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Sunday 9 August 2015

‘Lessons for Idle Tongues’ by Charlie Cochrane

Published by Riptide Publishing,
29 June 2015.
ISBN: 978-1-62649-272-1

It is summer 1910, and Cambridge Fellows Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith are about to embark on a holiday to Italy when they are asked to investigate a mystery that is both trivial and intriguing. Montgomery is a large wooden cat, kept by a London hotel to act as the fourteenth 'guest' when patrons would otherwise be thirteen at table. When Jonty's mother wishes to borrow Montgomery, it is discovered that he has been stolen.

Jonty and Orlando swiftly resolve this minor crime but a far more serious matter awaits their attention when they return to Cambridge. A young woman called Lucy French has died and a young man who loved her believes that there was something suspicious about the circumstances of her death and beseeches Jonty and Orlando to discover the truth for him. As the sleuths investigate they hear rumours about the deaths of three other young people in the village. Local gossip blames Lord Toothill, a reclusive landowner who was a soldier in the Boer War and, according to the rumours, was responsible for atrocities so vile that he can no longer face the world.

Jonty and Orlando have to cut through a forest of malicious rumours in order to discover the truth behind the young people's deaths, as well as braving Lord Toothill's loyal servants and their guns. The solution to the mystery is so cruel and strange that it shocks them both.

Lessons for Idle Tongues is another sparkling addition to the chronicles of Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith, two thoroughly likeable sleuths. The story is further lifted by the appearance of many other series characters, most notably Jonty's delightful parents, who play a significant role in the investigation. It is a thoroughly enjoyable book, skilfully evoking the era in which it is set. Great fun, and an excellent, pleasurable read.

Reviewer:  Carol Westron

Charlie Cochrane  couldn't be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team— so she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, predominantly historical romances/mysteries.  A member of the Romantic Novelists’  Association, and International Thriller Writers Inc, Charlie's Cambridge Fellows Series, set in Edwardian England, was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name.

Carol Westron is a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.  She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  The Terminal Velocity of Cats is the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Her second book About the Children was published in May 2014.

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