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The London Blitz Murders Mass Market Paperback – May 4, 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews
Book 5 of 6 in the Disaster Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Max Allan Collins is the New York Times bestselling author of Road to Perdition and multiple award-winning novels, screenplays, comic books, comic strips, trading cards, short stories, movie novelizations, and historical fiction. He has scripted the Dick Tracy comic strip, Batman comic books, and written tie-in novels based on the CSI, Bones, and Dark Angel TV series; collaborated with legendary mystery author Mickey Spillane; and authored numerous mystery novels including the Quarry, Nolan, Mallory, and the bestselling Nathan Heller historical thrillers. His additional Disaster series mystery novels include The Titanic Murders, The Hindenburg Murders, The Pearl Harbor Murders, The London Blitz Murders, and The War of the Worlds Murder. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Berkley Prime Crime Edition edition (May 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425198057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425198056
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,565,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael K. Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 20, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a kind of fun little murder mystery (only 260 pages), set in London in February 1942, and featuring Agatha Christie Mallowan, doyen of mystery novel writers. But actually, the most interesting material is the setting and the recounting of day-to-day life on the British home front during the blackout -- though not actually during the "Blitz," the title notwithstanding. However, the mystery itself, as Collins narrates it -- it's based closely on a true series of sex murders -- is actually rather lightweight and completely twistless. The author, in fact, introduces the killer early on and makes the case against him halfway through. Like any good mystery reader, I immediately began watching for red herrings -- but there were none. And the identified character did, in fact, turn out to be the killer. There was almost no puzzle, either for the police or the reader. Collins seems also not to have given much thought to the quality of his writing this time out; as a longtime professional editor, I longed to take a blue pencil to his not infrequent awkwardnesses of expression, his frequent overuse of pet phrases (often in the same paragraph), and the jerky pacing of the background story. With a little work, this could have been a much more entertaining story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Collin's character is Agatha Christie who, while helping the war effort by working by day in a hospital, links up with renowned pathologist Sir Bernard Spilsbury in his investigation into a series of Ripper-style murders committed under the cover of London's numerous blackouts. London's women, already strained and anxious because of the wartime inconveniences, are terrified. With every blackout, a murderer might be lurking in the darkened alleys or shelters to claim another victim.

Collins is careful to let us know where the lines between his fiction and Christie's factual life intersect, and points out that many of the characters in this novel were, in fact, real people. Information about wartime hazards and the ways Londoners adjusted to them is artfully described, giving readers a sense of life in England's "homefront" during these devastating years.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the third or fourth of the Disaster Series I have read as I work my way through all of them. The idea of putting known persons into historical situations is appealing although Collins has variable degrees of success in achieving his goal of a well-done mystery. This is Agatha Christie's turn to deal with murder in a critical period, the London Blitz during World War 2. As always, Collins and his associates do a good job of research, at least to persuade the reader who wasn't there. To what degree his Agatha Christie is a suitable replica of the novelistic character, I cannot say, but she is a good protagonist regardless of the reality of his image.The cime posed her, as she works alongside the London Police, is a Jack the Ripper type situation such as did occur in the area during the years of war. As at least one reviewer has pointed out this is more of a 'how we got the one who did it' than a 'who dun it'. There is camouflage involved before the solution is revealed but it is doubtful that many will be diverted from the right answer. As usual, Collins is quite professionally competent and has produced a readable book though not a puzzler in the style of the Mistress of Mysteries.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"The London Blitz Murders" by Max Allan Collins offer the reader an interesting protagonist; by day, she’s Mrs. Mallowan, hospital pharmacist, however, by night, she’s Agatha Christie, queen of crime. "The London Blitz Murders" is an enjoyable historical mystery which has Agatha Christie as the sleuth and not just the famous writer. It is book #5 of a series called "The Disaster Series."

Collins does an excellent job of creating characters who seem very real. Still, the book is fiction, yet many of the characters and the situation is based on an historical event. Here with Agatha Christie as the protagonist on a murder case that actually happened made the novel interesting to read. The antagonists is, of course, to be discovered; however, it is the elusive historical Blackout Ripper. During the event, she enlists helps from the Yard's forensics expert Sir Bernard Spilsbury, the father of modern CSI techniques. While not an expert by any means, I know that much of the material on Christie is factual. It is obvious that Collins has done extensive research on this event and on Christie.

The novel was a nice diversion. It is interesting to see how Collins weaves fact and fiction together. The people really existed, as did the event, which made the story fascinating. For a nice diversion and an interesting mystery, give "The London Blitz Murders" a try.
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I found the setting very interesting, and the characters about whom I am fairly familiar. However the ease of reading and the flow was a little difficult and at times i found tedious. The book was great idea, but a little long winded on the theatrical descriptions which I'm not so interested in. It picked up at the end.
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Other than for Poe's marvelous "Murders in the Rue Morgue" probably the earliest mystery writer that I ever read was Agatha Christie, so this book had a special place in my heart. I have been a big fan of her works and of her, one of the few authors that I have ever read biographies of. From what I've read Collins' portrayal of her seems authentic and utterly believable.

Like most readers, I'm sure, I like to "cast" the characters in any book in order to make it come alive even more. This is one reason I believe why I'm not a big fan of audiobooks. Listening to one person read a book to me is okay if I'm 4 years old and it's a bedtime story but i like the different personalities that different voices give to the characters, so until they get a nice big cast together and actually make a production out of audiobooks, I'll stick to reading thanks. Throughout this book my Agatha was played by Angela Lansbury and the visual I imagined was as she was during the "Murder She Wrote" years.

In any event this entry in the "disaster" series tells the true tale of a series of "ripper" like murders that actually took place during the war years in London. Although Dame Agatha was living in London during those years and indeed working at a pharmacy as part of the war effort, in the same building as Sir Bernard Spilsbury, the father of modern CSI techniques she didn't actually take a part in the investigation as she does in the book. Otherwise, as usual in this series, Collins and his staff have done their research diligently and made the portrayals as accurate as possible while take sufficient fictional liberties to make it a cracking good mystery with just enough red herrings to throw the reader off the track until the final pages. Get it, read it, see if you can figure out whodunnit before the final reveal.
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