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The Night She Died

(Inspector Thanet #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  950 ratings  ·  95 reviews
British police detective Luke Thanet tracks a housewife’s killer in the debut novel of an award-winning mystery series “in the P. D. James manner” (Kirkus Reviews).

Luke Thanet is a British police inspector with a soft heart, bad back, and bloodhound’s nose for murder. When a young woman is found stabbed through the heart with a kitchen knife, Thanet and his partner, the brusque(Kirkus
Kindle Edition, 220 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (first published January 1st 1980)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  950 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2017
First published in the 80's, they are now being re-published this year.

Set in Britain in the 80's, this book introduces Inspector Luke Thanet. I really liked him as a character. He has a solid family life to ground him while he's out solving crimes. He's a good man but can be gruff at times. He reminded me a little of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. Actually, the whole book reminded me of Christie's books. This had a good mystery to it. Nothing powerful in nature but just a good old-fashioned
Julie  Durnell
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england-uk, mystery
I really liked this British crime mystery-a great start for the Inspector Luke Thanet series. He is an interesting man, fairly young in his career and a happily married man with two very young children. The relationships in his work environment and with that of an amiable wife are well drawn. The whodunit part of this book had me guessing to the end, quite a few red herrings there!
1981, #1 Inspector Luke Thanet, Sturrenden, Kent; young and beautiful Woman With A Past is murdered. Cosy police procedural - three-and-one-half stars.

Beautiful Julie Holmes is found messily murdered in the hallway of their home by her adoring husband, who promptly goes to pieces. When the quiet (but thorough) Inspector Luke Thanet is called in, he finds several odd things out immediately about the case - the husband conveniently finds the body when he has a friend with him as witness, and her
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read Dorothy Simpson's Luke Thanet series more than twenty years ago and enjoyed them. Re-reading this first volume in the series I realised why I enjoyed them. It is well written, the police characters are interesting, have peaceful home lives and mainly get along with each other. Thanet is a quiet and unassuming individual but likeable and quick to apologise when he snaps at his sidekick - DS MIke Lineham.

In this well plotted story, a beautiful young woman is stabbed to dea
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Night She Died is the first novel in the Inspector Thanet series. A pretty housewife is found murdered in her home....a knife sticking out of her chest. She was stabbed through her coat and clothes. Her husband, supposedly returning home soon after Julie Holmes was killed, found his wife's body on the floor. As Inspector Luke Thanet begins piecing together information from Julie's last few days, he finds that this case might just be more complex than it looks. Apparently Julie was a witness ...more
Jayaram Vengayil
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my fastest read in the last two decades, finished in one breathless Christmas Eve. But for the sly red herring being left unresolved, this story has everything that one wishes for in a mystery. Dorothy Simpson knows how to draw beguilingly simple pen portraits of her characters without diverting attention from the plot. Also the charming backdrop of small town England lends the perfect foil for murders most foul. I hope I can find some more of this much underrated writer's works soon.
This is the first Dorothy Simpson (Inspector Thanet) book I have read and I really enjoyed it. Quick to read and lots of twists and turns before the murderer is exposed. A good read if you like this sort of thing (and I do)
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.

The only reason I read this book was because it was a freebie on Netgalley. What better could I get? An old, established mystery series that's for free on there and I can just read them. (No clue if they're still like that, actually. But check them out if they are!)

Even though I double checked that this was the first book in the series, it had a great feel to it like it was established. As if all of these people had a few books
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am not even out of chapter one and am immediately riveted...

"Murder, they seem to think. A young housewife."

And there she was. Thanet always hated this moment. No matter how often he experienced it, no matter who the victim was, he could never quench his initial pang of pity, of regret for a life cut short. Almost at once he was able to become detached again, aware that emotional involvement could cripple judgment, but this moment could never leave him unmoved and he was not sure that he would/>"Murder,
John Frankham
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
I thoroughly enjoyed this 1980s crime novel, written from the perspective and thoughts of Inspector Thanet of the Kent police. The first of fifteen, it was well-written, thoughtful, and instructive. Thanet's well-grounded family life will provide, I am sure, a solid basis for the development in this series. I will certainly read on.

The GR blurb says:

"The first Inspector Luke Thanet novel, where a beautiful young woman is murdered in her own home by possibly one of the man
Colin Mitchell
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This is a no nonsense crime novel the first in a series featuring Detective Inspector Luke Thanet and Sergeant Lineham. The investigation starts when the body of Julie Holmes is found just inside her front door, stabbed with a carving knife. What is the motive, why is she wearing her outside coat with a distinctive broach, where was her husband?

All the makings of an enjoyable read as the pair follow the clues, are diverted on the Inspector's hunch and finally track down the killer. O
Leanne Pazik
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!

A new favorite Inspector and fun cases to solve and books to read! Love the characters; the sweet relationship between husband and wife.
Regina Lemoine
Just okay and the solution is a bit of a let down. The writing is adequate, but nothing special. I doubt I'll read any more of this series.
Michelle Lynn
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: murderino
I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It was a bit slow at first, but as I read, it got easier and easier. The writing is excellent and exactly what I like in a more procedural book. The plot was good--I found myself genuinely invested in Inspector Thanet, as well as his wife and children, and in the victim, Julie Holmes. However, the major digression that takes up the middle part of the book felt a bit anticlimactic--but I wonder if perhaps the next book in the series wraps ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice old read done in the classic English style, not so complex as Christie, but understated and gentle when compared to the hard boiled detectives.
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was good, but not great--really 3 1/2 stars. Probably true to life in the sense that investigators may get off the track to the real criminal, but that seemed to take up too large a section of the investigation.
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Eh. It's okay, but nothing about it really stands out to me. I had found it at the library in a 3-in-1 volume for $1, and it sounded interesting. The beginning was fast-paced and at first I thought I had found a new series I was going to be completely drawn in by, but then the action just kind of goes flat. The mystery wasn't even very exciting either when it's all said and done.

