A wryly entertaining new crime caper from Lynne Truss, author of “the funniest crime novel of 2018” (Wall Street Journal) and the New York Times bestseller Eats, Shoots & Leaves.
1957: In the beach town of Brighton, music is playing and guests are sunning themselves, when a young man is found dead, dripping blood, in a deck chair.
Constable Twitten of the Brighton Police Force has a hunch that the fiendish murder may be connected to a notorious nightspot, but his captain and his colleagues are-as ever-busy with other more important issues. Inspector Steine is being conned into paying for the honor of being featured at the Museum of Wax, and Sergeant Brunswick is trying (and failing) to get the attention of the distraught Brighton Belles who found the body. As the case twists and turns, Constable Twitten must find the murderer and convince his colleagues that there's an evil mastermind behind Brighton's climbing crime rate.
Our incomparable team of detectives are back for another outing in the second installment of Lynne Truss's joyfully quirky crime series.
About the Author
Lynne Truss is a columnist, novelist and broadcaster whose Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation was a New York Times bestseller. Truss lives in Brighton. Lynnetruss.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.5 stars. I wish to thank NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review. I regret that I had difficulty maintaining interest in this book. I usually enjoy quirky characters, humour and mystery, and am sorry that this didn't work for me. The language and witticisms belonged to Britain of the 1950s and the references were sometimes lost on me. I put effort into checking out unfamiliar words and names. Jumping from one clever witty passage to another disrupted the hilarity I should have been feeling and became tiresome. I did enjoy the quirky characters in the police department and in the criminal underworld. I think many readers would appreciate this book, but it's style didn't appeal to me. Set in Brighton in 1957, the police force is mostly in denial about a rising crime wave. Constable Twitten is aware that a criminal mastermind is at work. While Inspector Steine is getting measured for a wax effigy of himself at a tacky museum, Twitten steps outside the room and overhears a conversation between two young lovers planning to meet and run away together. He makes notes of the details. Soon the young man is found dead on a beach chair. Twitten tries to convince Inspector Steine that he knows the identity of the man and his plans. Since the police department refuses to recognize criminal activity, they promptly close cases as unsolved, much to the frustration of Constable Twitten. Another body, this one headless, has been discovered in luggage. This case is closed as lacking in clues, but Twitten knows some clues exist. There is much to enjoy in the interaction of the idiosyncratic characters, but I regret that much of the clever repartee failed to resonate with me.
The Brighton Constabulary doesn’t have the most stellar of records due in large part to the ineptitude of one Inspector Steine and the meddling of Mrs. Groynes. The station charlady, Mrs. Groynes, is a criminal mastermind hiding in plain sight. She plies the force with tea and sweets, all while keeping an ear to the ground. Young Constable “Clever Clogs” Twitten is on to Mrs. Groynes, but after a murder in broad daylight they’ll have to put aside their differences in order to catch the killer. This is the second mystery/crime novel of Lynne Truss’s to feature the oddball detectives of Brighton. Set in the 50s, it is deviously plotted with a lot of red herrings to throw them and the reader off the scent. I adored this cast of characters, and was sad to say good-bye at the end. If humorous, cozy English mysteries are your cup of tea, then this one’s for you.