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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by Lightning Books, 24 May 2018. ISBN:
The Victorian world at the end of
the nineteenth century is beautifully evoked by James Hall. His pages
teem with the vitality of the area around Covent Garden in 1899. The
protagonist, Max, with his cousin, Rusty, has started a gramophone business and
they are endeavouring to build up their repertoire of records. The murky
backstage world of the theatres, pubs and restaurants is the one in which Max
and Rusty operate. The details of their ways of recording in this
primitive area are fascinating. Music is the staff of life to Max but
Rusty has more interest in the mechanics of the machines.
They have persuaded a renowned
Italian opera singer to record for them but, soon after, he is murdered.
There is a back story to the lives of the two men with ghosts from the
past to contend with. Even in their business they face threats from
rivals. More seriously their own relationship has enormous rifts in
The murder of the opera singer
marks a beginning of a new and deadly stage in the challenges facing Rusty and
Max. More deaths follow and the solution to them proves hard to find.
This is an exciting story well told.
Jennifer S. Palmer
This is a first novel.
James Hallis a music
journalist and author. The Industry of
Human Happiness is his first novel. The book is historical fiction with a
crime twist. Set in the murky theatres and music halls of late Victorian
London, the novel celebrates the magic of music and the indomitable spirit of
the early recording pioneers. James has
written for The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Observer,
the FT and The Sunday Telegraph. As one of the music writers and critics for
the Telegraph, he has reviewed shows by everyone from Beyoncé to U2 and from
Kanye West to Paul McCartney.
my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my
15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but
occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting
reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics
including Famous Historical Mysteries.