Hope you’re all well and staying safe. Here are some more rapid reviews!
The Man in the Brown Suit, by Agatha Christie
The newly-orphaned Anne Beddingfield came to London expecting excitement. She didn’t expect to find it on the platform of Hyde Park Corner tube station. When a fellow passenger pitches onto the rails and is electrocuted, the ‘doctor’ on the scene seems intent on searching the victim rather than examining him…
Armed with a single clue, Anne finds herself struggling to unmask a faceless killer known only as ‘The Colonel’ – while ‘The Colonel’ struggles to eliminate her…
I really struggled with this one – and I’m not sure if it was because where my head was while I was reading it, or if it really wasn’t my cup of tea. I didn’t particularly warm to the heroine, or any of the characters for that matter. I didn’t find the plot particularly enjoyable either – and it left me feeling a bit uncomfortable over the racism (although I accept it is a product of its time). That all being said, I still gave it 3*. This was from my own bookshelf.
Elevator Pitch, by Linwood Barclay
It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.
Right to the bottom of the shaft.
It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world—and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment—is plunged into chaos.
Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men in women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.
Who is behind this? Why are they doing it? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers before the city’s newest, and tallest, residential tower has its Friday night ribbon-cutting.
It’s a well known fact I have a fear of big books, but I flew through this one. It had a really gripping plot, which kept me reading “just one more chapter”. Well plotted and paced, with some interesting characters. I gave this a full 5*. This only counts towards my Goodreads goal as I bought this earlier in the year.
Death of Anton, by Alan Melville
Seven Bengal tigers are the star attraction of Carey’s Circus. Their trainer is the fearless Anton, whose work demands absolute fitness and the steadiest of nerves. When Anton is found lying dead in the tigers’ cage, it seems that he has lost control and been mauled by the tigers – but Detective-Inspector Minto of Scotland Yard is not convinced.
Minto’s investigations lead him deep into the circus world of tents and caravans, clowns and acrobats, human and animal performers. No one is above suspicion. Carey, the circus-owner with a secret to hide; Dodo, the clown whose costume is scratched as if by a claw; and Lorimer, the trapeze artist jealous of his flirtatious wife – all come under Minto’s scrutiny as the mystery deepens.
This amusing and light-hearted novel from the golden age of British crime writing has long been neglected, and this new edition will help to restore Melville’s reputation as an author of extremely entertaining detective fiction.
This is the second Melville I have read this year (Weekend at Thrackley was my first – review here) and this was so much better. I enjoyed the comedy in the writing, and was gripped from page one. I also really liked the character of Minto. I gave it a full 5*. This was another Goodreads only read as I bought it earlier in the year.