Set against the backdrop of WWI, Graham Ison's fourth Inspector Hardcastle mystery finds the titular detective wading through the murk of two seemingly unrelated murders; those of a low-ranking police officer and the wife of a pilot she claims was killed on the battlefield but who miraculously turns up unscathed and throws a wrench into Hardcastle's investigation.
David Thorpe adroitly captures the dry British humor of Ison's prose as well as the indomitable Hardcastle's brusque rasp and no-nonsense attitude in this compelling police procedural.
In February 1915, the Great War is still raging on the Western Front, but in Westminster, at the centre of Hardcastle's bailiwick, a policeman is shot dead. At first, Hardcastle believes the murderer to have been a disturbed burglar.
But as enquiries continue, attention focuses on an antiquarian bookseller, a struggling artist, a reporter, officers of the Royal Flying Corps, both in England and in France, and the activities of Isabel Plowman, the wife of one of them and the lover of others.
©2006 Graham Ison (P)2013 Audible Ltd
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I'm new to this series. I love historical fiction but this one just didn't really do much for me. It's ok but I doubt I will listen to any more. Seemed kind of slow and plodding. I would have liked more history mixed in as it does take place during WWI. Just not one of my favorites.
"Most Entertaining and Funny Mystery Series"
This is a great series. It has good story, well plotted mystery and on top of that it is very humorous. The reader, Graham Thorpe, adds so much to the book. He does the voices so well and gives each one its own character.
Of course the star is Detective Inspector Hardcastle who bring so much wit to the series as he deals with his subordinates and intimidates all around him, especially the person he is interviewing. He never lets their title or position stand in his way.
In this book Hardcastle is dealing with the murder of one of his constables. As he intestigates it turnes out the constable was NOT the target, but rather the lady next door. This lady claims to be a widow but as the body count continues, it turns out she is not a widow, but more of a "good time girl" who loves men in uniform. Unravelling this mystery takes Hardcastle to the corridors of power. A great book. All too short! I can't stop listening to one once I start.
"Great setting and premise, missed opportunity."
A great opportunity: it's early WWI in London: a murdered policeman, a murdered merry widow: alas, you know within the first chapter whodunnit, and it's plenty of 19th century class warfare and misogyny to follow, where women are mothers, whores or murder victims.
The narrator does a great job with various classes of male voices, and he and the interesting military history save this from being a 1.5* review.
"First Book I haven't finished in a long time"
I can't believe I kept on listening! Being an optimist I kept thinking the plot would get better! It was awful.
"I expected more"
Not sure. I loved Foyle's War and thought this might be good too. It wasn't
Narrator was fine.
This story is very predictable
"Not for me :("
I guess that I didn't read the narrative well enough. I was expecting a "cozy" murder series without foul language or descriptive sexual scenes. I was disappointed and did not finish the book. The narrator was very good, however, I will not read more G. Ison books.
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