Four days prior to Mother’s Day and Colin Crampton of the Chronicle has another story to seek his teeth into. On the way home, he and his girlfriend Shirley discover the body of a young man, a sixth form student, apparently knocked off his bicycle in a hit and run. The police don’t seem keen to take things any further but Colin smells murder – and a story, more importantly.
But things are never simple for Colin. His investigations take him to the local school, where he discovers that the victim had a penchant for blackmail, and not just for his fellows students’ pocket money. His investigations soon have unexpected repercussions – Shirley’s mother is kidnapped, and if Colin doesn’t stop investigating…
Oh look, I’m quoted in this one’s acknowledgements. I think that’s the first time that’s happened, the first time I noticed it, anyway. Cool.
Back to the book. I do enjoy this series. Peter Bartram has a nice line in humour and while there are one or two occasions where Colin’s one-liners seemed a little out of place given the danger, they do make this a bright and breezy read. But anyone who dismisses this as another cozy to ignore would be making a mistake.
Structurally, this is a well-constructed mystery novel. Motivations are slowly revealed, the plot has some nice twists and turns, and the finale is effective – it, purely be coincidence, mirrors the dilemma in another book that I read recently, but I think this one does it a little better.
And the humour is nicely balance, gently drawing the reader in to make sure they are enjoying themselves in case the plot flags – which it doesn’t, by the way.
This is an excellent modern mystery that it more than worth your time. Highly Recommended.
Availability: The Mother’s Day Mystery was released in paperback and ebook in Nov 2018
Thanks to your earlier recommendations, I keep meaning to read these. One puzzle, though: I see on the cover it describes this as “Deadline Murder Series Book 2” . . . yet you’ve reviewed its three precursors, so presumably it’s Book 4 (or more).
Baffled of New Jersey
The series is subdivided into mini-series of a sort. It really doesn’t matter which order you read them in though. And yes, it’s a bit odd
From follows fnuction.
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After reading this I saw a collection of short stories ‘Murder from the Newsdesk’ free on kindle and am really enjoying them. I’ll try a full-length novel soon. Thanks for the review
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Glad you’re enjoying them.
[…] The Mother’s Day Mystery by Peter Bartram – Colin Crampton of the Chronicle investigates a hit and run and uncovers a schoolboy blackmailer. In a light-hearted way… […]