In this final part of the Fordhamton Trilogy the first Fordhamton Arts Festival gets off to a bad start when the stand-in for the school’s production of The Real Inspector Hound is found murdered during the dress rehearsal.
The murder brings Detective Inspector Miles Davis back to town. His new role in Intelligence leads him straight to the American listening post at Oates Hall and the unofficial investigations by Lynne Anderson, the recently deceased stand-in.
Suspicion for the murder immediately falls on the organiser Jeremy Hawkins owing to his past as a student activist. The lives of other members of the cast are revealed and the list of suspects continues to grow.
Davis’ investigations are not helped by the anarchic nature of the Festival exhibits, nor a second strange accident to a member of the cast. As a last resort Davis takes the part of Inspector Hound and unmasks the murderer as well as finding love in the most unusual circumstances.
About the Author
John Barber was born in London at the height of the UK Post War baby boom. The Education Act of 1944 saw great changes in the way the nation was taught; the main one being that all children stayed at school until the age of 15 (later increased to 16). For the first time working class children were able to reach higher levels of academic study and the opportunity to gain further educational qualifications at University. This explosion in education brought forth a new aspirational middle class; others remained true to their working class roots. The author belongs somewhere between the two. Many of the author’s main characters have their genesis in this educational revolution. Their dialogue though idiosyncratic can normally be understood but like all working class speech it is liberally sprinkled with strange boyhood phrases and a passing nod to cockney rhyming slang. John Barber’s novels are set in fictional English towns where sexual intrigue and political in-fighting is rife beneath a pleasant, small town veneer of respectability. They fall within the cozy, traditional British detective sections of mystery fiction. He has been writing professionally since 1996 when he began to contribute articles to magazines on social and local history. His first published book in 2002 was a non-fiction work entitled The Camden Town Murder which investigated a famous murder mystery of 1907 and names the killer. This is still available in softback and as an ebook, although not available from Smashwords John Barber had careers in Advertising, International Banking and the Wine Industry before becoming Town Centre Manager in his home town of Hertford. He is now retired and lives with his wife and two cats on an island in the middle of Hertford and spends his time between local community projects and writing further novels.