Sunday, 23 February 2020

Read in January 2020

The Royal Baths Murder
#4 in the Yorkshire Murder Mystery series
by J.R. Ellis (2019)
Kindle + Audible (9:46 h)
Audio narration by Michael Page

A writer of crime novels is found murdered at the Victorian baths in the Yorkshire town of Harrogate. The murderer, whoever it was, seems to have mysteriously vanished into thin air - and on top of all, it all took place during a crime writing festival! Another challenge for DCI Jim Oldroyd and his team... 

This is the fourth (and so far the last) in the Yorkshire Murder Mysteries series, which I happened to come across back in the autumn. I read the first two in October, the third in November, and this last one in January. I'd say you probably don't necessarily have to read them in the right order, as the individual mysteries in each book really come before the private lives of the detectives in this series. Myself, I bought the first one at cheap special deal price; and then decided to get the others as well as they weren't too pricey either. They also all came with a cheap deal on the audio version if you bought the Kindle as well. I like being able to switch between text and audio - and when dialects are involved (in this case Yorkshire), it's extra nice to get some "audio support" for the right atmosphere. 

The Vanishing Box
# 4 in the Stephens & Mephisto series (set in Brighton)
by Elly Griffiths

I love another mystery series by Elly Griffiths, which is set in Norfolk and with the forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway as lead character.  However, until now I had not read any book in this  series, which is set in Brighton in the 1950s, and in the world of variety shows and stage magic. When I happened to find this one at special deal price for Kindle, I decided to give it a go, even if it's the 4th in the series and I hadn't read the previous ones. 
"Christmas 1953. Max Mephisto and his daughter Ruby are headlining Brighton Hippodrome, an achievement only slightly marred by the less-than-savoury support act: a tableau show of naked 'living statues'. This might appear to have nothing in common with DI Edgar Stephens' current case of the death of a quiet flowerseller, but if there's one thing the old comrades have learned it's that, in Brighton, the line between art and life - and death - is all too easily blurred..."
Much as I suspected beforehand, the showbiz setting and characters did not appeal to me the same way that the Ruth Galloway series does. For some reason I've never really been a huge fan of variety shows and stage magic - whereas I always had a certain fascination for archaeology and history. That said, I have to admire the author for her ability to switch between the two different (sub-)genres.


  1. I think I would like the first one better, too.

  2. I really MUST get that Yorshire Mystery series! Any book set in Harrogate would interest me, of course, since it is the place where I always arrive and leave on my trips to and from Ripon, and the site of many a pleasant afternoon spent shopping with my sister and/or niece.
    Like you, my fascination for archaelogoy and history is much greater than for variety shows and stage magic.


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