Likely to read rest of series: Doubt it.
Jenna Victoria
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always I find Titles In Dorothy Simpson's Inspector Luke Thanet's British police procedural series to be first-rate - especially true of this, the first in the queue.
So sad that illness forced her to stop writing altogether. A mystery reader's loss but of course wish her continued improved health.
3.5 STARS | The first Inspector Luke Thanet mystery was quite good. I liked Thanet and his relationship with his wife and kids, but he had his bristly side as well. Interesting investigation of a puzzling murder with questions raised whether it related to another murder in the past. I particularly liked how the murderer is tripped up in the end by a seemingly small thing.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've read by Dorothy Simpson, but it certainly will not be the last. Very captivating story.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a good "cozy" mystery
Recommended to AJ by: My mother
19 chapters
200 pages

My Review (spoiler alert within!)—I know the saying goes, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” but, quite often, it’s the cover (the artwork, usually) that lures me, and I’m rarely sorry to’ve been so tempted. Such is the case for this book (Bantam ed., 1985, ppbk). The art has a certain something that called to me. I’m not part of the art intelligentsia; I’m just one of those who knows what I like when I see it. And I don’t know the genre of this artist’s
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a reread for me, about nine years ago I had read it and enjoyed it. This weekend, I tried again and by the time I was half way through, I could not bear it any longer and jumped to the end to see who had murdered Julie Holmes. I would have thought that some parts of the book would have seemed familiar, but I could not pull any part of this book from my memory.

This is the first book in the Inspector Thanet series which find Mrs. Julie Holmes dead in the entryway of her home f
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a 1980s book that introduced Detective Inspector Luke Thanet of the Surrenden, Kent CID to the series. It is a good British police procedure book with very smooth and solid writing. The story is about a young housewife Julie Holmes who was murdered in her home one evening. The book first focused on the three primary suspects, her husband, her boss and also her male friend. Soon thereafter, Thanet wondered whether Julie's death is related to her witnessing a murder 20 years ago when she w ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read this series when it was first published back in the 80's. The details faded but the feeling of having enjoyed a satisfying series never left me. Time has not tarnished that feeling and I'm happily re-reading them. Luke Thanet is a family man, a good policeman and has a very sharp mind. If you like the style and pace of Agatha Christie, be sure to give this series a try. The pace is slower with less flash. Characters are well developed, not flat cardboard cutouts. The setting of the sm ...more
Linda Appelbaum
This book had an old fashioned feel to it and seemed older than the almost 40 years ago when it was written. A young woman is murdered, found shortly after by the husband who is returning home. There are plenty of suspects and the inspector set about to solve the case when he discovers the victim is a possible witness in a murder some 20 years prior. For a while it seems both murders are connected and the inspector is going to solve them both! Well, it doesn't happen like that and while the 1st ...more
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nls-audio
Julie Holmes was in her early 20s the night someone drove a nasty kitchen knife into her heart in the entrance of her house.

Luke Thanet draws the case, and you’ll be drawn immediately to him. He’s clearly a family man—very much in love with his wife, Joan, and a great dad to three-year-old Bridget and her little brother, Ben. Simpson portrays the family man portion of Luke Thanet really well; it’s one of the many reasons I’ll continue with this series.

Did Julie die becaus
Ann Foster
This book is a first in a series. I have read quite a few, mostly in sequence, since downloading this book. The detective is operating in England in the 1980's so we get a mix of about 90% deduction with some science and forensic detection. It is a blend of cozy and police procedural. As with most crime series, if you like the people who are doing the detecting, you will enjoy following them from case to case. Inspector Thanet is insightful, a loving husband coping with changing domestic times, ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am so happy to find Dorothy Simpson's books available on the Kindle! I read her books back when she was still writing, and am loving re-reading them. Luke Thanet, her main character is likeable, kind, some quirks, great family man. I love that he's not one of those characters who has a major flaw, he's just simply a good guy, who does make mistakes. I also love the fact that you see the characters in the book change and grow. Beautifully done plots, filled with suspense. If you like character- ...more
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in a series of books starring Inspector Thanet, a British homicide detective who is happily married with two young children. Dorothy Simpson, the author, does a wonderful job in plotting and character development. In fact, there are two mysteries to solve in this one. Simpson keeps them separate as Thanet discovers a connection and solves them both, at first thinking the first murderer is a repeater. Simpson takes you through the routine and process of the homicide detective, h ...more
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful young woman has been found stabbed at her own front door. She has been a magnet for men, showing interest in none of them. To Inspector Thanet, the cause of death must be either in Julie's past or among her admirers - a wide range of possibilities.

THE NIGHT SHE DIED is the award-winning debut in Simpson's mystery series set in the 1980s. Her characters are brilliantly drawn and the psychology fascinating. I much enjoyed spending time with Inspector Thanet, his friends and
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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

Other books in the series

Inspector Thanet (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • 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)
  • Element of Doubt (Inspector Thanet, #7)
  • Suspicious Death (Inspector Thanet, #8)
  • Dead by Morning (Inspector Thanet, #9)
  • Doomed to Die (Inspector Thanet, #10)
  • Wake the Dead (Inspector Thanet, #11)