Monday, May 9, 2016

Death in Devon: A County Guides Mystery by Ian Sansom

This is the first in a new series about a Professor who is well versed in English history and writes essays and books about the countryside: What to see there, what to do, and info on historical monuments and moments of importance.

Witness Impulse and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published tomorrow.

The Professor is going to be giving a speech at a private school.  He's been invited by a personal friend.  He takes his daughter and his assistant along on the trip.  He also brings a couple of surfboards.

The Professor is a really eccentric intelligent man who flits from subject to subject and expects everyone to go along with him. His assistant is still learning all his idiosyncrasies and he tags along.  The daughter is a free spirit and she can't be controlled.  The Professor even admits this.

The first thing they do is take the wrong turn and almost run off the cliff into the ocean.  It's not long after their arrival that they find a car that has gone over the cliff and the boy in it is dead.  Was it an accident or murder?  No one wants to talk about it.

The younger brother of the school head immediately takes up with the daughter.  The assistant doesn't trust him but can't say why.  The whole family is a bit odd.  He finds the man that is hanging out with the daughter is married but she doesn't care.  The mother is a strange old lady that loves cats.  The assistant has taught school before and he tells the Professor the school doesn't feel right.  He's right.  
With blackmail, adultery, blood sacrifices and more, the school and one particular person are wrong, real wrong.

The story moved slowly, there's a lot of history and quotes shared, and the crime was one man trying to gain power through the occult world.  The characters are all strange in one manner or another.  If you like reading dry English mysteries, this will work.  It's not a book where you find a lot to love, but it will keep you reading. 

No comments: