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.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
For PREVIOUS REVIEWS- Click on MYSTERY PEOPLE below -
Published by Head of Zeus, 5 April 2018. ISBN:
The Death Chamber is set in three time periods, although the majority of the
book is contemporary. In 1977, seventeen-year-old Cassie Baker leaves her home
in the Cotswolds and disappears. Cassie has run away before and, although the
police look for her, it’s assumed that she has run away, and this time has
decided to stay away. In 1999 eighteen-year-old Bryony Motson goes missing.
During the police investigation Detective Chief Inspector Paul Mercer selects a
prime suspect, Charles Brice. Brice tells him that he has heard some
information and leads Mercer to a Neolithic Long Barrow. This results not in
the discovery of Bryony Motson but Mercer finds the skeleton of Cassie Baker.
In the years that follow, Bryony is not
discovered alive or dead, which causes her father to campaign against Mercer’s
handling of the case This, combined with Mercer’s flagrant disregard for his
suspect’s rights, costs Mercer his career, but he is adamant that Brice is
guilty and spends the next nineteen years trying to prove this.
Back in contemporary 2018, Stella
Darnell runs her own very successful cleaning business, but Stella is the
daughter of a detective and, since his death, she has solved several of his
‘cold cases.’ Another detective’s daughter, Lisa Mercer, approaches Stella on
behalf of her father, now terminally ill, and asks her to take over the
investigation of Brice’s guilt. It is time for Stella to decide whether she is
serious about being a detective and if she is prepared to accept a case in her
own right. Against the advice of her friends and colleagues, and despite her
‘city girl’s’ fear of staying in the country, Stella accepts the case and she
and her friend, Jack Harmon, travel to the Cotswolds.
Stella and Jack have to tread carefully
as they interview the family and friends of the two girls, not merely because
of the fear of reopening old wounds but because of the varying attitudes to
Paul Mercer. While Cassie’s mother is grateful to Mercer for discovering her
daughter’s body, Bryony’s father, Brian Motson, blames him for never finding
his daughter. Stella and Jack find that the house that Mercer has provided for
them to stay in is remote and almost derelict and it soon becomes clear that
somebody is watching them and playing tricks in order to scare them away.
Another death occurs and the investigation of a case that had been safely in
the past becomes immediate and very dangerous.
The Death Chamber is
the sixth book featuring Stella Darnell and her colleagues. It is the first one
I have read, and I wish that I had started earlier in the series in order to
understand the complex web of relationships and the characters’ back-stories.
The characters are interesting and well-drawn and form a close, supportive
community, but at the same time, a major element of the book concerns the large
number of secrets that the group of friends and colleagues are keeping from
each other. The plot is skilfully laid and intricate, with twists and turns to
keep the reader guessing, The Death
Chamber is an engaging book with a likeable cast of characters and some
evocative descriptions of the wild Cotswold countryside. An enjoyable read.
Reviewer: Carol Westron
Lesley Thomsonwas born in 1958 and brought up in Hammersmith, West
London, grew up in London. She went to Holland Park Comprehensive and graduated
from Brighton University in 1981 and moved to Sydney, Australia.. Her novel A Kind of Vanishing won The People's
Book Prize in 2010. Her latest novel The
Detective's Daughter is a number one bestseller. Ghost Girl the second in the The Detective's Daughter series is out
in May 2014. Lesley combines writing with teaching creative writing at West
Dean College. She lives in Lewes with her partner and is working on a new novel
featuring Stella Darnell.
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 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.