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Saturday 1 September 2018

‘The Cambridge Plot’ by Suzette A. Hill

Published by Allison and Busby,
19 July 2018.
ISBN: 978-0-7490-2288-4

The book opens with a meeting of The Plot and Monument Committee of a Cambridge College who are planning to buy a plot of land upon which they will erect a monument to honour an erstwhile member, the late Sir Percival Biggs-Brookby. This apparently simple task is complicated by college politics and by the struggle for power between the committee, who wish to employ a competent and inexpensive local sculptor, and Sir Percival’s daughter, Gloria, who intends to force them to use a fashionable and much costlier sculptor from London.

Professor Cedric Dillworthy had loathed Sir Percival, and, as his friend Felix Smythe so tactlessly points out, Cedric has frequently referred to Sir Percival in disparaging terms, but that does not prevent him from agreeing to become one of the benefactors contributing to the memorial. After all the benefactors’ names will be on permanent display next to the statue and Cedric longs to be immortalised in Cambridge; also, he needs some triumph to counter Felix’s boastful attitude regarding the Royal Warrant granted by the Queen Mother to his flower shop.

When Cedric is invited to Cambridge to participate in the preparations for the monument, he invites Felix to accompany him. Coincidentally, Rosie Gilchrist is also in Cambridge, attending a reunion at Newnham College. Cedric, Felix and Rosie have already been involved in the investigation of violent crime and it seems that they attract disaster. It is not long before a storm of malevolent phone calls, blackmail and murder bursts over Cambridge’s previously civilised colleges and the trio find themselves embroiled in a series of uncomfortable, undignified and downright dangerous situations.

The Cambridge Plot is the fifth book in the series featuring Cedric Dillworthy and Felix Smythe. It is beautifully written, clever, witty and delightfully absurd, with engaging characters that it is impossible not to like, despite their flaws. An easy to read book that is great fun.
Reviewer: Carol Westron
Suzette A. Hill was born in Eastbourne, Sussex, in 1941; but has lived in many locations - the Midlands, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Berkshire - and finally in retirement in Ledbury, Herefordshire. Although being an English graduate of two universities and having taught ‘Eng. Lit.’ all her professional life, she never contemplated doing any creative writing herself. It was only when she was sixty-four and well retired, that out of idle curiosity she thought she might try her hand at a short story - just to see what writing fiction felt like. And to her ongoing surprise A Load of Old Bones plus its four sequels was the result. A Little Murder (pub. Allison & Busby) is the first in a new series featuring Rosie Gilchrist, and followed by The Venetian Venture & A Southwold Mystery. The Primrose Pursuit (2016), the first book to feature Primrose Oughterard, is a link to the original ‘Bones’ series.

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 the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Carol recently gave an interview to Mystery People. To read the interview click on the link below.

To read a review of Carol latest book Strangers and Angels click on the title.

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