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Element of Doubt (Inspector Thanet, #7)
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Element of Doubt

(Inspector Thanet #7)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  349 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Gentlemanly detective-inspector Luke Thanet is hard-pressed to discover who pushed beautiful but unpleasant Nerine Tarrant over the second-story balcony of her manor "High Gables" to her death below. There is no lack of suspects, and Thanet, with stolid, respectable Sgt. Lineham at his side, is kept busy interviewing them. — Did Nerine's husband Roland, although seemingly ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 1st 1989 by Crimeline (first published 1987)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  349 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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The mystery itself was good, but the book was much too chatty; explaining, philosophizing, pondering, more explaining.
Looks like someone heaved Mrs. Tarrant over the balcony and there she lies on the patio below with her neck broken. Mrs. Tarrant was not a well-liked woman, but who is the one who hated her enough to push her over?

Rating explanation: The mystery deserves a 3 star, but there was so much explanation of everything, and then there was the situation between Thanet and his wife which
Was Nerine Tarrant accidentally killed or murdered outright? Because she was a slag of the 1st order, there is no end of suspects. This should be an interesting trip for Thanet and Lineham to find the killer. (finished today 05/11/2018) - This was a story which proves that the opposite of love is NOT hate, but selfishness and the chaos that selfishness leaves in its wake, tearing apart people's lives, shattering their optimistic views of the world around them. The ending to this book was, in my ...more
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. I honestly cannot remember how I stumbled across this 1980s detective series, but I have found them enjoyable, but also odd. This is the seventh book and, with every one, I have found them unfathomably old-fashioned. I couldn't quite figure out why: was it just sleepy British villages, behind the times? Was it the author? The series... although as old/older than me (I was born in 84) (I mean I'll be 34 this year, so possibly I am in denial of the passage of time) didn't seem so old to ...more
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic mystery of the 'Did she fall or was she pushed?' variety. Nerine Tarrant is beautiful and spoiled and takes and discards lovers how other people might take up and discard hobbies. Her husband ignores the affairs because he loves her but others do not feel the same way about them. She is found dead underneath a balcony at her luxurious home and any one of half a dozen suspects could have been in the right place at the right time but all of them seem to have seen and heard nothin ...more
Lisa Stammers
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great little mystery. Solid characters, interesting mystery and resolved satisfactorily. Won't be the last one I will read.
I liked the plot and the way it was resolved, but I found Thanet's constant introspection and angst a bit off-putting. I felt a tad bludgeoned by the end, having sat through way too much hand-wringing over his job conflicting with his wife's. At this point I'm much more interested in hearing about his daughter's burgeoning cooking career than I am in sitting through another conversation between Luke and his wife. I will probably hang on and read the rest of the series but I'm not as invested as ...more
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Only right now, when writing these reviews, I realize how much Dorothy Simpson's books seem to run together. Her books are not strong on individual memorability. I have to keep checking the plot synopses to make sure I have the right book.

The story is interesting enough to keep one reading, but all of the details slide out once finished. It shows a good glimpse of "cozy" England in a more realistic fashion: nothing about this book is cutesy or overly contrived (by fictional standards). The case
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nerine Tarrant was the promiscuous wife of a rich doctor, until she took a header over a balcony and died. Inspector Thanet thinks the behavior of many of the people around Mrs. Tarrant is so strange as to be improbable - but it's a strange situation. So many secrets are coming to light, and a lot of people are uncomfortably considering how their lives have changed with understanding.

Dorothy Simpson's career as a marriage counselor shows in the way she handles the occasional bumps in the Thanets
Suz Saunders
I read this series a long time ago, and recently decided to revisit it when the Kindle editions of some titles were deeply discounted.

