Murder by the Book (A Langham and Dupré Mystery – 1) by Eric Brown
ISBN: 9781780290515 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781780104133 (ebook)
ASIN: B00CYLGHQ4 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 1, 2013
Publisher: Creme de la Creme/Severn House
When crime writer Donald Langham’s literary agent asks for his help in sorting out ‘a delicate matter’, little does Langham realize what he’s getting himself into. For a nasty case of blackmail leads inexorably to murder as London’s literary establishment is rocked by a series of increasingly bizarre deaths. With three members of the London Crime Writers’ Association coming to sudden and violent ends, what at first appeared to be a series of suicides looks suspiciously like murder – and there seems to be something horribly familiar about the various methods of despatch.
With the help of his literary agent’s assistant, the delectable Maria Dupré, Langham finds himself drawing on the skills of his fictional detective hero as he hunts a ruthless and fiendishly clever killer – a killer with old scores to settle.
Donald Langham is the author of hard-boiled detective mysteries. He has an assortment of friends, including detectives, private investigators, and authors, but generally lives a somewhat solitary existence churning out books and book reviews in order to make a living. He’s friendly with his agent, Charles Elder, and thinks nothing of being asked to help when Charles admits to being blackmailed. Charles is unable to go to the police because in 1955 homosexuality is a punishable crime. One thing leads to another and before you know it Donald and Charles’ lovely assistant, Maria Dupré, are involved in a real life murder mystery. Can they solve the mystery before another murder occurs?
Murder by the Book is the first in the Langham and Dupré mystery series. This was a well-written and captivating “whodunit” mystery. There were just enough twists and turns to the plot to keep me wondering until the bitter end. I enjoyed the somewhat flirtatious budding romance between Donald and Maria and it added just the right amount of tension to the overall story without overpowering the mystery aspect. The blackmail and murders were rather tame compared to today’s standards but were intrinsic parts of the story. Murder by the Book incorporates a lot of subjects including blackmail, murder, romance, envy, and suspense. The bad guys are really bad and the good guys come in a variety of shades of grey. If you enjoy well-crafted mysteries then you definitely want to add Murder by the Book to your reading list. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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