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 The Book Guild Ltd, 28 November 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-912881 94-9 (PB)
good value “bargain basement” collection of murders is set in and around a
small village in Lancashire. Moulton Bank boasts two pubs, two churches, and is
traversed by the Leeds to Liverpool canal. The grand sounding Mid-Lancashire
Academy, an upgraded comprehensive, has been schooling Moulton’s inhabitants
for decades and is a dominant force in the community. Its deputy head, Mrs
Brenda Rumburgh, is familiar with – and occasionally related to – many of the
school’s pupils and their families, including that of DI Carmichael. The
headmaster, Mr Wisset, is a strict disciplinarian. He has returned from
far-flung places but is not unfamiliar with the area.
begins in DI Carmichael’s parish church when a man whose hands are covered in
blood approaches its young vicar and claims to have killed someone. The
man vanishes before DI Carmichael has a chance to interview him, but he
reappears the next day in the boot of a Bentley with his throat cut. He is soon
identified as Geoffrey Brookwell, an actor who is waiting for his big
break. He is also an old friend of Sean Atwood, a local builder who owns
the Bentley in which Geoffrey’s body was discovered. Another victim
follows. Sajid Hanif, an optician is lured to his death in a hotel room, and
then later Sean Atwood disappears and is found shot dead. All three men
went to the Mid-Lancashire Academy at more or less the same time several years
Carmichael and his team, Sergeants Cooper and Watson and Constable Rachael
Dalton are charged with solving the riddle of the murders. They work out of
Kirkwood police station under the watchful eye of CI Hewitt. Other than
the obvious connection with the men’s schooling they are at a loss to explain
why anyone would want to murder the men. The clues are there to be
understood. There are at least two other murders, both passed off as
collateral damage, and one botched attempted murder of another ex-pupil of The
themes for this story are revenge and deceit. As you may gather from the number
of murders there is little room for much else in narrative except: DI
Carmichael’s daughter Natalie is being bullied by three girls at the
Mid-Lancashire Academy and Carmichael is worried that an earlier indiscretion
with a female colleague is coming home to haunt him. Blood on His
Hands is an easy read with believable characters – although do sane people
set out to murder four people and then kill another couple along the way? It
provides plenty of distraction, and hopefully no ideas, to others contemplating
murder in these strange times we are experiencing. It is the eighth book
in the DI Carmichael series and I’m sure there will be more to come.
Photo courtesy of Harry Atkinson
McFadyenis the author of the Carmichael series of Murder
Mystery novels, set in rural Lancashire. With five books published to date,
McFadyen has built up a strong following and is particularly well supported by
library borrowers – being positioned in the top 10% of most loaned authors in
the last two years. Favourably mentioned alongside Wilkie Collins and Colin
Dexter, McFadyen’s titles – Little White Lies , Lillia’s Diary, Frozen to
Death, Deadly Secrets and Killing Time, are all available in paperback and
on kindle. His first four books are available in large print and Deadly
Secrets is also available in Italian.
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.