Title – Miss Christie Regrets
Author – Guy Fraser-Sampson
Genre – Mystery/Crime
Length – 320 Pages
Publication – Jan 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars
The second in the Hampstead Murders series opens with a sudden death at an iconic local venue, which some of the team believe may be connected with an unsolved murder featuring Cold War betrayals worthy of George Smiley. It soon emerges that none other than Agatha Christie herself may be the key witness who is able to provide the missing link. As with its bestselling predecessor, Death in Profile, the book develops the lives and loves of the team at ‘Hampstead Nick’. While the next phase of a complicated love triangle plays itself out, the protagonists, struggling to crack not one but two apparently insoluble murders, face issues of national security in working alongside Special Branch. On one level a classic whodunit, this quirky and intelligent read harks back not only to the world of Agatha Christie, but also to the Cold War thrillers of John Le Carre, making it a worthy successor to Death in Profile which was dubbed ‘a love letter to the detective novel’.
This book is the 2nd book in the Hampstead Murders series. I read the first book in the series Death in Profile recently and loved it so much I jumped at the opportunity to read this one.
The book starts of slowly but with a clear purpose as the author reminds us about the characters from the previous book, building on them but also giving enough information that you could read this book as a standalone.
So the tale itself is a brilliant whodunit. After a body is found the suspects are interviewed nothing concrete can be found. As more evidence comes to light the attention moves from one suspect to another and then for good measure a few twists are thrown in along the way to really put you off the scent.
One of the twists has links to the past and the very well-known Agatha Christie and this just added to the already intriguing tale.
What I really enjoyed about this tale is that until all the evidence is laid out the real killer could have been anyone, motives aplenty and no solid alibi’s leave you guessing.. then bang..the author has teased you long enough and finally fills in the blanks. The last twist I must admit I loved. I understood the motive but really didn’t see it coming.
The author’s style of storytelling is what really makes a good read, easy following, sharp informative chapters keep you gripped as little by little things are pieced together.
I also really liked that the author made this book much more than just a police procedural book, he gives the characters depth. Their own lives feature heavily in the story and this influences the way they tackle the case at times. This gave realness to the tale and really does make me hope the series continues as I’m invested in the team.
A special mention has to go to the cover on this one. This is the kind of cover that would make me buy the book regardless of the subject. It’s just looks so damn good in my opinion.