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 -
Reprint Published by the British Library Crime Classics, 10
September 2018. ISBN: 978-0-7123-5227-7
story is told in two parts. The first part is called ‘Before’ and contains the
First Person narrative of John Wilkins as he makes a statement to Doctor Max
Andreadis, consulting psychiatrist. In this statement, John talks about his
life and how he came to marry his wife, May, although he starts with the event
that changed his life and landed him in the unfortunate position that he is now
in. ‘It all began one day in April when I went round to change a library
book.’ It was there that John met Sheila and became obsessed with her. John
is the perfect example of an unreliable narrator. He is an insecure and
immature young man, convinced that his boss is treating him unfairly and,
despite his marriage, he is still coddled by his doting and extremely bossy
widowed mother. John is the ultimate victim, always blaming others for his own
shortcomings. Throughout his narrative, John paints a cruel picture of May,
with the result that the reader, seeing her through the mirror of his dislike,
is forced to wonder whether she is really as unattractive as John claims. This
leads the reader to query all the relationships and events that John reports.
The second part of the novel, ‘After,’
is a Third Person report of John Wilkins trial for murder. It is a sardonic
look at the British legal system in the 1950s and the effect on the people
involved before, during and after the trial. At the end of the book the
question still remains, of whether justice was really done and if the truth was
The Colour of Murder
was originally published in 1957 and has just been republished by the British
Library with an excellent introduction by Martin Edwards. It was a ground-breaking
book when first published and is still an intriguing and skilfully structured
book, which gives an insight into the social customs of ordinary people sixty
years ago and queries about a legal system that persist up to this time. A
clever book that is well worth reading.
Reviewer: Carol Westron
Julian Symons (1912-1984) was a notable writer of British crime
fiction from the 1950s until his death, publishing more than thirty novels in
total. He served as President of the prestigious Detection Club, won two Edgar
Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, and is well known as the author of
Bloody Murder, a classic history of crime fiction.
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.
Avon, 18 October 2018. ISBN: 978-0-00827-104-6 (PB)
And there I was, thinking Stoke-on-Trent was a quiet, peaceful place.
Clearly Mel Sherratt knows different – and since she's been voted one of the
city's most influential people, she must know what she's talking about. Or
writing about, in her latest nail-biting police procedural Hush Hush. Apparently,
this unpretentious midlands city is a hotbed of gang rivalry, drug peddling,
sexual abuse and violent death, with the odd family squabble thrown in.
Sherratt's earlier Stoke
protagonist DS Allie Shenton has been promoted and moved on. She plays a minor
role this time around, leaving centre stage for newcomer DS Grace Allendale –
and Grace has a secret which just might get in the way of her job. She may be
new to the Stoke police force, but she has considerable history with the city
itself; until twenty-three years ago, she and her mother were under the thumb
of George Steele, one of its most violent and notorious criminal figures. They
escaped, and now George is dead, murdered by persons unknown, so Grace thought
it would be safe to return for a promotion.
As it turns out, she couldn't
have been more wrong. The Steeles are still a force to be reckoned with, and
when one of their associates is murdered, Grace finds herself in trouble with
both sides, and eventually doesn't know who she can trust.
Sherratt weaves a complex
plot which puts a whole new spin on the police procedural sub-genre. The two
Steele brothers, Grace's half-brothers, are engaged in a constant battle for
supremacy, though they continue to protest their innocence as the body count
grows. Their sister and mother have their own agendas. And as if that wasn't
enough, there's even a hint that there might be a traitor in the police ranks.
On a personal level, Grace is
still grieving for her husband, who died of cancer before the book begins. She
needs a new start, but if she is to forge a place for herself back in her
birthplace, there are lines to be drawn, issues to be settled and the past to
be laid to rest. But before that, there are murders to solve and her own
loyalty to prove to her senior officers.
Grace Allendale has all the
makings of a series protagonist who could run and run. More power to Mel
Sherratt for setting the ball rolling and putting Stoke-on-Trent firmly on the
crime fiction map.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Sherratt has published fifteen novels so
far: police procedurals, psychological thrillers and fiction with a punch.
Mel lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and terrier,
Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of her hometown
as a backdrop for some of her books.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.
by Macmillan, 9 August 2018. ISBN: 978-1-50986619-9 (HB)
Rhona MacLeod has been called to a body in one of the Glasgow tunnels: a young
man laid out as if for burial, with a half-drunk glass of wine and half-eaten
piece of bread beside him, recalling the old custom of the ‘sin-eater’... but
who is the perpretator, and how has he gained his forensic knowledge?
fast-moving PP uses several voices to tell the story, mostly in the third person:
Rhona herself, the investigating officer, Mike McNab, now demoted to Detective
Sergeant after their last case together, Follow
the Dead. Mike’s biker girlfriend Ellie is also involved; she and her
friends found the body during an illegal race under the city, and Ellie is
haunted by the discovery, which takes her back to the trauma of her brother’s
suicide. There are suspicious characters a-plenty, including Rhona’s friendly
neighbour, and the too-interested DC Fleming. Rhona herself is a character that
it’s easy to identify with: precise and determined in her work, yet unable to
conquer her personal life, and in the later stages of the book you’re with her
in every moment of her struggle. McNab is also a character you’re drawn to; you
sympathise with his current professional frustrations, and his difficulties in
forming relationships, and hope that he and Ellie will work out. The
description of the places in the story, particularly the sinister tunnels, is
evocative, the writing is stylish, the dialogue snappy, and the pace keeps up
the speed of the opening chapters with sinister short meditations by the perp
pointing to a new victim, and twists to keep the reader on their toes. The
forensic detail, as always, is both fascinating and meticulously accurate. Although
this is book 13 in the series, and the continuing interactions between the
characters is important to readers, Anderson kept us focused on the plot
throughout. I did wish I’d re-read Follow
the Dead before this one, as the reverberations from that case were present
through the book – but not to the extent of spoiling it as an excellent
pacy, gripping PP from the point of view of a forensic scientist, with plenty
of action and atmosphere. A treat for Rhona MacLeod fans, and a great introduction
to her and her world for new readers. Highly recommended.
in Greenock. She attended the University of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Lin is a
Tartan Noir crime novelist and screenwriter. Whilst best known as the creator
of forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod, Lin has a second mystery thriller series featuring
private investigatorPatrick de
Courvoisier, set in glamorous Cannes (thinkThe Rockford Files meets James Bond). As of 2010 the Rhona MacLeod
books are being developed for ITV.
Marsali Taylor grew up
near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is
currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her
husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who
is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive
dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a
keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of
her local drama group.Marsali also does
a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.