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17 hours ago, taxman said:

I've got the point where I'm just hoping against hope that there isn't an unknown evil twin involved....almost as poor a plot device as "..and it was all a dream"

There's also the plot which involves multiple deaths and multiple killers doing each other's murder. It is so frustrating, almost as if the author wrote themselves into a blind ally with no way out.

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The Tilbury Poppies by Sue Wilsher.  

 

The book is fiction and it’s about women who worked in a munitions factory during World War One, they were trying to improve the conditions of the factory.  Although the book is fiction the author has done her homework on how bad the working conditions were in those factories in real life.  

 

Health and safety didn’t exist in those days. There was poor ventilation in the factory, they were exposed to harmful chemicals which would turn their skin yellow, they were known as the canaries because of their bright yellow appearance. Many of the women died being exposed to chemicals because there was no protection equipment. Also there was a present danger all the time because they were working with explosive materials.

 

I enjoyed this book and although it’s fiction I’ve learnt a lot after reading it.  

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On 10/03/2021 at 11:33, max said:

There's also the plot which involves multiple deaths and multiple killers doing each other's murder. It is so frustrating, almost as if the author wrote themselves into a blind ally with no way out.

It got worse....secret triplets separated at birth.

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Posted (edited)

My round-up of March's reading. All crime again, and still getting through them in about 2 days.

 

Robert B. Parker - Hugger Mugger. Spenser is hired to protect the prize racehorse of the title from a potential attack, but then investigates when its owner is murdered. As good as ever.

Wade Miller - Shoot to kill. Private eye Max Thursday is on the trail of a serial strangler. OK.

Dell Shannon - Death of a busybody. In this early Luis Mendoza case, he investigates the murder of a woman who can't keep her nose out of other people's business. Good police procedural.

Charlotte Macleod - Wrack and rune. The discovery of a Viking artefact on a farm at Lumpkin's Corner  leads to murder. Peter Shandy, professor at the local agricultural college and developer of an improved root crop, investigates. Her books are usually full of odd characters with curious names and this is no exception. Quite entertaining though.

John Bude - The Cornish coast murder

John Bude - The Lake District murder

John Bude - The Sussex Downs murder. These three all date from the mid-1930s and have been reprinted in the British Library crime classics series over the last few years. In the first one the detecting is done by the local vicar, but in the second and third series sleuth Inspector Meredith takes over. I really enjoyed these: Meredith has the same persistent, meticulous approach as Freeman Wills Crofts Inspector French, so if you like his books, you'll like these too.

John Rhode - Murder at Lilac Cottage. Mysterious Mr. Derrington, tenant of said cottage, is shot outside the door one evening. Inspector Waghorn investigates and as usual is put on the right track by Dr. Priestley. Good even though you can spot the murderer a mile off.

Dorothy L. Sayers - Whose body? Much to my shame, I've never read any of Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey books, but I'm glad I'm starting to put that right. In this one the appearance of an unidentified body in a bath is accompanied by the disappearance of Sir Reuben Levy. Are the two connected? Excellent.

Donald E. Westlake - Killy. Union organiser Walter Killy and his placement student sidekick are framed for murder in small town America. Before Westlake turned to more caper-like books, he was a good hardboiled crime novelist, and this is one of those books where nobody comes out of it well at the end.

Julia Chapman - Date with death. In Yorkshire, Samson, proprietor of the Dales Detective Agency, and contrivedly-named Delilah, proprietor of the Dales Dating Agency, join forces to solve a series of murders. As cosy as a roaring log fire and a mug of Horlicks, but actually pretty good.

Simenon - The train. Fleeing from invading forces and separated from his family on a train in France in 1940, Marcel falls for mysterious refugee Anna. You know it won't end well. Excellent as usual.

Simenon - The widower. Artist Bernard Jeantet comes home to find his wife gone and gradually uncovers more about the life she led behind his back. 

Ruth Rendell - No more dying then. A mid-70s case of child abduction for Inspector Wexford. As good as the rest of the series, if a bit dated and a bit coincidental at the end.

Edited by metalman

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Nearly at the end of April so here's what I've got through this month. Not quite as many thanks to shops reopening and so on.

 

Robert B. Parker - Small vices. Spenser tries to correct a miscarriage of justice after a petty criminal is convicted of murder, and almost gets killed as a result. Good as always. Sadly I think I've now read all of the Spenser series, though I've still got a few of the Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall series to go.

Julia Chapman - Date with malice. Samson & Delilah (see post above)  investigate some sheep-rustling and a possible murder in a retirement complex. As enjoyable as the first one was.

Dell Shannon - The death-bringers. Another Mendoza case from the early 60s. Here he's on the trail of a serial  bank robber who shoots one of his colleagues.

R. M. Meluch - The Myriad. An uneasy alliance of the United Staes and the Roman Empire (don't ask) is fighting a war against the ravenous insectoid hordes of the Hive when they chance upon the Myriad star cluster. Good military SF all the way, and then right at the end Meluch does something completely unexpected.

Jack Crossley - You couldn't make it up. One of those books of amusing occurrences culled from the local and national press. A reasonably entertaining quick read.

Dorothy L. Sayers - Clouds of witness. Lord Peter Wimsey's brother is accused of murdering their sister's fiance.

M. W. Craven - The puppet show. A serial killer incinerating victims in Cumbria's stone circles... a maverick cop constantly in conflict with his superiors, with an autistic genius sidekick... you might think this has all the elements to make me put it back on the shelf, but the difference is that Craven is one of crime fiction's new stars and actually this is a cracker, providing you can suspend disbelief long enough. 

M. W. Craven - Black summer. This time Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw try to work out how a girl supposedly murdered six years ago has apparently turned up alive. Another cracking read.

M. W. Craven - The curator. The latest (until June) Poe & Bradshaw case has them on the track of a serial killer who leaves his victims' severed fingers in unexpected places. As good as the previous two, and that's saying something. Taxman & Feargal should certainly go out and buy them all!

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The Chain by Adrian McKinty. A good read/plot.

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I have just re-read, after a gap of many years, "The Fly" by Kathryn Mansfield. I am still at a loss to account for the behaviour of "The Boss". The story is very short & takes only 5 or 10 minutes to read & is available on the internet for free. I wonder if any of you Eng. Lit. buffs would care to have a go at it?

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