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Thursday 31 December 2015

‘Murder in Court’ by Three Ian Simpson

Published by Matador,
28 March 2015.
ISBN: 978-1-78462-213-8

DI Flick Fortune was hoping to relax during her last two weeks before the start of her maternity leave ... until a leading QC is found dead after a function at the Edinburgh Law Courts, just after having sex with the wife of a senior police officer.

This PP was great fun to read. It’s in the Christie style, but set in the present day, so that the investigating officers have full access to modern techology, but also suffer the pressures of the press (led by Inspector No, Fortune’s former boss) and finance. The opening ‘list of characters’ was dauntingly large, but in fact I didn’t find I needed it – each character was clearly introduced. Fortune was a likeable detective, with a nicely-sketched home life, married to a fellow police officer, and Inspector No was convincingly unpleasant. The plot was fast-moving, with a high body-count and a lot of twists, and the perp satisfyingly suprising, but fairly clued. I enjoyed the way the setting moved from Edinburgh and Glasgow to country Scotland.

Several crime writers must be kicking themselves at not having thought of the ‘numbers’ idea first ... this reads well as a stand-alone, but if you like the sound of a traditional PP with a twists-and-turns plot, then you might like to begin with the London-set Murder on Page One. The second in the series, Murder on the Second Tee, is set in St Andrews.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Ian Simpson says, after a career in the courts I decided that I had enough of facts and I started to write fiction. I greatly enjoy my second career. From my days as defence counsel I remember police officers who bent the rules out of shape and got away with it. They were often highly effective at putting villains behind bars and I had mixed feelings about them. I based Inspector No on these men, only I have made No a buffoon, a source of comedy. I believe that crime fiction is at its best when flavoured with humour, and my readers appear to agree with me. My second book is based in St Andrews, where I was brought up, and it provides a wonderful backdrop for any story. My third, Murder in Court Three,  is set in Edinburgh's legal world. I have been fortunate that most of those who have read my books have enjoyed them and I feel honoured when someone chooses to relax with my fiction.

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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