The Norfolk Mystery: A County Guides Mystery

The Norfolk Mystery: A County Guides Mystery

2.7 23
by Ian Sansom
     
 

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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

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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:
A County Guides Mystery , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
50,878
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Ian Sansom is a frequent contributor and critic for the UK publications The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, 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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The Norfolk Mystery (The County Guides) 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Determination alone got me through this book. Latin and whatever language phrases, obscure references and pompous vocabulary substituted for content. I don't know which I most disliked at the end: the main character or the author who penned him. Pass this one by.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tedious at times but generally a good story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonniemouse More than 1 year ago
This could be a great series. Plotting and denouement could be a little better. I'll definitely read more of the series though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
honeygrams5 More than 1 year ago
Didn't keep my interest. No action, mostly dull ,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had a realy hard time with this, had a hard time staying focused on it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not awful, not great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only thing good that can be said about this book. If you suffer from insomnia, this book is the cure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too much jumping around in this book. It was a slow read.
MasonCanyon More than 1 year ago
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.