As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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‘Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour’ by Charlie Cochrane
by The Right Chair Press, 14 August 2017. ASIN: B073Z3LL3K
It is 1922 and Jonty Stewart and
Orlando Coppersmith have settled back into their academic lives at St Bride’s
College, Cambridge. Scarred both physically and emotionally by the Great War,
Jonty and Orlando have reached the security of middle-age and a stable
relationship, although they are still passionate about their love for each
other and about investigating any intriguing crimes that come their way.
they do have their doubts about taking on the latest investigation offered to
them. There has always been a bitter dislike and rivalry between St Bride’s and
the despised ‘college next door.’ This loathing is particularly intense when it
comes to the college’s master, Dr Owens, a man who once tried to blackmail
Orlando and Jonty by threatening to reveal their relationship to the world.
Owens had also attempted to molest the deeply respected Ariadne Sheridan,
before she became the wife of St Bride’s master. Now Owens has been arrested
for the murder of one of his students and, to Orlando and Jonty’s surprise, it
is Ariadne Sheridan who is advocating that they investigate the crime to
establish whether Owens is guilty or not.
and Orlando agree to look into the case, partly to oblige Ariadne and her
husband, partly to defend the honour of the university, but mainly because they
cannot resist a mystery. With the help of Dr Sheridan and the delightful
inventor, Dr Panesar, the basic facts are soon uncovered.
victim, Olivier Seymour, was an unlikeable young man, whose family had bad
back-history with Owens’ family. Because of this, Owens had gone out of his way
to avoid accusations of victimisation and had given Seymour more warnings than
he deserved before sending him down from the university. On the day of
Seymour’s death he had gone too far and Owens had resolved to dismiss him. A
noisy quarrel had ensued. A short while afterwards, Seymour was found dead, his
head staved in by a knobkerrie, a heavy weapon that Seymour kept on his wall
for display. Owens’ fingerprints were found on the weapon.
sleuths soon discover that Seymour enjoyed upsetting people and had given many
people in his college good reason to wish him harm. Faced with ‘a locked
college mystery’ they have a race against time to establish whether their old
enemy is innocent and to prove it before his career is destroyed and the
reputation of the university is tarnished.
novella follows ten full-length novels featuring Jonty and Orlando and, as a
fan, I read their return story with great pleasure. It is a neat story,
cleverly plotted, with a remarkable number of red herrings. Jonty and Orlando
are delightful protagonists, as are their allies in investigation. I especially
like the eccentric but brilliant Dr Panesar. There are many deft touches of
humour, as when Orlando and Jonty individually experience the salutary
realisation that the members of ‘the college next door’ are, in the main, pleasant
and intelligent people, and that many of them regard St Bride’s with the same
degree of disdain as the St Brides’ Fellows have always felt for them.
Lessons in Loving
thy Murderous Neighbour is a thoroughly enjoyable 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 Westronis 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 latest book The Fragility
of Poppies was published 10 June 2016.