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