Kate's Reviews > An Expert in Murder

An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson
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's review
Jun 24, 11

bookshelves: read-in-2011, mysteries
Read from May 09 to 16, 2011

"March 1934. Revered mystery writer Josephine Tey is traveling from Scotland to London for the final week of her play Richard of Bordeaux, the surprise hit of the season, with pacifist themes that resonate in a world still haunted by war. But joy turns to horror when her arrival coincides with the murder of a young woman she had befriended on the train ride -- and Tey is plunged into a mystery as puzzling as any in her own works.

Detective Inspector Archie Penrose is convinced that the killing is connected to the play, and that Tey herself is in danger of becoming a victim of her own success. In the aftermath of a second murder, the writer and the policeman must join together to stop a ruthless killer who will apparently stop at nothing."
~~back cover

This book is charmingly written. The author is an excellent writer: her characters are real people, with depth and anguish and trepidation, with hopes and dreams. The plotting is quite good -- an extravagantly complicated puzzle, with all the pieces sliding into place at the end.

I would have given the book much higher marks, except that the solving involves hitherto unknown facts and relationships, old vendettas, false identities, megalomania, etc. I'm not big on that style of mystery. And it's a shame because I rather liked the subplot of a hesitantly developing romance between Miss Tey and the policeman. Perhaps I'll try the sequel, Angel with Two Faces, and see how it goes.
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