Posts Tagged ‘Percy Peach’

To Kill a Wife (Inspector Peach Series Book 3)

Verna Hume is not exactly a popular person.  She is manipulative and cruel.  Rather too many people in her life would be happy to see her dead including her long suffering husband, Martin who has got to the point of wanting her dead even though she has finally agreed to a divorce.  Martin returns home after a weekend conference and finds her suffocated.

DI Percy Peach and D S Blake are soon on the trail and each of them have their own preferred suspects.  Was it Verna’s supercilious lover Hugh Pearson?  Or her father who seems to be afraid of her?  What about her sister, Sue or perhaps another lover – a renowned surgeon at the local hospital?

I enjoyed this carefully plotted murder mystery and failed completely to work out who had done it partly because I decided who I wanted to have done it far too early on in the book.  I like the police characters in this well written story.  All the books in the series can be read out of order though it is interesting to follow the development of the relationship between the two main characters if you read them in the order in which they were published.

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Who Saw Him Die? (Inspector Peach Series Book 1)

I have read most of this series but not this first book which introduces Inspector Percy Peach so I was glad to see it available as an e-book.  Tom Harrison jointly owns his large family home with his son Trevor and his wife and two children.

Trevor is a social worker and takes in people who have just been released from prison and helps them get back on their feet.  Tom doesn’t particularly like the set up and when Trevor shows him plans to extend the enterprise Tom announces that he will sell the house rather than share it with former prisoners.

A sudden death upsets everyone in the house and the advent of the police turning over all aspects of their lives upsets everyone as well as the fragile equilibrium within the house.  When more violence strikes everything is up in the air and Trevor’s project may even be in jeopardy leaving the former prisoners with the unenviable job of finding somewhere else to live.

This is an interesting story with a rather different setting from the ordinary crime novel.  Having read others in the series I don’t think it shows Percy Peach at his best but maybe I am biased. Though I do think the uneasy relationships between the people who share the house was very well done. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I have enjoyed other in the series so I wouldn’t recommend reading this book first even though it was published first.

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Murder at the Lodge

Percy Peach delights in tormenting his superior ‘Tommy’ Tucker with strange facts and figures showing that Freemasons are more likely to commit serious crimes than those who aren’t Freemasons.  When someone is murdered in the car park of the hotel during the local Lodge’s Ladies’ Night, Percy is highly amused and takes pleasure in treating his superior as a potential suspect as he was at the social event.

As Peach and D S Lucy Blake investigate this intriguing case they uncover secrets many of those at the gathering would prefer to leave buried in oblivion.  I like the police characters in this well written police procedural series and I like the humour as well.  The crime in this book is as ever complex and the suspects motivations are well done and believable. I didn’t work out who was responsible for the murder so I found it interesting following the steps of the police investigation.

I recommend this book and this series to anyone who enjoys conventional police procedural novels with interesting characters, touches of humour and well constructed plots.  The violence isn’t too graphic and there is little bad language which may well recommend the series to some readers.  The series can be read in any order.

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Merely Players

Adam Cassidy is the star of a popular TV detective series. Why would anyone hate him enough to kill him?  When DCI Percy Peach starts to dig under the surface of his life in the spotlight he soon discovers plenty of people who saw a different side to Adam including his wife, a former actress who gave up her career to raise his children.  Professional rivalries rarely escalate to the stage where someone is killed but it seems as though maybe Adam had upset people enough for them to be willing to pull the trigger and shoot him.

I listened to the audio book edition of this book and got so involved with the story that I was listening to it during the day whereas I usually listen to audio books just before I go to sleep.  I had to know what happened and who the murderer was.  I didn’t get it right either!.  I like Percy Peach as a character and I like the way the relationships between him and his subordinates is portrayed.

All the characters in the story are well drawn and I thought the book was well plotted.  This is an excellent series and I would recommend it to anyone who likes their crime novels without too much on the page violence and bad language.  Though the book is part of a series it can be read as a standalone novel as can the rest of the series.

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Only a Game (Peach and Blake)

Jim Capstick is a ruthless and very successful business man.  He is also the majority shareholder in Brunton Rovers football club which is currently doing very well and beating some big name sides. After one particular success he makes a shocking announcement which will affect the lives of many people currently associated with the club – Robbie Black – the manager and Darren Pearson the club secretary are likely to be especially affected though Edward Lanchester – a former chairman of the club and lifetime supporter is also upset by the news.

But even Jim could not have foreseen one of the effects of his announcement.  When murder affects Brunton Rovers, everyone is a suspect and Percy Peach – also a supporter of the club – must unravel the mystery and bring the murderer to justice.

This is a well written mystery with believable characters and dialogue.  I had sympathy for all the characters including the murderer.  I like all the police characters and the way they interact with each other.  Some readers may not believe how stupid Percy’s boss can be but I have come across high level managers in other organisations who are very similar and who don’t understand when their staff are joking and when they are serious.

I recommend this book and this series to anyone who likes their police procedural novels in the classic mode without too much on the page violence and bad language and with interesting and believable characters and dialogue.

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Remains to be Seen (A Percy Peach Mystery)

An undercover operation has been tracking the activities of a drugs ring and this results in a successful raid on a meeting of the big bosses of the drugs ring at Marston Towers, a stately home owned by one of the criminals and staffed by a collection of hand picked staff.  A fire in some of the outbuildings which have been converted to offices and living accommodation for staff shortly after the raid appears to have been started deliberately.  When a body is found in the ruins a murder investigation is launched.

This is a well written and well plotted police procedural with plenty of suspects, all of whom seem to be lying to the police even if the lies aren’t anything to do with the suspicious death itself.  I didn’t work out who had committed the murder or why and how they did it so I was in the dark just as much as Percy Peach and his team.  I thought the police raid and the glimpses the reader gets into life undercover were particularly well done.

This book is part of a very good series featuring Percy Peach and his colleagues in a variety of murder investigations.  All of them make entertaining reading, though some are better than others as is to be expected with a long running series.  I can recommend them to anyone who likes their crime novels without too much on the page violence and bad language. The series can be read in any order,

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Brothers' Tears (A Percy Peach Mystery)

When Jim O’Connor is shot dead during a social event, DCI Percy peach and his team have plenty of suspects.  O’Connor was a successful business man who combined legitimate with illegal businesses and the police were ever watchful of his activities.  Naturally he had plenty of enemies in the business world and the criminal world but it is always a victim’s nearest and dearest who are prime suspects and in this case Peach and his team look closely at his brother Dominic.

When Dominic is also found dead not long afterwards it begins to seem as though this could be something closer to home than a business rival as surely the two deaths must be connected.  I thought this book was well written and the criminal underworld it depicts is almost too realistic at times.  As ever the characters are well drawn and the book is well plotted.

I didn’t find this book held my attention quite as much as some of the books in this series have done but I still enjoyed it and found it interesting reading. I can recommend this book and this series to anyone who prefers their crime novels without too much on the page violence.

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