Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Norfolk Mystery A County Guides Mystery by Ian Sansom

This is an odd little story set in England in 1937.  You have a Spanish Civil War vet and a very intelligent publisher/writer that needs an assistant.  The fact that he is eccentric and just generally odd doesn't bother Stephen.  His daughter's driving does, though.  When she takes him to meet her father for an interview, he gets out and walks the rest of the way.  That doesn't bode well for his interview, but he knows enough odd facts and literature to get hired.  That's the beginning of his strange journey to Norfolk...

Witness/Impulse gave me the opportunity read this ebook for review (thank you).  It is being published today, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.  It comes in ebook form or as a mass market paperback.

Stephan's employer, Professor Morley, is a master fact-finder who knows references to every place or action in England.  If you love trivia, this is a book for you.  They quote poetry at each other, talk about Shakespear plays, and he can recite from memory various tidbits of history.  He wants to write a guidebook for Norfolk referencing that history and he wants Stephen to be his secretary.  Neither of them had any idea one of the first stops they would find a dead body.  It was an apparent suicide.  But the Professor wasn't sure and wasn't willing to let it go without more information.

He seems to be asking random questions and talking to the wrong people, but he manages to pick out the truth from the lies and the bluster.  It's a bit dry and slow in pace but it marches towards the inevitable truth.  The story that lead up to this suicide and another death were from years before.  It seems the whole town had a hand in ensuing death.  Piecing all of that together took time and made an enjoyable read.

No comments: