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Chelsea Mansions: A Brock and Kolla Mystery
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Chelsea Mansions: A Brock and Kolla Mystery (Brock & Kolla #11)

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  334 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
"Brock and Kolla's meticulous, psychologically astute sleuthing fascinates." --Entertainment Weekly on No Trace

The annual Chelsea Flower Show is one of the tourist highlights of London. But this year, the event is tainted by the murder of an American tourist in a random act of violence. But when DCI David Brock's Serious Crime division of Scotland Yard investigates, they q
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 571)
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Nancy Haynes and her long-time friend Emerson had arrived from the US and were spending the day at the Chelsea Flower Show. Giving in to tiredness, and unable to find a cab they strolled the short distance back to the B&B they’d booked into. But tragedy struck before they reached their destination and while Emerson was injured, his dear friend Nancy was killed. And it seemed that it was murder…

DCI Brock and DI Kathy Kolla were shocked by the brutality of the murder and vowed to Emerson and N
May 01, 2015 Phrynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So it turns out this is number eleven in a series and I never knew. Now I have to go back and read the other ten. It was apparent while I was reading it that the main characters had a history and that being familiar with their back story would make the book even better. I really enjoyed it anyway. It is really a quite involved and intriguing police procedural and it proceeds quite calmly to an interesting and satisfying finale. A very enjoyable read and another new series for me to follow up.
Ivonne Rovira
Nov 27, 2013 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Chelsea Mansions, Barry Maitland’s 11th — and possibly best — novel in the Kathy Kolla-David Brock series, a 70-year-old American tourist, Nancy Haynes, and a millionaire Russian expatriate, Mikhail Moszynski, are murdered within days of one another on the same block. (Moszynski owned a building, and Haynes was staying at the hotel next door.) Coincidence? Brock and Kathy don’t think so. But what could a Boston matron and a probably crooked Russian oligarch have in common? And why are MI5 and ...more
Kirkus Reviews calls Barry Maitland "perhaps the most underrated writer currently working in the whodunit field," and I say right on. This novel has everything: a grizzled old detective with a jaundiced view of human nature, a slightly less grizzled younger detective with romantic troubles, plus Russian oligarchs, a mystery disease, the Chelsea Flower Show, and a skull in a suitcase. The mystery itself is so complex that Maitland needs several chapters to unpack all the whys and wherefores even ...more
Harry Connolly
Do guys who were born and raised in Montreal really say "Fancy a cup of tea?"

Maybe they do. I wouldn't know. It just seems a very English thing to say, from a guy who grew up in Quebec. But maybe I'm wrong.

2.5 stars for this, because it was well-structured but also sort of inert. There was no momentum, little urgency, and not much at stake. It's one of those mysteries where everything anyone says--and everything anyone reveals as part of their personal history--turns out to be part of the solu
Feb 03, 2016 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few minor confessions first: I read this severely out of order after coming back to the series a few months after finishing the awful The Verge Practice. Therefore references to Spider Roach and Kathy's past romances went whizzing over my head, and I was ecstatic that the petty drama of Kathy and Leon Desai was done and dusted. I think this book marries the interesting mystery of the first two books while staying on the right side of the personal drama in Kathy and Brock's personal lives from ...more
Aug 11, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With any long term series, it's not surprising to see an author rejigging the relationships just a little, bringing in new perspectives or adjusting the expectations. CHELSEA MANSIONS is the ninth Brock and Kolla book from Barry Maitland, and in the last book there were hints that there is a little viewpoint modification going on. It's always particularly interesting to watch how various authors move their long-term characters in and out of the limelight, particularly when you have an inherent s ...more
Jan 09, 2012 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, british, fiction
I enjoyed this book in the Brock/Kolla police procedural series, but it's definitely not the best of the bunch. Two major issues that interfered with my enjoyment of the book: (1) Brock is absent from a good portion of the book due to a health problem (I won't say more in order to avoid spoilers). That means that Kolla spearheads the investigation, but without more of Brock's presence, and the interaction between the two, the book suffers. (2) There are just too many characters and too many back ...more
Dec 27, 2011 Dee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 03, 2016 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brock and Kolla are characters whose development over the series has been a pleasure to follow. In this book, they are investigating the murder of an elderly American tourist, killed as she leaves the Chelsea Flower Show. Then a few days later, a wealthy Russian living in a house on the quiet street where the American was staying is murdered in a private park. It is not clear whether the two crimes are connected, though the geographic coincidence is suggestive.

As always, the book has solid proce
Jill Hutchinson
This is a new series to me whose main characters are the DCI (Brock) and DI (Kolla) of the Serious Crimes Unit of Scotland Yard. In this book, an elderly American tourist is killed by being thrown under a bus and there is no apparent reason for this murder. And then a Russian ex-pat millionaire who lives next door to the hotel in which the tourist was staying, is also killed. Is there a connection between the two slayings? Brock and Kolla along with their team and a visiting Canadian professor w ...more
Aug 30, 2014 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely keeps you coming back. Although the character development may not be that deep, it is deep enough that you are intrigued a little by them as well as their interactions. As for being a clever murder story, not bad. It's set in London, and I enjoy reading things set in a different place like get to know a little of their system (Canadian here).
I struggled to rate this book, but finally gave it three stars. Let me say up front, I LOVE THIS SERIES. It's one of my favorites and I think Maitland is one of the most underrated mystery authors writing today.

