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Posts Tagged ‘Historical Crime Fiction’

  • Title: A Death in Chelsea
  • Author: Lynn Brittney
  • Publisher: Mirror Books
  • Publication Date: 14th March 2019

Early copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:

Set against the backdrop of WW1, Mayfair 100 is the telephone number for a small, specially-formed crime fighting team based in a house in Mayfair.

A call comes through to Mayfair 100, where the intrepid team of investigators eagerly await their next case. A society gossip queen has been found hanged in her room in mysterious circumstances. Her enemies are numerous – and her family are convinced she was murdered.

Can the group uncover the truth?

My Thoughts:

Although A Death in Chelsea is the second book of the Mayfair 100 series, it was the first book that I read and I did feel that I could read it and get a grasp of the characters in the investigation team. However, I would recommend reading Murder in Belgravia for completeness sake.

This is an enjoyable read set in 1915, a time that of course sees Britain engaging in WWI and facing many social challenges on the Home Front. So when the death of Lady Adeline Treborne is brought to the attention of the MET Commissioner, it’s only a matter of time before the case is assigned to Beech and the Mayfair 100 team.
The cast of characters that drive the story are magnificently created, appearing very realistic in the time and setting, the women that make up the investigative team are fascinating, each possessing their own quirks and personalities. Heading up the Mayfair 100 team are police officers Chief Inspector Peter Beech, Detective Arthur Tollman and PC Billy Rigsby, who must juggle the legalities of the investigation whilst ensuring that they get results. But for me, it was the strong and opinionated women who stole the show, Mabel, Sissy and Caroline are just brilliant!

The investigation is far from easy or straightforward, the team find that they are led down various paths, uncovering secrets and skeletons from their pasts, but the wonderful dynamic of the personalities involved makes this so enjoyable to follow. Watching the development of relationships between the members of the team were fantastic, especially the contrast between the policing of Tollman’s days and the more modern ways of Rigsby, but their friendship always felt strong and real, despite opposing viewpoints at times.

Clever characterisation, strong research into social and economic factors and some brilliant writing make this a must read for fans of historical crime fiction. There’s so many threads to the plot, and I hate to admit it, but Lynn Brittney had me fooled as to the motive and identity of the killer. But she didn’t half wow me with her crafty writing and leave me desperately hoping for another case for the Mayfair 100 team!

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