Missing Alibi

This is the second book in the Faukon Abbey Mysteries series.  You may recall I reviewed the first in the series, Remember Me, in March this year.

Once again this story is written as a play, perhaps another Greek Tragedy and once again we meet DI Greene and his offsider DC Ford and their friend and journalist Jimmy Carter.

Carter goes to meet a mysteries and romance writer who has recently moved into the area.  He knows the house in which she lives as its previous owner was murdered. The writer knows this about the house and being intrigued decides it is a good plot for a story.

We find out that the writer’s husband does not spend much time in Faukon Abbey, preferring to spend weekdays in London with his mistress.  And we soon discover that this man is not all he pretends to be.

The writer is murdered and the police are making little progress in their investigations so once again, they call upon Jimmy Carter to assist them.  After all, he did know the murdered victim and perhaps she has said something to him during their long interview that could set them on the path of the murderer.

Meantime there is another death reported.  This time of a local farmer and while initially it is considered suspicious, it is determined to have been death from natural causes.

There are many twists and turns to this novel before we eventually find out who is the murderer.  A man, the murdered woman’s husband, who with his mistress is involved in a car accident while leaving his wife’s house in a car that was running out of brake fluid, a will that has been lost having been tampered with, the dead woman’s brother who suddenly appears after several years, the sister of the writer’s first husband, a solicitor who is acting rather strangely.

Yes, there are several potential perpetrators but it is not until the end that we find out who did it.  My only complaint is that much of what really happens is made clear to us by the characters who summarise the evidence and then reveal the culprit and the reason why.  This rather detracted from a cleverly conceived and executed story.

But having said that, this is a book that will keep you reading well into the night.  And now that it has been edited, it is an easy read.

Note – I was given a copy of this book to read and voluntarily post this review.

 

Remember Me?

Another author who is new to me – A K Lakelett and the first book in the Faukon Abbey Mysteries series is Remember Me?

This is a novel with a difference.  It’s written as a Greek Tragedy and what a tragedy it is for all those unlucky enough to become involved with Eric Warner. So we have, mystery, murder and mayhem as in all good Greek Tragedies.

The play opens with a body being found, sitting on the ground and resting against a tree in Tersel Woods.  The man has no identification, no wallet,  and no cell phone.  Added to that is the fact that the woman who called the emergency services has given an incorrect phone number and a non-existent address.  The police in the form of DI Peter Greene and DC Terry Ford, are baffled.

They call upon the reporter for the local paper, Jimmy Carter for help and a photo is printed in The Abbey Chronicle asking that anybody who knows who this man is to get in touch with the police.  From here comes a phone call from the manager of the local bank who recognises the photo as that of Eric Warner.

Warner and his second wife, the beautiful Estelle, have recently moved to the area with plans, according to Estelle, of starting a family.

But Warner is not as he seems.  He has a nasty, murky past and has left a well-hidden trail behind him. He has at least one former wife and it seems, a fairly long-term and disastrous relationship with another woman.  There were two children from the earlier marriage, one of whom dies in mysterious circumstances, and a daughter of the woman with whom he had the earlier relationship.

The story and its characters are well thought out, the characters are deftly drawn, places are well researched and in all, it is totally believable.

But to find out who did it, you’ll have to read the rest of the book.  For me?  I was completely baffled until the unveiling at the end, the Final Action.  This is only the first book in a new series, but one that will continue to get better, involving us more deeply into the three protagonists, Greene, Ford, and Carter.  I look forward to reading the second book.

Disclaimer – I received a copy of this book, enjoyed it and chose to review it.

The House

The House

Well,  thanks again to NetGalley I have just finished reading a book from another author new to me.

A young couple, Jack and Syd have been house hunting for a while.  They started out with a long list of must-haves and over the months,  as their offers on houses were declined, or somebody else made a better offer, the list dwindled.  So imagine how delighted they were when they found the house of their dreams that matched their original list and their offer was unexpectedly, accepted.

This house had everything they wanted, plenty of space, perfect location and in walking distance to the local shop and pub.  But the previous owner had packed up and gone to the other side of the world, Australia to be with a woman whom he met on the internet.  And in leaving, he had left the house complete with all its furniture and everything else from his life, to the lucky purchasers.

We learn about Jack and Syd and their relationship with each other and the house by a series of notes that each has made.  Syd is more enamoured of the house than is Jack who has some dark thoughts about the house and rapidly questions the Real Estate agent’s story of the vendor and his reasons for leaving everything behind.

Meantime, Syd meets and befriends Elsie a young girl who is obviously being abused by her father  Syd is sympathetic because she too suffered at the hands of her father until on the night before her 14th birthday when she left home never to return.  Unfortunately because of er leaving the father turns his attention o the younger sister and 2 months later her younger sister killed herself.  Syd feels responsible for this death and now includes Elsie in her feeling of responsibility.

We learn that Jack is a Social worker employed by the local Council and together he and Syd decide to try to help Elsie.  This ends in disaster as the Social Services can do nothing without proof and in fact, they only succeed in making things worse for the girl.

And the house?  Well, there’s a whole lot of strange things going on.  Strange noise in the night, odd smells, a dead cat in the attic, and a box of a young girl’s keepsakes, none of which can be easily explained away.

When Elsie’s father is murdered Jack becomes the prime suspect because he had threatened to kill the man following a drunken brawl at the local pub.

Meantime, Syd discoverers that her father has been released from jail and is once again living with her mother.   Syd discovers this by chance and is immediately concerned that her father will once again try to control her.

The twist in the tail (or the tale) when it comes is totally unexpected. Can this be the perfect murder?

Are you confused yet? I can only encourage you to read his very complicated, well-written story for yourself.    And like me, when you come to the end and all is revealed, you will no doubt take a deep breath and look around your own house with a different eye.

Disclaimer:  I downloaded this book from Netgalley.  I’m under no obligation to do so but choose to write this review,