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Saturday, 19 March 2016

‘Treasure Trove’ by Alistair Lavers

Published by Matador,
28 November 2015.
ISBN: 978-1-78462-498-9

The story opens with a long prologue set in 1645 at Whitborough Castle, Yorkshire, England, when supporters of King Charles I are attempting to flee with the treasure held in the castle before it is captured by the Roundheads who are besieging the castle. In Chapter One the action shifts to Easter Weekend 1983 and recounts the misadventures of a motley crowd of locals, including two inept smugglers, two inactive policemen and a crowd of incompetent would-be witches and warlocks who form the local coven, not to mention the bewildered small boy dressed as Humpty Dumpty who got embroiled with the coven's activities while looking for his Cubs' fancy dress party. Soon chaos erupts, with boats sinking and demonic manifestations causing witches, warlocks, smugglers and policemen to flee for their lives.

The troubles of the residents of Whitborough on Sea have only just begun. As the story weaves through tales of ancient treasure and an ancient curse Whitborough on Sea is not a peaceful or happy place to be and it is hard to fathom who is responsible for all these peculiar events and how they are connected with Brian and Dave Drake, the owners of Clash City records, a very strange record store.

Treasure Trove is the first in a series of books called The Whitborough Novels. It is funny in a quick-fire, brashly humorous way, with many references that are relevant to the 1980s but possibly would not be understood by a younger generation. It is fast-moving and opens up many questions that the reader wishes to read on and have resolved. My main concern is that the numerous viewpoint changes make the action hard to follow and also make it hard to identify and relate to the central protagonists. Treasure Trove is a lively, comic crime book with many funny moments, which would appeal to readers who love the work of Tom Sharpe.
Reviewer: Carol Westron

Alistair Lavers is 50 and lives in Yorkshire. He was a junior partner in an independent rock/ alternative record store in the 1980s, a freelance photographer for motorcycle magazines and a self-employed graphic designer and illustrator. He enjoys reading, classic vehicles and dog walking.

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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