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Sunday, 5 April 2015

Emily’s Hour by James Morley

Published 2008.
ISBN: 978-0-9548880-3-9

Vandals have pushed a car down the Boating Club slip at Branham Lake, and when it’s pulled out, there’s a body inside. Soon there’s another murder, and another. The chief suspect is the husband of the club Commodore, but his friends are determined to clear his name.

This enjoyable crime novel is set in the sailing world of the south coast of England: the club of Branham Lake where the Simpson children (Emily and John Kaj) sail, the Chichester nautical business of Steve Simpson and the Hamble, where he and his Danish wife Kirsten keep their boat. This was a believable family with convincingly described interaction between them. Steve is older than his wife, with a grown-up daughter who also appears in the story; Kirsten is a tempestuous Dane whose habit of mowing the lawn in the nude upsets the neighbours. Emily, the heroine of the title, is a lively teenager who behaves convincingly under stress – I thought this aspect of the novel was particularly well done. The narration follows the action, rather than one particular person, so we also saw the thoughts of the policemen and psychological profiler involved in solving the crime. The story was quick-moving, with the obsession of the perps brought in early, but the names kept secret until the final, tense chapters.

A feel-good read. It’s a sequel, and the events of the first book are explained, so if you’d like to try a ‘cosy’ sailing thriller, you might want to begin with The Nemesis File.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

James Morley sis a local author, writing books under the name Benham's Sea Mysteries. Retired from an agricultural background Jim has been writing books since 2005. He is well known in the local area for his novels, short stories and publicity writing. He is chairman of Petersfield Writers’ Circle and an active members of his local book club. Jim lives in Liss in Hampshire, a widower, in an untidy house filled with books and computers. Jim is a members of the UK Society of Authors.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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