A Voice Like Velvet by Donald Henderson

Ernest Bisham is a household name, one of the best-known announcers on BBC radio. His velvet voice is admired by many throughout the country.

Ernest Bisham is also a cat burglar, a daring thief who is several steps ahead of Scotland Yard. Stealing for fun, more than profit, his addiction to danger might well be his undoing. Because at some point, the police are surely going to catch up with him…

Donald Henderson was the writer of the acclaimed Mr Bowling Buys A Newspaper, one of Martin Edwards 100(ish) Classic Crime books, and when it was successful, this earlier title was renamed (from The Announcer) and reissued under Henderson’s name, rather than the pen-name that it was earlier released under.

It’s a rather charming book, but given the name of the blog, I’d better make this clear, this is NOT A MYSTERY. The opening section (which is perhaps a little overlong) details Bisham’s life up to the point where we join the story, and then we see Bisham’s final (?) thefts as the police begin to close in. The second half of the tale is the more engrossing, but the story is well-written throughout, written with a charm that makes even the first section enjoyable.

Personally, I’d have preferred a little more suspense that simply “will he get caught”, but this is a highly entertaining read that has recently been re-released by Harper Collins under “The Detective Club” imprint – you can expect to see more of these being reviewed here soon – very soon, in fact.

In the meantime, however, this is definitely worth checking out. As I said, not a mystery in any real sense, but a very pleasant change of pace. Highly Recommended.

Many thanks to Harper Collins for the review copy.

For a more detailed analysis – still a bit pushed for time to write much at the moment – then here’s Kate’s review.


  1. Well I’d still argue for it being an inverted mystery, but given you’re not so enthusiastic about that sort of tale, that probably wouldn’t help. Intrigued to see which by HC you review next.


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