Passage Of Crime

Passage Of Crime

by R. Michael Phillips

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London’s East End, once known for poor boroughs and a derelict rail yard, is enjoying an optimistic resurgence. It’s becoming an affordable option for middleclass residents looking to have their pounds go further. Despite this sweeping out of old rubbish, a cautious step is still advised when passing by a few remaining dark alleys. If only Mary Walsh had listened.

Prophet Brown, a disfigured, pathetic little man, called Detective Inspector Flannel after stumbling upon the body of a young woman in one such alley. Flannel quickly realizes she is not the random victim she appears. Add to that, the crime scene is hauntingly reminiscent of an old unsolved case; a case that almost ended an otherwise brilliant career eight years ago.

For the moment, Prophet Brown is the only solid link between the two cases. He has been in the employ of Lord Alfred Raventhorn, a charismatic and well-connected Member of Parliament for 17 years—the very man Flannel unsuccessfully accused of murder in the previous case. It should be noted here, in the private conversations of those of impeccable character and devoid of a tendency toward exaggeration, remarks have been made regarding the MP's rumored ill treatment of Prophet.

Flannel finds himself navigating a very treacherous course. His superiors have warned him for the last time to tread cautiously around the MP, and the rising tide of the past threatens to pull him under. Reluctantly, Inspector Flannel turns to a most unlikely ally, a reformed pickpocket named Ernie Bisquets. Together they disentangle a mesh of old lies and current clues attempting to bring a ruthless murderer to justice–ignoring the dangerous notion of murder being a carefully disguised trait passed from one generation to the next.

PASSAGE OF CRIME is a traditional English mystery that brings together the unlikely combination of a dowdy old Scotland Yard Inspector and a plucky reformed pickpocket in this whodunit set in contemporary London.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940148381648
Publisher: East London Press
Publication date: 07/18/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 309
File size: 518 KB

About the Author

Michael is a classically trained artist who has been painting for over 25 years. By combining his creative talents with a passion for art and antiquities he conceived the fictional world of the East London Adventurers Club, home to The Ernie Bisquets Mystery Series. Michael has completed 3 books in the series and has plans for at least five additional books following the adventurers of London’s most remarkable pickpocket.

Michael is a proud member of the Crime Writer’s Association and Mystery Writers Of America.

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Passage Of Crime 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Look forward to the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is another fine book in this series - interesting story line, great characters, and the book kept me guessing until the very end! London feels very real in this series, rather timeless, and the story moved along in good pace. This is the third in the series that I've read, I like the characters, and am looking forward to the next adventures!
Ritr614 More than 1 year ago
R. Michael Phillips brings us Along Came a Fifer, Rook, Rhyme & Sinker, and Passage of Crime. The first three books in hopefully a long series, featuring Ernie Bisquets and The East London Adventurer’s Club. As part of a book tour, I was happy to review all three books. Aristotle’s Poetics identifies six parts of a good story: Plot, Character, Thought, Diction, Melody, and Spectacle. In this series, the author does a splendid job of all six, and particularly shines with Character and Spectacle. Book One – Along Came a Fifer . . . Our central character, Ernie Bisquets, is recently released from prison. As he rides a bus toward his new life, the author skillfully blends the past and present to provide necessary exposition, all the while continuing the forward motion of the story. As Ernie settles into his surprising new life, we are introduced to a household of characters, each with their own story and their own goals and conflicts, yet never overshadowing the central character’s own journey to redemption. Nigel and Lily are a delight to observe and Mr. Patterson is the authority that binds them together. Mrs. Chapman, the housekeeper, is so charmingly dimensional that I really wish I could meet her. Keep an eye out for her own little surprise to appear. Book 2 – Rook, Rhyme & Sinker Here we learn more of Inspector Flannel and his beef with Bisquets. (couldn’t resist) Ivory chessmen, bodies in the Canal, and fabulous redirection will take you on a ride through the grey rain, an appreciation for antiquities, amusing chapter titles, and more scrumptious dinners prepared by Mrs. Chapman. Nigel and Lily’s story grows, and somehow the author keeps all the sneaky characters nicely described so you know who is who. Or do you? I particularly enjoyed the scene with Slippery where he, after nabbing someone’s umbrella, walks away from Ernie, and out into the rain. Ernie then sees the umbrella coming back, but sheltering three bemused ladies instead. This comic moment skillfully revealed more of Slippery’s character with a hats off to their old tricks. Book 3 – Passage of Crime The newest in the series plops us right in the middle of Inspector Flannel’s world of dark alleys and even darker criminals — a city with a “monochromatic haze, dotted here and there with the deep reds of the familiar London buses.” We learn of Flannel’s history with Lord Raventhorn, and with the author’s skillful use of atmosphere, we are soon immersed in the headlines of the “Brick Lane Slasher,” reminiscent of those Whitechapel Murders. Ernie’s world and Flannel’s are smoothly brought together as Ernie, while observing a woman’s dangling purse (will he revert to his old ways?), catches the eye of Inspector Flannel. Ernie is pulled in to the investigation, but this time without the help of Patterson. Like the prop master of a fine theatrical performance, the author brings surrounding objects into play to further reveal character. Ernie pushes a box of tissue toward a tearful woman, Nigel instinctively wraps a blanket around Lily, Inspector Flannel comforts the shoulders of a trembling man, and Raventhorn brushes at the new crease in his trousers, telling us he is all appearance and to look no further. Small moments, but necessary strokes of color to the canvas. Added to this portrait of characters is one shadowy corner after another, where surprises leap out, secrets hide and taunt you, and when you think you’ve come out of the thick, wet fog, another twist, another revelation, and then a resolution to clean things up into a tidy package. Through these three stories, the author tells us not to ‘…dismiss the idea of this placid lake as a theater for the evil that lurks within a malevolent heart.” And “[e]motional speculation is to deductive reasoning what weeds are to a garden – at first sight they appear to belong, but eventually they obscure that which one hopes will come into bud.” People are not who they seem to be, whether using a disguise, changing their names, or starting over. The author nudges us to look a little closer, a little deeper, to discover the inhumanity under a clean surface, or, to reveal the humanity within. These three books are a must read, a carefully brushed painting, and a delight to remember as we come back to our own bright, sunny room.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
4 stars It started slow for me to get into the story and care about what was going on. Almost like just stating the facts about the murders. Once it got into todays events I started to connect and care about the crimes. It just might be to that I had not read any of the previous Ernie Bisquets Mysteries. The plot was that 8 years ago there was some ladies killed a certain way and the Inspector Flannel had a suspect he was looking at. The newspapers got a hold of who he was looking at and he almost lost his job over it. Inspector Flannel was removed from the case. Now it seems the killer is back killing again. Inspector Flannel is called by his snitch who found the victim. Inspector Flannel knows he can't be seen to investigate the case so he asks Ernie Bisquets to help look into it for him. Ernie Bisquets is a pickpocket who is now going straight in fact he has been helping his mentor with some of his cases. He does not like keeping him in the dark. Ernie does not want anymore women murdered either. So he starts to look into who the latest victim was. The characters I found out about slowly and took time for me to care about them. Once I got into the story more I liked the characters. The pacing was slow to begin as it told about the past victims. The setting is modern day London I would like to go back and read the first two books of Ernie Bisquets and see what I missed and read more about the characters. This is a clean read. I was given this ebook to read for purpose of review and to be part of its book tour