THE HERRING SELLER'S APPRENTICE by L.C. TYLER.
Ethelred Tressider is a crime writer with problems.
His latest novel is going nowhere, midlife crisis is looming and he's burdened by the literary agent he probably deserves: Elsie Thirkettle, who claims to enjoy neither the company of writers nor literature of any sort. But however bad things look they can always get worse.
When Ethelred's ex-wife vanishes close to his Sussex home, the indefatigable Elsie bullies him into embarking upon his own investigation. And, as their enquiries proceed, she begins to suspect that her client's own alibi is not as solid as he claims ........
........... From the outer, back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (from the postscript): You'll have found the same thing yourself, of course.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: "You went off with the only woman I ever loved, if you don't count my primary school teacher," I said. "She may possibly be the only woman who ever loved me. Apart from my mother, I suppose, though she was sometimes rather vague on that score."
I was instantly intrigued by this novel with it's quirky, jolly looking cover - even if I was almost finished reading it before I realised it was a red herring on the gravestone and not a goldfish. The red herring being the 'trademark' of Peter Fielding which is one of the three 'pen names' of our rather unlikely detective Ethlered.
Enthralling and extremely witty with just the right amount of twists and turns , I really enjoyed The Herring Seller's Apprentice.
The characters were well thought out and very believable whilst at the same time being quite eccentric. I especially loved Elsie (the 'apprentice' of the title) who was very resourceful and more than capable AND a total chocoholic.
Written in several different styles, the story was told from the point of view of both Ethelred and Elsie as well as having snippets from the not-quite-written book of the afore mentioned Peter Fielding, which could have made for complicated reading - something the author managers to avoid - making this a very readable, if somewhat different, crime novel that had me guessing until the very end.
The Herring Seller's Apprentice was a competition win. Thank you DORTE.