by K.V. Martins
From the back blurb:
Australia is in the grip of the Great Depression and Harold is surrounded by opulence: tuxedos, sequined dresses and sumptuous food. But when a severe storm hits and electricity and telephone are cut off, Harold and the guests find that Roland Barry’s vast wealth cannot protect him, and Harold must uncover secrets, discover motives and find the killer.
This is a very enjoyable whodunnit. Very much in the style of Agatha Christie and set in 1933 Australia. It is well paced, fast from the get-go, Martins sets characters quickly and has a great touch with atmosphere and place. The era is evoked well, too with several historical references which had me checking for authenticity and happily proved accurate.
There are suspects a-plenty, motives everywhere and a very unpleasant victim. Harold’s Watson is a delightful surprise with a nose for a killer.
Though very Christie, I thought Martins did a great job of avoiding stereotypes and her characters were nicely nuanced. The victim was very one-dimensional but as a baddie he was great.
One writing technique I feel was overused and that was the revelation-suddenly-cut-off but I was undecided if this was a deliberate ruse so after the first couple I let them do their job without questioning too much.
Detective Senior Sergeant Harold Chesterfield of Sydney Central Police is a nicely written character and one I would happily read more of. His career advancement sets fair for some more interesting cases so I will be waiting avidly.
Much thanks to K.V. Martins for a great read.
Author: K.V. Martins
Publisher: Aroona Group Press
Available: Paperback:The Underground Bookstore, Wellington
https://www.theundergroundbookstore.nz/; Paper Plus, Kerikeri; via email@example.com
E-book and paperback: Amazon