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Sunday 16 June 2019

‘Murder in Belgravia’ by Lynn Brittney

Published by Mirror Books,
15 March 2018.  ISBN 978-1-907324-82-6 (PB)

This the first in a series entitled A Mayfair 100 Mystery.  The setting is London in 1915 so the Great War is an important aspect of the story.  Because of the demand for fighting  men the police force is very short of personnel so a special detective group is set up which includes two men invalided out of the army, one retired policeman brought back into the force and two civilians, one a doctor and the other with legal training,  Since the civilians were female they would be disapproved if by most of the police so their involvement is kept secret.   They are also upper class and the use of the London home of one of them as a base explains the use of Mayfair 100 since that is the phone number of that house.   The continued existence of the Mayfair 100 group depends on its success in its first case.

We begin with a badly injured woman accused of murdering her husband and move on from there.    The story rapidly becomes highly sensational as drugs and prostitution are revealed.   The background is no less sensational as Zeppelins bomb London.  The period detail here is excellent - I particularly enjoyed the fleeting appearance of Margaret Damer Dawson, founder of the fledgling Women’s Police Service and a frightening figure with her cropped hair and monocle!

This is an enjoyable read.  I notice that the second book of the series, A Death in Chelsea, has also been published. I look forward to reading it.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer

Lynn Brittney has fifty-two plays, books (fiction and non-fiction), and foreign translations of her books registered for PLR. She began novel-writing in 2005 and the first book in her Nathan Fox Elizabethan spy trilogy was nominated for the Waterstones and Brandford Boase Prize. In 2016 she created the Mayfair 100 series, set in WW1. The first two books – Murder in Belgravia and A Death in Chelsea have been published in the UK by Mirror Books.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout 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.

1 comment:

  1. :) I enjoyed this one and Death in Chelsea. I do think the characters are a bit goody, goody, but the plots and historical details are great. And I love that the team is made of largely of women.