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Thursday, 6 November 2014

'Last Writes' by Catherine Aird



Published by Allison & Busby,
24 July 2014. ISBN 978-0-7490-1617-3

Catherine Aird has an excellent series featuring Inspector Sloan and Constable Crosby and some of the short stories in this collection are about these two characters.  Even if you have not read about Sloan and Crosby before you will enjoy their adventures here.  However, there is a wide variety of tales here. I liked the ones about Henry Tyler, a harassed Foreign Office civil servant in the 1930s who faces interpreting coded messages of great ingenuity; he takes problems on his brief visits to his sister Wendy and her family in Berebury.  His desire for a world where Herr Hitler had been firmly taught his Ps and Qs by Wendy is endearing.  

In complete contrast of place and time, there are  tales set in 16th century Scotland where the sheriff, Rhuaridh Macmillan, must deal with all the local conflicts.  The diplomacy required needs great thought.  Other stories stand alone.  They make fascinating reading showing Catherine Aird's great skills at formulating puzzles and writing amusing dialogues.  These stories are often quite short and always have a twist and often a sting in the tail.  The only complaint that I have is that I finished the book far too quickly!
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Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
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There are 23 books in the cosy detective series about Sloan and Crosby
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Catherine Aird is the author of more than twenty crime novels and short story collections, most of which feature Detective Chief Inspector CD Sloan. She holds an honorary MA from the University of Kent and was made an MBE. Her other works include Amendment of Life and Little Knell. She lives in a village in East Kent. Apart from writing the successful Chronicles of Calleshire she has also written and edited a series of village histories a son et lumière and a video.






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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