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The Chalon Heads (Brock and Kolla Series #4)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2002

    Fast-paced murder mystery

    <p>Barry Maitland is a superb storyteller. 'The Chalon Heads' has twists and turns in just the right places, and a wonderfully diverse set of characters.</p> <p>The topic for the book is philately, or more accurately stamp forgery, which makes an interesting foil for the gruesome plot and autopsy scenes. The 'Chalon heads' are rare stamps portraying the head and 'naked shoulders' of the young Queen Victoria. Some of the characters find the picture sexier than a beautiful flesh-and-blood Portugese princess and there lies the heart of the story.</p> <p>Kathy and Brock are the same Detective Sergeant/Detective Chief Inspector pair who have featured in Barry Maitland's previous three books. They have a nicely balanced level of tension between them, especially when the Chief Inspector starts behaving oddly and the Internal Affairs people turn up on the doorstep.</p> <p>Professor Maitland doesn't have quite the same ear for spoken language that the great masters of British murder mysteries have: there are some oddities in his use of British dialect that had me laughing in all the wrong places. But, he makes up for it by keeping up a good, fast pace and a credible story line.</p> <p>I see that Barry Maitland has another in the series due to be published later this summer called Silvermeadow. Based on The Chalon Heads, that should be quite a treat.</p>

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