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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Published by Allison and Busby, 21 February
2019. ISBN 978-0-7490-2166-5 (HB)
Inspector Eden Brooke is walking through a cold and snowy Cambridge one evening
in January1940 when a young constable informs him that a college porter has
spotted a body in the River Cam. But this is not just any body. It is the
body of a young boy who has been cruelly confined in a sack whilst still alive
and was crying out for somebody to help him. DI Eden mobilises all the
forces at his disposal, but the boy, Sean Flynn, an Irish Catholic evacuee who
had only recently arrived in the town, does not survive. Subsequent
investigations show that Sean had been severely injured before he was put in
Next a bomb
goes off at a local factory and a transistor vital for the war effort is
stolen. An Irish Republican slogan is left at the scene and Eden has to decide
if the two crimes are linked. Eden’s task becomes harder when intelligence
suggests that there will be at least one more bomb to follow. And just to
make life even more complicated, Cambridge is expecting a visit from the King’s
brother. The royal prince is determined to attend a football game and
insists that Eden is responsible for his safety.
and Catholic connections of the two crimes lead the police towards St Alban’s
Catholic Church and school. Both are heavily involved with caring for the
evacuated children, including the murdered Sean. The parish priest and the
headmaster of the school are both interesting characters, but are they
criminals as well? One of the church’s parishioners is murdered. The
headmaster’s wife describes him as a saint, but is he a sinner as well?
As part of
his legacy from serving in the previous war DI Eden Brooke suffers from an
acute and painful aversion to light, and a chronic inability to sleep for any
sensible length of time. His night wanderings help to consolidate Cambridge as
one of the main characters in the book. They also introduce us to several of
Eden’s “nighthawk pals” – his former batman, a college porter, a young
neighbour doing observation work on the roof tops, and Rose who runs a night
café etc. Eden’s wife and daughter, both nurses, feature regularly as
does the family’s underlying concern for their son who is in the army waiting
for action on the borders of Belgium and France, and their son-in-law who is a
characters, and many more, are sympathetically drawn and help to make us feel
at one with the university town that, like the rest of the country in January
1940, was waiting to be bombed or invaded. The pace at which the story develops
seems perfectly in tune with the troubled times and place, and despite its
relatively grim content I found The
Mathematical Bridge a most delightful and engrossing read: one that
deserves to be widely appreciated.
Jim Kellywas born in 1957 and
is the son of a Scotland Yard detective. He went to university in Sheffield,
later training as a journalist and worked on the Bedfordshire Times, Yorkshire
Evening Press and the Financial Times. His first book, The Water Clock, was shortlisted for the John Creasey Award and he
has since won a CWA Dagger in the Library and the New Angle Prize for
Literature. He lives in Ely, Cambridgeshire.
Angela Crowtheris a
retired scientist. She has published many scientific papers but, as yet,
no crime fiction. In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing
group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the
operas of Verdi and Wagner.