18 Jan 2018

(A LANCASHIRE DETECTIVE MYSTERY #4/A DS BRENNAN MYSTERY #3): SITTING MURDER


With a myriad of motives, the question is who? 

Detective Sergeant Michael Brennan of the Wigan Borough Police has no time for tales of ghosts and the afterlife, or of the dead contacting the living. So, when he finds himself investigating the case of a recently widowed young woman, Alice Goodway, who has suddenly developed ‘the Gift’ of mediumship and has received a threatening letter, he embarks on the inquiry with no small degree of scepticism. 

But just as Brennan and his burly colleague, Constable Jaggery, consider how to proceed with the case, something much more sinister takes place… a murder, in Alice’s own home. Who would commit such a crime? 

Could it be one of the seven ‘visitors’ who had been to sittings with Alice and not liked what they had heard? Or the interfering and sanctimonious Inspector of Nuisances who strongly disapproved of the séances? 

There are a lot of old wounds opened and painful memories shared with Brennan and Jaggery as they meticulously gather the information they need to solve the case. The challenge will be narrowing down the suspects, using clues from both the living and the dead… 

This devilishly plotted Victorian whodunnit keeps the reader guessing right to the end, with red herrings aplenty scattered along the way. 
- Press Release Blurb 

Wigan. 1894.

Alice Goodway sat by her dying husband's bedside for three days and nights, courtesy of Mr Draper, the colliery owner.
- First Sentence, Prologue

"Don't be alarmed if you see Constable Corns passing your door over the next few days."

A look of alarm spread across her face. "Why?"

"Oh, just a precaution, Mrs Goodway. It'll help keep the curious away."

And someone who might want to finish the job, he thought, hiding the fear behind a smile.
- Memorable Moment, Page 66

SOURCE ... Thanks to Alice of Endeavour Press for sending a copy.

READ FOR A CHALLENGE? ... No

MY THOUGHTS ... A wonderful period mystery which combines a classic whodunit with spiritualism. The terraced houses, the close-knit community in which the characters dwell brought to life. Secrets abound, old wounds opened as DS Brennan and his sidekick, Jaggery, eliminate the suspects one by one.

From the archetypal detective and his faithful constable through to the quirky, no-nonsense women, from the living to the dead, from those who had an actual part to play in the unfolding events to those who served mainly as a red herring, I adored the myriad of characters. The main protagonist, the bereaved Alice, seeking to comfort those who, like herself, are grieving, her late husband's aunt, her motives for hosting the seances, not so much a means of comforting those who have also lost loved ones as a way to make financial gains. 

The fourth novel in the series (the third to feature Detective Brennan) but reads perfectly well as a self contained murder mystery. Am I inspired to read the other books? You bet I am. 


13 comments:

Gina R said...

Well staged murder or actual paranormal encounter, that cover is a TOTAL eye catcher! ^-^

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

A new to me author and title, this book has featured on quite a few blogs this week, although yours is the first actual review I have encountered.

I do like a bit of the traditional Agatha Christie style 'whodunit', although I haven't ever really considered reading spiritualism before.

The fact that you have already considered and accepted the notion that the books in the series to date are good to go as individual stand alone stories, also weighs heavily in their favour...?

Yep! A decision ... It just has to be read! Especially after reading those memorable lines you shared.

A great book for the New Year :)

Yvonne

Brian Joseph said...

Great review Tracy. This sounds like a lot of fun. Mixing the supernatural with a mystery tends to yeild really good or really bad results. When it works it tends to work very well.

I really like the book cover.

Kelly said...

This sounds quite good and I really like the cover! I do like that it can be read as a stand-alone, but may wait adding it to my wish list until you've read the others in the series - just to be sure. When books involve the same characters, I can't help but believe there is some necessary development best appreciated by reading in order.

Love Affair with Food said...

I like the cover and I'm reading a murder mystery now. And this book just got added to my to-read list!

Suko said...

This sounds like a fun book, Tracy. Wonderful review of this inviting detective mystery!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh sounds good. I'll have to suggest this one to my mom as she loves this genre. Brilly review!

Anonymous said...

Tracy,
Everything what you said in
your excellent review about
this book, all the characters,
the classic mystery or the
spiritualism sounds good.
And I have added the book
to my list.
Raven

Melliane said...

Oh I would be curious to try this series too!

Literary Feline said...

I love the sound of this one! I think I might enjoy this book and the rest of the series. I am glad to hear you liked it, Tracy.

DMS said...

Sounds interesting. I do love a good mystery. Great review!
~Jess

Sherry Ellis said...

Sounds like a book you really enjoyed. You have to love a good murder mystery!

The Bookworm said...

Sounds like a good series to get into with an interesting cast of characters. Glad you enjoyed it!