Recent Events

Saturday 26 September 2015

‘A Study in Murder’ by Robert Ryan

Published by Simon & Schuster,
8 October 2015.
ISBN: 978-1-4711-3508-8 (PB)

At the start of the First World War, Dr John Watson re-enlisted to act as an army doctor in the trenches. Now a Major and a prisoner-of-war, Watson's age means that he should be released into a neutral country for the duration of the war. However, an old enemy of Holmes and Watson uses his power in the German army to block Watson's release and send him to one of the harshest prisoner-of-war camps deep in German territory.
Back in Britain, Watson's 'friend' Mrs Gregson is working tirelessly behind the scenes of the Secret Service to enable Watson's release and, of course, in the background, there is the shadowy figure of Sherlock Holmes, who is never quite as retired as he appears to be.

The Allied blockade has led to severe food shortages and when a new prisoner-of-war is murdered it is assumed that he was killed for his Red Cross parcel. However Watson has been Sherlock Holmes' companion for a long while and his instincts tell him that the true motive for the murder is very different and much more sinister. Watson decides to investigate, even though this involves grave risk to his own life.
Study in Murder is the third in the series of Dr Watson thrillers. It brings to vivid life the privations of life in a German prisoner-of-war camp, mixed with scenes of life and dangers in London in 1917.  Watson is shown as a strong and honourable man, capable of conducting an investigation in his own right. The story is complex and might be easier to follow if one had read the two preceding Dr Watson books (Dead Man's Land and The Dead Can Wait.) However A Study in Murder is an interesting and involving book in its own right.
Reviewer:  by Carol Westron

Robert Ryan was born in Liverpool and moved south to attend university. He graduated from Brunel with a M.Sc. in Environmental Pollution Science, intending to go into teaching. Instead, he spent two years as a mechanic for a Hot Rod team, racing highly tuned Fords (“the fag-end of motorsport”, as Bernie Ecclestone calls it) where he became addicted to the smell of Castrol R. Weaning himself off that, he became a lecturer in Natural Sciences in Kent, while dabbling in journalism. His articles on comic (or graphic novels as they were just becoming known) gurus Alan Moore and Frank Miller found their way into Nick Logan’s The Face magazine, which led to work for the American edition of GQ, The Guardian, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Arena. Eventually he took a position on staff at The Sunday Times as Deputy Travel Editor. It was while on assignment in Seattle that he came across the setting for his first novel, Underdogs – the ‘lost’ city beneath the sidewalks of downtown – that was called ‘Alice in Wonderland meets Assault on Precinct 13’ by Esquire. He continues to contribute to The Sunday Times. He lives in North London with his wife, three children, a dog and a deaf cat.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment