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A Whiff of Cyanide: A thrilling twist on Golden Age crime (Hampstead Murders Book 3) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 308 pages
- Publication Date : June 2, 2017
- File Size : 1586 KB
- ASIN : B0711B7LV2
- Publisher : Urbane Publications Limited (June 2, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #931,810 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The victim is Ann Durham, a towering figure in the association. Her biggest creative successes were in the past, but she still commands – and offends. The police initially believe it might be suicide, but where’s the bottle that held the cyanide? And who handed Durham her last drink?
Detective Superintendent Simon Collison leads the investigation, and he soon learns that his team is traveling down a number of different paths. Suspects abound – the writer seeking to unseat Durham as head of the association; Durham’s daughter and boyfriend; an angry young woman who believes Durham robbed her father and grandfather; and more. One of the suspects is a character actress who has assumed her favorite role so well that it’s rumored she’s even changed her name – to Miss Marple. And like her namesake, she calmly (and accurately) predicts a second murder, “because there always is, isn’t there?”
“A Whiff of Cyanide” by Guy Fraser-Sampson is the third in the Hampstead Murder series, and it keeps the reader guessing all the way to the end. And while Fraser-Sampson is telling a good murder story, he’s also developing the side stories of his investigators, with Collison and his wife imminently expecting their first child; Collins and Willis in a rather unusual relationship with Bob Metcalfe, another detective on the investigating team; and Trent Allen, the same rank as Collison but who has to swallow his competitiveness and serve as Collison’s #2.
Fraser-Sampson is perhaps better known as an investment funds manager and business consultant. He’s a member of the teaching staff of the Cass Business School in London, an investment columnist, and the author of four books on finance and investment. In the history and fiction areas, he’s written a history of the Plantagenets, a review of cricket from 1967 to 1977 when the color barriers where breaking down, two successor novels to Mapp and Lucia novels of E.F. Benson, and now this Hampstead Murder series.
“A Whiff of Cyanide” is another solid, enjoyable entry in the Hampstead series.
Settling into A Whiff of Cyanide felt very much like meeting up with a group of old friends that you are completely comfortable with. I adore the characters and was pleased to be spending time with Bob Metcalfe, Karen Willis, Peter Collins and Simon Collison again.
A Whiff of Cyanide begins with a re-introduction to the characters and along with setting the scene it works perfectly as a refresher covering the salient points of the last two novels without going over old ground. This works perfectly as a reminder about where we had left the characters in the previous two books and also as an introduction to those who may be reading this as their first in the series. A Whiff of Cyanide does work as a standalone, however, you really are missing out if you don’t read Death in Profile and Miss Christie Regrets first.
An author dies during a crime writer’s convention that Peter is attending. Unsure as to whether her death is suicide or murder, the team have to investigate to get to the bottom of her death. What I love about these books is the use of old-fashioned detective work rather than reliance on modern-day forensic science and A Whiff of Cyanide is no different. Full of twists and turns that I never saw coming, I was hooked from the start and relished every surprise and revelation. I am so pleased this is not the last in the series.
The tongue-in-cheek humour throughout A Whiff of Cyanide makes this book all the more enjoyable. There is a character called Miss Marple and the setting of a writer’s convention gives Fraser-Sampson the opportunity to poke fun at his profession but, I hasten to add, not in a derogatory way. It adds another layer to the book. The references amongst the characters as to what would happen in a Golden Age crime novel which then go on to happen within the book is genius.
A great addition to the Hampstead Murders series, A Whiff of Cyanide lived up to my expectations and, dare I say, may be my favourite in the series so far. It has all of the charm and manners you would expect alongside a meticulous plot and twists that ensure you can’t wait for the next instalment. Fantastic and highly recommended. A Whiff of Cyanide is a welcome antidote to the current crime novels on the market.
Top reviews from other countries
This time our favourite detectives are investigating the murder of Ann Durham and from the title of the book you’ll guess cyanide plays its part.
There’s reason to believe this could have been suicide but It soon gets interesting when the evidence (or lack of) points to murder. Who did it..and even more so..how!
We get twists and turns at every corner when the detectives start looking into Ann’s life and the potential motives behind her murder explored. This really gets the cogs in your brain working worktime.
The author also gives us an insight into the lives if the detectives and while I can’t spoil it for the reader let me say things are certainly heating up and things are about to become a lot more complicated.
What the author gives the reader is a real whodunnit, the perfect mix of plot and character development to really get me sucked into the world he’s created. I really enjoy the old school vibe these tales have relying on gut instincts to lead the investigation at times.
Overall a cracking plot that had me hooked right until the last page.It’s fun and witty and if I’m honest a delightful read. The Hampstead Murders series just keeps getting better!
If you’ve not started the series yet what are you waiting for?
Most of the characters, well, the investigative team at least, are respectful and kindly towards one another which is quite unusual in today's society and especially in crime fiction. Even those with an axe to grind are seen to get over it eventually. Obviously this doesn't apply to the wrongdoers but we couldn't really expect them to or the crime would not be there to investigate. The author neatly remedies a tangled situation of his own making and brings a troublesome situation to a smooth solution.
Do not be misled by those remarks, this is not a cosy mystery, it is quite brutal in places with consequences which could be very far reaching for some characters! This author is pretty good at dropping red herrings into his stories and this particular book stinks of fish throughout.
Despite, or perhaps even because of, it's quirks, this is yet another absorbing read from Guy Fraser-Sampson. It eased the frustration of yet another night of insomnia without allowing me to mourn the missed sleep. I do hope there are more of these.
Guy Fraser-Sampson has created another elegantly written and highly entertaining mystery novel with his usual consummate skill.