This story felt dated and the pace seemed glacial, although I liked the plot after all had been revealed. I had to respect Luke Thanet for his sincere struggle to deal with the conflict that this case presented between him and his probation officer spouse, but that subplot seemed to drag on and on, to the point of irritation.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I like the main characters, love the slower pace of life in this series - even though I think it's set in the 1980's. Anyway, there were a few too many characters introduced for the mystery - it was a little hard to keep track of them - but otherwise, this was a solid story that kept me guessing until the end.
Belinda Whitmore
This is the first Inspector Thanet book I have read & I expect, the last. The plot was predictable, the characters wooden & one dimensional. The author digressed into uninteresting minutia which distracted from the plot rather than adding to it.
Donna Alspach
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy her books very much. They are just good detective stories. They are not overly long (under 300) pages.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hoopla, library-ebook
Another good book in the series.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the best in this series. Continue to enjoy the Thanet series
John R. Goyer
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very good story with some wonderful character development. I'm enjoying both the mystery and finding out more about Inspector Thanet and his wife and colleagues.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, british-lit, mystery
Solid B level mystery.
Judith m cox
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars

Very entertaining story. A classic who done it. In the style of Agatha Christie, well written highly recommended. Love mysteries!
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice diverting read. Suffered a bit for at least part of the big twist being predictable.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good British murder mystery with Inspector Thanet. Lots of suspects and a satisfying conclusion.
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-to-me
Ugh! I am sorry to go against the trend of some thoughful (and clearly enthusiastic) comments and readers. This book, though, was just not for me. The author depends upon exposition rather than plot ... or perhaps more appropos ... the author uses exposition to drive what little plot exists. We are thrown as many characters as possible with no hope of understanding the crime - until graced with an exposition explaining virtually everything in terms of motive .... Hence, the endless parade of cha ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
These are nice little mysteries set in the 80's. The main inspector is a happily married man with two imperfect children. He spends long hours at work & therefore chooses to tell his wife about his cases so she feels part of it all. His partner is rather stiff & has a stiffer mother, then wife. They work well together & are very organized. There's no gratuitous violence, no sex, no cussing & that's a good thing. The author doesn't waste words or our time, she gets on with it. I l ...more
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love this little series and wish more people knew about it. I love the way Thanet works through real life cases that are based on talking to people and asking the right questions. And I like that in this book he went through some personal growth in his marriage and became more enlightened (and he was already pretty enlightened). The mystery was well-done and the people were interesting, as always. An enjoyable quick read for a couple nights of insomnia.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I do love this series. I love the family and their love for each other. I can see the two actors who play the detective and his wife and family in Midsomer Murders being these two. Especially the wife. And I like the jack of high (fake) drama and suspense as well as the jack if violence. And glad for the English system which seems so much less punitive than the American one.
I finally found the seventh installment in the Luke Thanet mystery series. I like how the family changes with each new mystery. The mysteries are always interesting, but my continued desire to read these books has more to do with Thanet, his wife and their children. I look forward to finding the eighth story.
Virginia Owl
Feb 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of British mysteries who have read everything written by Marsh, Christie & Parker
Shelves: mysteries
a reasonable British village mystery. Great character development & a reasonable plot, but she's not as good as Parker, Christie or Marsh. I will read any of those Grande Dames before spending time on more from this author.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good mystery that had me thinking what took them so long to come up with what was obvious to me earlier BUT then my conclusion was dead wrong. Well done.
Feb 12, 2014 rated it liked it
A neat tidy mystery. Nicely written.
susan vanden heuvel
rated it liked it
Apr 23, 2018
Lynn Hosmer
rated it it was amazing
Jul 02, 2018
Les Brown
rated it liked it
May 04, 2018
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Dorothy Preece Simpson writes...

"I was born and brought up in South Wales, went to Bridgend Grammar School and then on to Bristol University, where I read modern languages before moving to Kent, the background of the Thanet novels, to teach French at Dartford and Erith Grammar Schools.

Moving to the Maidstone area on my marriage, I then spent several years devoting myself to bringing up my three ch

Other books in the series

Inspector Thanet (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Night She Died (Inspector Thanet, #1)
  • Six Feet Under (Inspector Thanet, #2)
  • Puppet For A Corpse (Inspector Thanet, #3)
  • Close Her Eyes (Inspector Thanet, #4)
  • Last Seen Alive (Inspector Thanet, #5)
  • Dead on Arrival (Inspector Thanet, #6)
  • Suspicious Death (Inspector Thanet, #8)
  • Dead by Morning (Inspector Thanet, #9)
  • Doomed to Die (Inspector Thanet, #10)
  • Wake the Dead (Inspector Thanet, #11)