Brighton, 1963, and Colin Crampton has a story to write. A security guard on Brighton Pier is found dead, his head bashed in with a coconut (from the nearby coconut shy). In the hunt for a new angle to the story in order the scoop the competition, Colin discovers that a couple of evenings previous to the murder, someone stole the pictures from inside a “What The Butler Saw” machine – basically a short film of a lady taking her clothes off, for people unaware of this British “tradition”.
Soon, Colin is hot on the trail of a murderer – but who would want the decades-old pictures of a low-level film actress who just happened to be knocked down and killed by a car the previous week? It’s seems that more than one crime has been committed – but is there more than one criminal?
The Blog Tour for Stop Press Murder visits In Search Of The Classic Mystery Novel today – you’ll have spotted the article by Peter that appeared earlier today – and now it’s time for the review.
I enjoyed Headline Murder – Peter/Colin has a very enjoyable voice with he tells these tales, but I did think that the resolution was a little obvious, to me at least. But the book was fun enough to overlook that.
This time, the plot is rather more complex. With crimes from the past and present, along with a long-running feud between twin sisters, there’s a lot going on here and while one or two parts of the plot felt a little inevitable given the set-up, there’s a lot of surprises here both as the story goes along and as it comes to a well-written, exciting conclusion.
There’s some original ideas here as well. The journalistic setting is well-used for additional drama, as Colin strives to scoop his competitors while trying to find out who’s tipping off the opposition and keeping one step ahead of the police.
So, a highly entertaining, involving mystery, narrating in a charming voice with winning characters. What’s not to like? Highly Recommended.
Stop Press Murder is available from Roundfire Books now.