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Miss Christie Regrets Paperback – January 12, 2017
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Working alongside him is DS Karen Willis, DI Bob Metcalfe, and DC Priya Desai. With four suspects, the case takes a strange twist when another body is discovered not too far away, at the old Isokon building. This body has been hidden for many years, with the police estimating that the killing took place somewhere between late the 1930’s, and early 1940’s.
A connection is soon made between the two murders. Peter was working on a project about the building. One of the suspects is a grandchild of a former resident, plus there were lots of strange goings-on at the Isokon building in the late 1930’s. It’s up to the detectives to confirm if there is a direct link, and find their killer. The process though is hampered by information being held by special branch; information that is regarded as top secret.
Can letters from a former resident during the late 1930’s, one Miss Agatha Christie, hold some key information?
I have awarded the book four and a half stars, out of five, due to the fact that I was thoroughly hooked from the start, and I had a need to know what had occurred, and why. I found it hard to put down, and kept on telling myself, ‘just one more page’.
I enjoyed getting to know the main characters, and found them easy to get a feel for, however I found the relationship triangle between Bob, Peter (a different one from the deceased), and Karen was rather far-fetched, and didn’t interest me in the slightest. In my opinion there really was no need to add a love story to a thriller/crime book. I haven’t read the first book in the series, and have been informed that the triangle started in that book.
The plot was quite slow. It was more about the police work, and how they went about catching the killer, more than a gritty crime novel. There was a lot of new information being added to the case all the time, and some twists to the story, some predictable, others not so much. It reads like a classic, old-fashioned, who-done-it, murder mystery.
I love a good police/crime book, so this is why the book caught my attention. I have to say though that the second half of the book could do with another edit, as I spotted a few little mistakes. To be honest, these didn’t take away my enjoyment of the book, though one had me baffled, I had to ask my husband to read the paragraph to make sure I wasn’t reading it wrong.
If you like a good crime book, one that doesn’t have any grizzly moments, and scenes of violence, then this will be a great book for you. Though this book can be read as a stand-alone, you would be better starting with book one – ‘A Death in Profile‘.
Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed
Fraser-Sampson has a way of writing that transports you to another era while simultaneously keeping you within the present day. The mix of old-world charm and modern-day workplace political issues makes for a great combination and adds a unique quality not seen in current crime fiction.
When bodies are found at two of Hampstead’s iconic buildings, Detective Simon Collison suspects that they are connected despite the deaths being decades apart. The discovery that Agatha Christie may somehow be involved results in a present-day tale with an historical slant.
With murders taking place within Hampstead’s Burgh House and Isokon Building I found myself intrigued about these two settings as well as the connection with Agatha Christie. I found myself resorting to Google to find out more and it became clear that Fraser-Sampson has undertaken careful research in order to be historically accurate. As a fan of historical fiction, I love that Fraser-Sampson has managed to seamlessly combine historical fact with detective fiction. I found myself totally drawn into the story, the characters and their world.
What I really love about these books is the return to the good old-fashioned detective story with the emphasis being on the process of eliminating suspects and evidence finding. Don’t take me wrong by my use of the phrase ‘old-fashioned’ as I mean this in a complimentary way. You get right into the nitty-gritty of the police work, and are constantly trying to piece the evidence together to try and work out who did it. With the addition of tongue-in-cheek moments when Fraser-Sampson refers to detective fiction as being unrealistic, Miss Christie Regrets is both charming and amusing.
Does it work as a standalone novel? Yes it does, however I feel the reader would benefit from reading the first volume, Death In Profile, to have gained knowledge of the characters’ history. I enjoyed spending time with the familiar characters and continue to be interested in how their stories will progress. Fraser-Sampson has given just enough information about Tom Allen to make him a character I want to know more about, and the relationship between Bob Metcalfe, Karen Willis and Peter Collins is a thread in which I am dying to know what the outcome will be. Fraser-Sampson has created interesting characters that easily sustain a series of books.
It’s fair to say that I have developed a real affection for this series and Miss Christie Regrets is a great follow up to the first. I found it both interesting, charming and, strangely, comforting. If you want a change from your usual crime novel definitely check out The Hampstead Murders. It appeals greatly to my love of the classics and modern crime fiction adding a welcome change within my reading. While I enjoyed the first in the series I have to say I enjoyed Miss Christie Regrets even more, and I look forward to seeing where Fraser-Sampson takes us next.
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