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Dead Man in Malta: A Sandor Seymour Mystery (A Dead Man in...) Hardcover – November 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: A Dead Man in...
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Constable (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569478783
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569478783
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in 1913, Pearce's thin seventh mystery to feature Scotland Yard's Sandor Seymour (after 2009's A Dead Man in Naples) opens with an intriguing puzzle. Seymour, a troubleshooter routinely dispatched across Europe to handle sensitive inquiries, looks into three suspicious deaths on the island of Malta--two British sailors and a German balloonist have expired after being admitted in good health to a British naval hospital. The aviator, Kiesewetter, entered the hospital for observation after his hot-air balloon landed unexpectedly. Witness reports that an unknown person was seen bending over the supine body of one of the sailors shortly before the sailor's demise add to concerns that a murderer might have been at work. Unengaging scenes between Seymour and his love interest as well as a denouement that doesn't fulfill the promise of the premise will disappoint fans of Pearce's superior Mamur Zapt series (The Mark of the Pasha, etc.). (Nov.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Michael Pearce was raise in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, where his fascination for language began. He later trained as a Russian interpreter but moved away from languages to follow an academic career, first as a lecturer in English and the History of Ideas, and then as an administrator. Michael Pearce now lives in southwest London.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on September 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The seventh book in the Seymour Sandor mysteries has the intrepid East London detective investigating three deaths in a Naval hospital in Malta. It is a perplexing and complicated case, not the least because of the setting. Two of the deaths were sailors (technically making it a "Naval investigation" as the Royal Navy sees the hosptial as a ship - and therefore under their auspice), the third death a German ballonist - possibly a spy, although possibly a simple ballon enthusiast. The list of suspects - and possible motives - quickly expands as Sandor learns more about the victims and the political climate on Malta.

A nice change of from earlier novels is the accompaniment of Chantelle, his erstwhile fiancee - her liguistic skills (Maltese having a definate Arabic flavor to it) as well as her half-French/half-Moroccan heritage gaining points with the locals, who are unashamedly anti-British. However, the plot moved a bit slow for my taste - the checking, re-checking and verfiying of stories, the half-truths, lies and reluctance of witness to share information (or of witnesses to share too much information) slowed the pace of the story. Admittedly, all the obfuscation muddied the waters, which made solving the case difficult (the intent, I suspect), which I enjoyed - I love a good red-herring - but not at the cost of making for almost plodding reading.

To Pearce's credit, I didn't think the reading was anything near "plodding" - his characters as usual are both memorable and unique. The nationalist tensions of the early 20th century - anti-imperialist as well as between Britain and Germany - were spot on, and are aspects of the story that I enjoy and are why I keep returning to the series.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a comedy of manners rather than a mystery book. Sandor Seymour is in charge of solving a crime in Malta that can have grave political consequences. In 1913, Malta is British, but the Maltese dream of independence. The Germans spy on the British fleet, the shadow of WW1 is there. But this is not a grave book or even a serious mystery.
Pearce does here what he does best: describing what foreign people think. I like the book because not many people know Malta, a multicultural island south of Italy who won the admiration of everybody during WW2 before gaining its independence.
The unique attitude of the Maltese comes out beautifully. It is more than nationalism, it is an acute sense of self. What was true in 1913 troubled times is true today. A friend of mine made the mistake of referring to her Maltese cousin as "Italian" and got properly rebuked. Malta has been invaded many times during its history and the population mixes people of all kinds of origins: Italian, Greek, Spanish, Arab, British. The mix has one identity and one language: Maltese. As you can imagine, it is hard to describe. Pearce does it with the admirable insights that made the Zapt series so precious to people interested in Egypt.
Is it his best book? No. Is it the best book you can read on the unique Maltese soul? So far, it probably is.
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