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Tuesday 5 July 2022

‘Lock, Stock and Peril’ by Charlie Cochrane

Published by Riptide Publishing,
6 June 2022.
ISBN: ‎ 978-1-62649966-9

The lockdowns in England caused by Covid 19 were challenging for many people. Detective Chief Inspector Robin Bright and his husband, deputy headteacher, Adam Matthews weathered the first lockdown well, despite having to work hard to cope with staff absences and keep their police department and school running smoothly. At least Campbell, their beloved Newfoundland dog, is enjoying more walks with his two dads than he had ever experienced before. The story begins when the country is in the winter of the second lockdown and the fear of infection is still a constant, underlying concern.

Lockdown has affected many people in different ways and, despite help from concerned neighbours, some people have become very isolated. Robin is called to investigate a suspicious death at the Ramparts, the most exclusive and expensive area of nearby Kinechester. The body of elderly Ellen Wilkins has lain undiscovered in her house for some time, which means that the corpse has deteriorated, making the exact time of death difficult to define. To make matters even more difficult, somebody, presumably Ellen’s killer, has cleaned up the scene of crime, although some traces of blood remain, and Ellen’s automatic device to turn her house lights on and off has been activated.

According to Ellen’s neighbours, she had always been a person who valued her privacy but, since November, she has become extremely reclusive and very rude to anybody who offers her help. The detectives’ first theory is that Ellen had isolated herself because she was suffering from diminishing mental powers, a tragedy for anybody but especially for a woman who had been a skilled chess player and a master of other logic puzzles. The more they find out about Ellen, the more they discover a woman who has spent her life researching and disclosing wrongdoing, a woman who was passionate about delivering justice. The question that Robin and his team have to answer is whether Ellen was researching another crime and, if so, whether it had led to her death?

Robin and Adam both hoped that, for once, Adam would not be drawn into the investigation, but this wish proves short-lived when Adam’s Teaching Assistant, Kelvin, tells him that Ellen was his godmother. Adam does not wish to interfere with Robin’s work but the information that Kelvin tells him provides vital evidence about what Ellen has been working on. As Robin moves closer to the truth in a very complex case he struggles to focus when Adam falls ill and they have to face the fear that he has caught the infection that so many people in the country dread.

Lock, Stock and Peril is the sixth book in the Lindenshaw series featuring Robin, Adam and Campbell the dog. It is a series that grows stronger all the time, with a cleverly constructed plot and excellent characterisation. Robin’s police team are all believable and individual characters, and, above all, Adam and Robin are appealing protagonists with a warm, loving relationship, and Campbell is an adorable canine presence. Lock, Stock and Peril is an enjoyable read, which I recommend.
Reviewer: Carol Westron

Charlie Cochrane couldn't be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team— so she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, predominantly historical romances/mysteries.  A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and International Thriller Writers Inc, Charlie's Cambridge Fellows Series, set in Edwardian England, was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name.

Carol Westron is a successful author and a Creative Writing teacher.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  Her first book The Terminal Velocity of Cats was published in 2013. Since then, she has since written 6 further mysteries. Carol recently gave an interview to Mystery People. To read the interview click on the link below.

To read a review of Carol latest book
The Curse of the Concrete Griffin
click on the title

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