The Norfolk Mystery (County Guides Mystery Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Love Miss Marple? Adore Holmes and Watson? Professor Morley's guide to Norfolk is a story of bygone England: quaint villages, eccentric locals—and murder …

It is 1937, and disillusioned Spanish Civil War veteran Stephen Sefton is broke. So when he sees a mysterious advertisement for a job where "intelligence is essential," he eagerly applies.

Thus begins Sefton's association with Professor Swanton Morley, an ...

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The Norfolk Mystery (County Guides Mystery Series #1)

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Overview

Love Miss Marple? Adore Holmes and Watson? Professor Morley's guide to Norfolk is a story of bygone England: quaint villages, eccentric locals—and murder …

It is 1937, and disillusioned Spanish Civil War veteran Stephen Sefton is broke. So when he sees a mysterious advertisement for a job where "intelligence is essential," he eagerly applies.

Thus begins Sefton's association with Professor Swanton Morley, an omnivorous intellect. Morley's latest project is a history of traditional England, with a guide to every county.

They start in Norfolk, but when the vicar of Blakeney is found hanging from his church's bell rope, Morley and Sefton find themselves drawn into a rather more fiendish plot. Did the reverend really take his own life, or is there something darker afoot?

A must-read for fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Charles Todd, this novel includes plenty of murder, mystery, and mayhem to confound.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062320803
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/12/2013
  • Series: County Guides Mystery Series , #1
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 3,473
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Ian Sansom is a frequent contributor and critic for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The London Review of Books, and The Spectator and a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. He is the author of nine books, including Paper: An Elegy and the Mobile Library series.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Highly recommended!

    Cozy English but dark, too. Writing has a retro (but not dated) feel to it. That, and the fact that the two main characters felt so very real, I had to check the copyright to make sure this was indeed a work of fiction! I can't wait for the next County Guides Mystery Series to come out. Thank you, Barnes and Noble, for introducing me to what was for me a new author.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining and Intriguing

    THE NORFOLK MYSTERY will take you back in time to a bygone England while entertaining you with an intriguing plot. It’s 1937 and disillusioned Spanish Civil War veteran Stephen Sefton is broke. A mysterious ‘intelligence is essential’ advertisement grabs his attention and leads to his encounter with Professor Swanton Morley, an omnivorous intellect. Morley wants to do a history of traditional England including a guide to every county. Their first stop is in Norfolk. However, things don’t go as planned when the vicar of Blakeney is found hanging from his church’s bell rope. Did he take his own life or is there something more fiendish at hand? Morley and Sefton can’t leave until the death is settled, but some of the townspeople can’t wait for them to be gone. Author Ian Sansom has a unique way of drawing the reader in. His writing is smooth and moves at a steady pace holding the reader’s attention until the end. The characters are well-developed, eccentric and likeable. Sansom’s vivid descriptions enhances the story of a quaint England countryside with unusual locals and a suspicious suicide. The journey to find the answers is enjoyable making THE NORFOLK MYSTERY hard to put down. If you enjoy murder, mystery and mayhem with a hint of Agatha Christie, this is definitely a book for you. FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me as part of the author’s blog tour in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    3.5 stars A war-weary young man returns to England after learni

    3.5 stars

    A war-weary young man returns to England after learning that following the Communist dream is perhaps not so idyllic as he’d been led to believe, especially considering the particularly brutal nature of the Spanish Civil War. At loose ends, Stephen Sefton seeks employment, having little interest in his earlier position as schoolmaster, and falls into what appears to be an innocuous occupation as assistant to Professor Swanton Morley who intends to write thirty-nine books in the next two years. Each of these books will focus on a single English county with the goal of memorializing the good things about those counties for future generations.

    Seems harmless enough, right? Stephen thinks so until, in the very first county, a woman with the delightful name of Mrs. Snatchfold rushes out of a church having found the reverend’s body hanging from a bell-rope and the professor believes that what appears to be suicide is, in fact, something else entirely. When the police arrive, in the person of a very young constable named Ridley, it becomes painfully apparent that his idea of police work does not include bodies that are, er, dead. Thus, an engaging detective story of the whodunit sort and the fun (for the reader) begins despite the disruption to the professor’s tight schedule. The reader can only sympathize with young Ridley as he’s overrun by the fussy and somewhat pompous Morley.

    Morley’s daughter, Miriam, has accompanied the two men to act as official driver and photographer and among the real pleasures of The Norfolk Mystery are the pictures scattered throughout the text. One of my favorites is “Mrs. Snatchfold, thoroughly recomposed”. What a very clever idea!

    I’ve been a big fan of Ian Sansom ever since the first Mobile Library Mystery but The Norfolk Mystery appeals to me a shade less. In the final analysis, I think the problem—for me, probably not for others—is that I found it a bit ponderous in the early chapters. That’s largely because of the dated language, which seems to me to be more suited to a Victorian or Edwardian setting, but also because the pacing is slow, with perhaps too much exposition. That gets better as the trio sets out for the first county. Sansom’s trademark gentle humor is in full force here and it does have the cachet of a traditional English mystery, something I love. Despite the reservations I’ve mentioned, I’ll definitely be trying the next one in the series.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2014

    Torturous

    Jumpy plot line. Did not hold my interest. Was torture to finish. End made zero sense. If this is the standard for the author do not bother with more, I know I won't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2014

    Boring !

    The only thing good that can be said about this book. If you suffer from insomnia, this book is the cure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    Anonymous

    As a fan of Ian Sansom's Mobile Library Mystery series, I was thrilled to find The Norfolk Mystery! I love Sansom's subtle humor. He has developed a wonderful, erudite detective in Swanton Morley, reminicent of Edmund Crispin's Gervace Fen. (Another personal favorite!)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    Loved it!

    Made me think of life in a different way. Especially enjoyed the trivia describing villages. Reads just like a book written in the 30s. Can't wait to read the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Mishmash muddle alas a collapsed classic english

    One can always hope but too boring and annoying a two because i read through it and bought it to my regret but saves me from future encounters with author buska

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    I didn't care for this one.

    Too much jumping around in this book. It was a slow read.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2013

    Tedious at times but generally a good story!

    Tedious at times but generally a good story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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