muick Castle where a very valuable necklace disappears during a black-out.    Inspector Angel is faced with several cases involving murder and fraud besides this apparent jewel robbery.  He works in Bromersley, South Yorkshire and has a reputation for successful solutions.  He is an experienced detective but an inspector is only as successful as his last case, I suppose, so he feels a constant need to succeed.
The murder scene that faces the Inspector and his team in an anonymous hotel room is suitably baffling.  The most significant clue to a mysterious death is a fruit gum found on the floor!    Even the pathologist experiences difficulty in deciding the cause of death,  Further deaths follow including that of an ex-hospital porter as deeply buried family secrets start to surface and raise the possibility of blackmail.  The pressures on the Inspector intensify as further deaths occur.  The leitmotiv of fruit gums occurs to increase the bafflement of the team.

Fortunately Inspector Angel is a dogged investigator despite the many distractions.  He manages to separate the various tangled skeins so that he can achieve solutions.  Another leitmotiv is an ugly and unidentifiable statuette that neighbours have given Angel and his wife.  Efforts to both identify the animal and to persuade someone else to take it constantly backfire!
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer

Roger Silverwood was the son of a Yorkshire businessman. He was educated in Gloucestershire before National Service. He later worked in the toy trade, then as a copywriter in an advertising agency. He went into business with his wife in the antiques trade before retiring in 1997. His Inspector is now on 20th book.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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