I'm judging this book against the other Brock and Kollas, which means it's going up against some of the best mystery novels I've read in the last 5 years. Within that select company this book gets three stars.

My quibble? The plot struck me as a little all over the place---too many things
Nov 15, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-england
When a harmless American tourist is brutally murdered leaving the Chelsea Flower Show, it seems like a random crime. But David Brock and his squad see the signs of planning in the killer's escape. Then a second murder takes place right next to the hotel where the first victim was staying. There must be some connection between the crimes, but with Brock in a coma in the hospital, and most of the team quarantined, it's up to his Detective Inspector Kathy Kolla to take over the case. There's also a ...more
Aug 30, 2015 Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-crime
While I generally like this series, this outing was a bit convoluted for my taste, what with MI5 and M16 and the KGB getting involved. Still it gave Kathy Kolla a bigger role than usual, including a trip to Boston.
Ann Tonks
There's alwasy enough psychology and gooid storing telling to make another book in the series worth while.
Darienne Hallas
It isn't the most brilliantly written book but I enjoyed the story line.
Jul 16, 2012 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a solid (though slightly too historically complicated) installment in the Brock and Kolla saga. I always love these characters and the mysteries they're investigating, and this book--quick and full of intrigue, Russians, not one, but two murders, and another potential boyfriend for Kathy--didn't disappoint.

I wish there'd been more of Pip, the young female officer Maitland introduced in Dark Mirror. She got the smallest of small roles and because I'd liked her in the previous story, I wa
Apr 08, 2016 Robosler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great mystery. Really good.
Apr 14, 2013 Grey853 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, british
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 16, 2014 Sharron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I like this series and its principal characters but this entry was barely adequate. It began well but halfway through it fell off a cliff of "are you kidding me????" improbabilities and coincidences.
Harry Lane
Mar 31, 2012 Harry Lane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is the first of this series I have read. Maitland has devised a very complex plot, each element of which is quite believable, but which taken in total seem extraordinarily unlikely. Having said that, the writing is of such quality that one doesn't mind while in the midst of the story. I liked to central characters, who had to do a difficult job under adverse circumstances.
There are Maitlands that I've liked much better, though this one is nothing to sniff at. It's good to see Kathy get to lead the show, though some of the plot elements Maitland designed to get Brock out of the way for awhile seem a bit sensational and extreme. Still, the plot line related to Brock's past promises some interesting progress and character development in books to come.
David Marshall
Feb 23, 2012 David Marshall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books in the police procedural genre that I've read in the last year. The development of the plot is wonderfully reminiscent of the best of Anthony Price and the ending is nicely judged. It's a joy for anyone who enjoys a mystery that depends on history for its solution.
Alayne Campbell
Jan 22, 2012 Alayne Campbell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this story, not only because I was in London for the first time this past June and the book was set in the same part of town (Knightsbridge, Kensington) in which I spent most of my time, but because it was suspenseful and intelligent. It contained characters one could really care about. I definitely will read more by this author.
Gary Van Cott
Jul 16, 2013 Gary Van Cott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is one of the better books in this series. Most of the focus is on Kathy again. The themes that the author used in his earlier books seem to have run their course and are less obvious in this and Spider Trap (which was #9). I suppose the theme of that book was Jamaican immigrants and this one seemed to about Russians.
Brock and Kolla certainly run into some interesting cases. Starting with the horrific public murder of an American tourist in London, this one throws in everything but the kitchen sink--Russians, MI5, MI6, WW2, the Cold War, exotic diseases, American university professors--it's all rather absurd and over the top but quite fun.
Nov 15, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the latest in another favorite series of mine. Maitland was an architect before becoming a mystery writer and in all of his novels the location is as much a character as the people. This one was very good in that it contained a surprise for Inspector Brock, and DS Kolla had to come to Boston to do some research!
Curtis Rhodes
Apr 15, 2012 Curtis Rhodes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully written mystery. The characters were engaging, the plot very interesting without getting absurd. I also appreciated the clean, direct style. Although the partners are a man and a woman, the author didn't feel the need to introduce any romantic misunderstandings between them...just the facts,mam.
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Barry Maitland is the author of the acclaimed Brock and Kolla series of crime mystery novels, which are set in London, where Barry grew up after his family moved there.

His books have been described as whydunits as much as whodunits, concerned with the devious histories and motivations of their characters. Barry's background in architecture drew him to the structured character of the mystery novel,
More about Barry Maitland...

Other Books in the Series

Brock & Kolla (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Marx Sisters (Brock & Kolla, #1)
  • The Malcontenta (Brock & Kolla, #2)
  • All My Enemies (Brock & Kolla, #3)
  • The Chalon Heads (Brock & Kolla, #4)
  • Silvermeadow (Brock & Kolla, #5)
  • Babel (Brock & Kolla, #6)
  • The Verge Practice (Brock & Kolla, #7)
  • No Trace (Brock & Kolla, #8)
  • Spider Trap (Brock & Kolla, #9)
  • Dark Mirror (Brock & Kolla, #10)

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