Book Review – Maigret and the Lazy Burglar by Georges Simenon

Maigret investigates a gang who are holding up jewellers and security guards collecting money from businesses. He’s not really in control of the case due to recent new procedures introduced by the public prosecutor’s office. The case that really interests him is one involving the murder of Cuendet the burglar of the title, though I would have said that Cuendet wasn’t ‘lazy’ more incredibly patient.

In the end, Maigret knows who murdered Cuendet – the burglar chose the wrong house at the wrong time – but the crime will go unpunished as the people responsible are well connected in Paris.

The gang are also caught and so both cases are closed, but Maigret seems to gain little satisfaction from this.

The book is 151 pages and the story just flies by as it’s so easy to read. The reader is there with Maigret at all times. There’s no unnecesary detail and the characters of the people are well defined. I can imagine myself going around Paris and seeing the places Maigret goes too in these stories and appreciating this is what real life was like at the time. There are no descriptions of the well-known tourist places, just the neighbourhoods Maigret knows and works in. It’s all incredibly impressive.

Julian Worker is a writer of travel books, mystery stories, and fictional lists. His work can be seen here.

Book Review – Fear on the Phantom Special

A very readable story of 350 pages, the 17th in the Railway Detective series by Edward Marston

The murderer(s) are not obvious at all. At various times I suspected most of the leading characters but none of them were the ones who dunnit! There is a slightly weird ending which to my mind needs some explanation and I hope there’s a sequel explaining the ending. The only quibble is the method deployed to murder a character, which I think would have been heard by someone, but maybe not.

This book is recommended and I especially like how there are two mysteries in one, one being investigated by Robert Colbeck in the Lake District and another by his wife in London of a less serious nature.

Julian Worker is a writer of travel books, mystery stories, and fictional lists. His work can be seen here.

27th July – The Woods of St Francis Mystery

This is the sixth book in the Inspector Knowles series.

There’s a new retriever in Goat Parva called Banjo and he’s providing good competition for Bingo, the favourite of Mrs Adelaide Hills.

Banjo finds a body in nearby Manton Rempville. The initials of the victim are AB.

Soon a victim with the initials CD is found in the Assisi Lake in the Woods of St Francis and the following day a victim with the initials EF is found axed to death near the same lake.

Moving from pubs to social services to an artist’s cooperative, this murder mystery speeds through the villages around the Woods of St Francis. Is the local football club involved? Is someone at the newspaper covering up a story?

Or is an environmentalist choosing people who’ve committed crimes against nature and dispatching them?

Inspector Knowles, Sergeant Barnes, and the newly promoted DC Smythe are in a race against time to find the killer before another person meets their end.

Can Banjo and Bingo find where a tree has been chopped down to provide a vital clue in the investigation?

The book is available on NetGalley for you to read.

#TheWoodsofStFrancisMystery #NetGalley

Book Review – The Somme Stations

This is a book in the ‘Steam Detective’ series by Andrew Martin.

Detective Sergeant Jim Stringer is The Steam Detective though in this book, he’s in the army during World War I.

This is as much a book about the conditions in the First World War at the time of the various campaigns around The Somme as it is a crime novel. In fact Jim Stringer has someone confess they performed the crime in question but this doesn’t stop the Military Police accusing Stringer of the crime later in the book.

The great and small details in the book are excellent. The conditions the soldiers endured during The Battle of the Somme including the number of ways in which they were in danger are graphically illustrated. The shells fired by the Germans didn’t always contain High Explosive. Sometimes shrapnel shells cut people in half. The intricate details of how narrow-gauge steam engines of the time were operated by the driver are also lovingly provided by the author. This combination makes the war scenes compulsive reading as I learned things I didn’t know.

Julian Worker is a writer of travel books, mystery stories, and fictional lists. His work can be seen here.

23rd July – The Woods of St Francis Mystery

This is the sixth book in the Inspector Knowles series.

There’s a new retriever in Goat Parva called Banjo and he’s providing good competition for Bingo, the favourite of Mrs Adelaide Hills.

Banjo finds a body in nearby Manton Rempville. The initials of the victim are AB.

Soon a victim with the initials CD is found in the Assisi Lake in the Woods of St Francis and the following day a victim with the initials EF is found axed to death near the same lake.

Moving from pubs to social services to an artist’s cooperative, this murder mystery speeds through the villages around the Woods of St Francis. Is the local football club involved? Is someone at the newspaper covering up a story?

Or is an environmentalist choosing people who’ve committed crimes against nature and dispatching them?

Inspector Knowles, Sergeant Barnes, and the newly promoted DC Smythe are in a race against time to find the killer before another person meets their end.

Can Banjo and Bingo find where a tree has been chopped down to provide a vital clue in the investigation?

The book is available on NetGalley for you to read.

#TheWoodsofStFrancisMystery #NetGalley

20th July – The Woods of St Francis Mystery

This is the sixth book in the Inspector Knowles series.

There’s a new retriever in Goat Parva called Banjo and he’s providing good competition for Bingo, the favourite of Mrs Adelaide Hills.

