“The wickedly entertaining new Jack Haldean mystery.”



A mutilated body is found in a cupboard in the local church, his identity and how someone has managed to gain access to the locked church are just two of the questions that need answering. Another one is how a lunatic is managing to live unknown in the cosy village of Croxton Ferriers.

As the body count rises and the self-styled ‘Chessman’ gets more daring, leaving notes and clues behind at each murder, it falls to amateur detective Jack Haldean and local Inspector Ashley to solve the mystery.

For all the high body count, this is not a blood and gore novel, more a cosy English murder/mystery in the style of Agatha Christie or Dorothy L. Sayers. It is set in the 1920s not long after the Great War. The War still has a hold over the country and many of the characters are deeply affected by it.

I loved the setting and the author brings the time and place to life brilliantly well, she gets inside the characters’ mindset of the time superbly.

The book is full of twists and turns and even though there are relatively few suspects, I was kept guessing to the end, due to the very cleverly constructed plot which had lots of twists and turns.

This is the 9th in the Jack Haldean series, but the first I have read and is easily read as a standalone. Although I will definitely be going back to look up the other books.


Reviewed by:

Sandra Foy

Added 30th October 2015

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Sandra Foy