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Where Death Delights (A Richard Pryor Mystery) Hardcover – May 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: A Richard Pryor Mystery
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727868748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727868749
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,018,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Knight brings his own experience as a Home Office pathologist to this absorbing first in a new series set in Britain's Wye Valley. When pathologist Richard Pryor and Angela Bray, a young biologist on the rebound from a broken engagement, go into business offering forensic expertise, they expect paternity tests and postmortems to be their bread and butter, but one of their first cases involves bones that two women each claim prove the death of a loved one. Later, what is first dismissed as an accidental drowning takes on a sinister dimension as a result of their testing. Knight (Crowner Royal and 12 other mysteries in his medieval Crowner John series) describes the arcana of autopsy without going into overly graphic detail. While the testing processes considered state of the art in 1955 are crude by today's standards, he succeeds in making them just as interesting. A couple of great plot twists at the end will leave readers eager for a sequel. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This entertaining slice of nostalgia for life in 1950s Britain should please Anglophiles and will also appeal to fans of forensically detailed crime fiction. Dr. Richard Pryor, recently returned from Singapore, has joined forces with biologist Angela Bray, a former Home Office scientist, to form a private forensic practice in the Wye Valley. The pair are at first worried about making ends meet, but word of their expertise spreads, and they quickly have their hands full with everything from settling paternity cases to identifying dead bodies to proving that a young woman found drowned off the coast was murdered by her husband. Knight, a former Home Office pathologist, shows off his detailed knowledge of forensics, especially as the science was practiced in the 1950s. The appeal of this story lies very much in the engaging cast of characters, the interplay between Pryor and Bray, and the intriguing forensic details. Although the story may be too gentle for fans of taut, suspenseful police procedurals, it will engage those with either a more scientific mind-set or an interest in the period. --Emily Melton

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bookaholic on August 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read the "Crowner (Coroner) John" series with much enjoyment not to mention other titles by Dr. Bernard Knight which include non-fiction (I wish I could find his 1960's titles). I saw one detractor speak of confusion and such. I can not address that, it is not my problem. However, I can say that this title is the first in a new series that takes place in Post WWII U.K. It is essential that the author, in the best interests of the reader, to set the stage, so to speak, for the time and circumstances in which events take place (a socio-cultural context). The younger U.K. reader, as well as the American reader, might not appreciate that it took a while for the U.K. to rebound from the WWII experience. Rationing was still practiced, if not officially, in need by many. The main character, and others, served in the war and their lives were still adjusting about a decade later (I won't give specifics because that would take away from a good read). In the first title of a series, I believe it is important for the author to "flesh out" the characters and provide details of life so that one can be in tune with the setting(s) as well as better understand future titles in the series. I may not always agree with Dr. Knight, but I can say that despite that I find his writing worth reading and most enjoyable. He wrote in such a way that I could not only associate with many things spoken of in the book, but better appreciate the characters and their trials and tribulations. I certainly hope that the good Doctor will be able to provide us with more titles in this new series. I was even surprised at how many things I was familiar with from my past associations with the British military and U.K. friends. I think you will find it satisfying if you like socio-cultural history mixed with your murder mystery. Knight still can pull off surprises for some in the last few pages and make the journey to the end of the book well worth it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carol Cassidy on May 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
There are several different stories presented, the threads carried through and well resolved. The main character are well presented and I certainly hope that this will be an on-going series about a 1950's pathology team.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Smith on October 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book, especially the setting in the 1950's. It is a mystery will a taste of the past and a much more simplier lifestyle. Having lived in the UK for 2 years, I can appreciate the setting and the details. The use of local slang can be irritating if not for a dictionary available via the Internet. All in all, a keeper and I look forward to the next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Pagliuco TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Where Death Delights is a new mystery about a pathologist written by a pathologist, set in 1955 in the west country of England. Following his recent divorce, Richard Pryor has left government service in Singapore to set up a private practice in the newly emerging field of forensics. Pryor and his new partner partner, biologist Angela Bray, also on the rebound, set up their labs in the rambling house that he has inherited from an aunt. Neither is certain of the success of their new and risky venture, so both are relieved when cases begin to come their way. Most are fairly routine, but one, the discovery of a skeleton, which two women are claiming as relatives, is interesting and challenging. Within a few days, they are also contacted by a prominent London QC who suspects that the death of his daughter, ruled a suicide by the coroner, is actually a cleverly planned murder executed by his philandering son-in-law.

Don't expect the caustic scenarios of a Patricia Cornwell from this novel. Rather, it is a sort of medical procedural that just misses classification in the cozy mystery genre. That does not mean the book is not worth reading. On the contrary, despite the absence of violence and gore, it's fun to follow Pryor as he applies the new forensic techniques (deriving blood type from bones, for instance) to his first puzzling cases. There are a few confusing moments trying to keep the bits of evidence separate from each other, and, while one of the puzzles is brought to a satisfying solution, the other is not. There are also hints that Pryor is developing romantic feelings for his partner and also his attractive, widowed housekeeper, but those have yet to blossom.

A promising beginning to a new series, hopefully one in which these characters have a chance to grow.
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