Banjo finds a body in nearby Manton Rempville. The initials of the victim are AB.

Soon a victim with the initials CD is found in the Assisi Lake in the Woods of St Francis and the following day a victim with the initials EF is found axed to death near the same lake.

Moving from pubs to social services to an artist’s cooperative, this murder mystery speeds through the villages around the Woods of St Francis. Is the local football club involved? Is someone at the newspaper covering up a story?

Or is an environmentalist choosing people who’ve committed crimes against nature and dispatching them?

Inspector Knowles, Sergeant Barnes, and the newly promoted DC Smythe are in a race against time to find the killer before another person meets their end.

Can Banjo and Bingo find where a tree has been chopped down to provide a vital clue in the investigation?

The book is available on NetGalley for you to read.

#TheWoodsofStFrancisMystery #NetGalley

18th July – The Woods of St Francis Mystery

This is the sixth book in the Inspector Knowles series.

There’s a new retriever in Goat Parva called Banjo and he’s providing good competition for Bingo, the favourite of Mrs Adelaide Hills.

Banjo finds a body in nearby Manton Rempville. The initials of the victim are AB.

Soon a victim with the initials CD is found in the Assisi Lake in the Woods of St Francis and the following day a victim with the initials EF is found axed to death near the same lake.

Moving from pubs to social services to an artist’s cooperative, this murder mystery speeds through the villages around the Woods of St Francis. Is the local football club involved? Is someone at the newspaper covering up a story?

Or is an environmentalist choosing people who’ve committed crimes against nature and dispatching them?

Inspector Knowles, Sergeant Barnes, and the newly promoted DC Smythe are in a race against time to find the killer before another person meets their end.

Can Banjo and Bingo find where a tree has been chopped down to provide a vital clue in the investigation?

The book is available on NetGalley for you to read.

#TheWoodsofStFrancisMystery #NetGalley

Treasure Island – Review

It’s a classic and rightly so. A tale of pirates, the high seas, and of course a treasure map created by the buccaneer Captain Flint. The many memorable characters include Long John Silver, Jim Hawkins, Ben Gunn, Billy Bones, and Blind Pew.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s original title for this book was ‘The Sea Cook’ as that was Long John Silver’s occupation. The book was written in Braemar and Davos in 1881 and first serialised in the magazine Young Folks between October 1881 and January 1882 before being published in book form in 1883.

Essentially what happens is that Billy Bones – a member of the crew of The Walrus, the ship of Captain Flint – stays at The Admiral Benbow inn run by Jim Hawkins’s parents. When some of Billy Bones’s ex-crewmates come visiting to find the treasure map he has in his sea chest, Jim finds the treasure map first and informs Dr Livesey and Squire Trelawney of this. They all proceed to Bristol, obtain a vessel called The Hispaniola, and set sail for Treasure Island. Of the crew who set out, only 5 return.

16th July – The Woods of St Francis Mystery

This is the sixth book in the Inspector Knowles series.

There’s a new retriever in Goat Parva called Banjo and he’s providing good competition for Bingo, the favourite of Mrs Adelaide Hills.

Banjo finds a body in nearby Manton Rempville. The initials of the victim are AB.

Soon a victim with the initials CD is found in the Assisi Lake in the Woods of St Francis and the following day a victim with the initials EF is found axed to death near the same lake.

Moving from pubs to social services to an artist’s cooperative, this murder mystery speeds through the villages around the Woods of St Francis. Is the local football club involved? Is someone at the newspaper covering up a story?

Or is an environmentalist choosing people who’ve committed crimes against nature and dispatching them?

Inspector Knowles, Sergeant Barnes, and the newly promoted DC Smythe are in a race against time to find the killer before another person meets their end.

Can Banjo and Bingo find where a tree has been chopped down to provide a vital clue in the investigation?

The book is available on NetGalley for you to read.

#TheWoodsofStFrancisMystery #NetGalley

14th July – The Woods of St Francis Mystery

This is the sixth book in the Inspector Knowles series.

There’s a new retriever in Goat Parva called Banjo and he’s providing good competition for Bingo, the favourite of Mrs Adelaide Hills.

Banjo finds a body in nearby Manton Rempville. The initials of the victim are AB.

Soon a victim with the initials CD is found in the Assisi Lake in the Woods of St Francis and the following day a victim with the initials EF is found axed to death near the same lake.

Moving from pubs to social services to an artist’s cooperative, this murder mystery speeds through the villages around the Woods of St Francis. Is the local football club involved? Is someone at the newspaper covering up a story?

Or is an environmentalist choosing people who’ve committed crimes against nature and dispatching them?

Inspector Knowles, Sergeant Barnes, and the newly promoted DC Smythe are in a race against time to find the killer before another person meets their end.

Can Banjo and Bingo find where a tree has been chopped down to provide a vital clue in the investigation?

The book is available on NetGalley for you to read.

#TheWoodsofStFrancisMystery #NetGalley