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The Funeral Owl (A Philip Dryden Mystery) Hardcover – December 1, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Journalists make such natural sleuths that it’s a wonder more of them don’t snoop their way through crime fiction. Certainly, they have more resources than most citizens, with an ability to go to scenes, search documents, and question people. Two British authors have been capitalizing on this natural fit: A. D. Scott, whose Joanne Ross series focuses on a small Highlands weekly in the 1950s, and Kelly, who sets his mysteries in today’s England. Kelly’s series hero, Philip Dryden, is a journalist who has worked his way down from a big daily on Fleet Street to Brimstone Hill, a tiny paper in the West Fens. This is a series in which the main character develops over time—Dryden left Fleet Street when his actress wife, Laura, suffered a near-drowning accident that left her in a coma; he uprooted his life to be near her care center, and each novel traces the changes in the couple’s slow recovery from trauma. But these novels are far from one note—there’s a great deal of fun in them and a lot of fascinating detail about the cutthroat world of journalism. Several plotlines entwine here: Dryden’s discovery of a Chinese national who has been literally crucified in a church graveyard; a series of metal thefts in the area; a Korean War veteran haunted by his past; and a 10-year-old cold case involving violent art thefts. Dryden is brilliant in pushing the little paper forward as he both covers and investigates the string of crimes. His relationship with wife and infant son gives added depth to an already engaging character. --Connie Fletcher

Review

"Kelly’s seventh series entry showcases his trademark multiple plotlines to perfection. Newcomers to the series will be delighted by this discovery.” (Library Journal)

“Kelly pens believable characters amid a rich geography and resists the urge to make every event related.” (Publishers Weekly)

“An engaging character” (Booklist Starred Review)
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Product Details

  • Series: A Philip Dryden Mystery (Book 7)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crème de la Crime; First World Publication edition (December 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780290497
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780290492
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,559,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

His characters and plots are well-developed and intriguing.
Kathy S.
Indeed, the Funeral Owl is a harbinger of death and this novel has a high body count that will satisfy the most ardent action fan.
J. B. Hoyos
You will be absorbed by the happenings unseen than those seen with the eyes.
the GreatReads!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By the GreatReads! TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Funeral Owl by Jim Kelly, which is #7 in the Philip Dryden series, is a mystery novel with multiple threads which weave into a single story.

Grace, the fifteen-year-old missing daughter of Humph, a friend and driver of Philip Dryden, editor of The Crow, is found in a remote part of England’s Fen country after a dust storm. Philip visits Christ Church in Brimstone Hill where a metal theft had occurred. But he finds the body of a Chinese man hanging on a crucifix. Then there is the death of two young unemployed men found in a flooded ditch. They had been drinking moonshine laced with poison and they were headed for death but no one could explain the manner they were drowned. Also there is also a cold case of art robberies in the area. With the sighting of the Boreal or so-called 'Funeral' owl, believed to be harbingers of death, and the chain of events unfolding, things seem to be headed for the worst. The people of the area are caught in a hostile environment not of their own making. Though bad news is good news for journalists, Philip Dryden must leave behind his pen and wear his hat to solve the mysteries.

The Funeral Owl is a mystery that will transport you to the setting and make you feel a part of the story. It is written solidly, and you can visualize the countryside and see the houses, and the farms, and the beautiful countryside eerily silent. You will be absorbed by the happenings unseen than those seen with the eyes. Thoroughly enjoyable, the story will hold you to the very end.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Interesting read that is set in England. Lots of regional background and interesting characters. The story warms up slowly but has an interesting end.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Philip Dryden is the newly appointed editor of Ely's newspaper, "The Crow." He works chiefly from his satellite office in Brimstone Hill, where Satan was supposedly banished. Now Satan seems to have returned in the form of a serious crime wave. Two tramps, drunk on illegal moonshine, are found in a flooded culvert. Precious metals are being stolen from graves, church roofs, wind turbines, railroad tracks, etc., sometimes resulting in catastrophes. Dryden makes a gruesome discovery outside Christ Church: a Chinese immigrant, Sima Shuba, has been shot dead and nailed to a cross. Connected to these crimes is a cold case involving the murder of Ronald Calder whose hands were nailed to his kitchen table while his artwork was being stolen.

The action and suspense never wavers in Jim Kelly's exciting thriller, "The Funeral Owl." Indeed, the Funeral Owl is a harbinger of death and this novel has a high body count that will satisfy the most ardent action fan. As with Kelly's previous works, "The Funeral Owl" is a complex novel with numerous interconnected subplots. Every suspect appears guilty of criminal activity; no one escapes unscathed. If Agatha Christie were alive today, her mysteries would be like those of Jim Kelly; he belongs to a small, elite group of British authors, such as Barry Maitland ["The Raven's Eye" (The Raven's Eye: A Brock and Kolla Mystery)] and Peter James ["Dead Man's Time" (Dead Man's Time (Detective Superintendent Roy Grace))], whose novels read as though they are nonfiction.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Phillip Dryden owns newspapers in rural England and in the course of investigating the theft of metal roof tiles off a church, he comes across the bodies of some of the culprits in the church’s graveyard. Dryden is an interesting character as he goes about his investigation, searching for the real story behind the murders. The novel gives readers insights into rural England and the transition from an agricultural economy to being sucked into the 21st century with all its problems.
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By Kathy S. on February 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Jim Kelly's books and this is his latest. I love the settings of his books; they have a real sense of place. His characters and plots are well-developed and intriguing. HIs writing style is outstanding. I highly recommend this or any book by Jim Kelly. I do recommend reading them in order.
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By Magpie on January 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have just finished the Funeral Owl - having read everything written by Jim Kelly previously. As usual the plot piles on new developments until you begin to wonder how they can all be resolved - but they are! The characterisations are full 3D people not caricatures. and Jim Kelly is the absolute master of making the setting and landscape a vital part of the whole story. very highly recommended..........I am now waiting for the next one!!
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