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Star Fall: A Bill Slider British Police Procedural (A Bill Slider Mystery) Hardcover – March 1, 2015
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“Laughaloud levity that’s pure genius. Highly recommended” (Booklist Starred Review)
“Harrod-Eagles is never less than expert in presenting suspects” (Kirkus Reviews)
Who would kill a charming antiques expert Rowland Egerton, the darling of daytime TV? Bill Slider and his team are on the case . . .
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While not exactly a locked-room mystery, Detective Inspector Bill Slider knows from the first moments that this case will be difficult. Not difficult in terms of identifying the murderer necessarily, but difficult from a public standpoint as the body is that of Rowland Egerton, a well-known, highly popular and highly respected celebrity host of the “Antiques Galore!” television show. Thus, the media and his superiors will be all over this, watching every move and pushing for a quick resolution.
However, we, the readers, know there will be no quick resolution since there are still several hundred pages left in the book. And Bill Slider figures that part out just as quickly when he learns that the only people who respected Egerton were his viewing audience and his clients. Not one single co-worker, with the exception of his 20-years-plus business partner, could stand the man. And Slider cannot find even one single non-coworker who will admit to anything more than a bare toleration of the man.
Thus the murder of a “public personality” whose occupation put him into the intimate areas of the houses of many celebrities, aristocrats and government officials is going to create a media firestorm at the very least. And there will be a political minefield to navigate if the evidence begins to point toward someone involved with the BBC or the government. So when a gag order is laid down before his first team can even arrive at the murder scene, Slider knows his job and the jobs of his detectives are on the line.
“Star Fall” is a bit of a departure from the way Cynthia Harrod-Eagles writes a typical Slider novel. There is no car chase, no foot chase and no “shoot out at the OK Corral.” If you need an adrenaline rush to accompany your murder mysteries, this entry in the series may bore you senseless.
However, if you enjoy watching a CID team bandy about theories and actually use their brains rather than their hormones to ferret out clues to support those theories, you should enjoy this work. If you like to read detailed, emotional interviews and interrogations to see if you can spot the clues before Slider or a team member does, then you should enjoy this work.
If you appreciate Slider’s knowledge of his team members’ skills and his ability to utilize those skills – without favoritism and without rancor for any weaknesses – you should enjoy this book. And if you enjoy watching a team work as a team rather than for personal gain or individual glory, you will definitely appreciate this entry.