Posts Tagged ‘S T Haymon’

Ten thousand men have gathered on Monkenheath not far from the centre of Angleby in memory of Loy Tanner’s rebellion in the sixteenth century.  That gathering ended in hanging but the modern gathering seem peaceful if worrying for the powers that be in Angleby.  Inspect Ben Jurnet is not at all sure it is a police matter and in any case he is still dominated by the violent death of his girlfriend Miriam.


When Charlie Appleyard, leader of the gathering, is found dead in the city’s red light district the whole thing becomes a police matter.  I found this book compelling reading and quite disturbing at times.  The nature of crowds and the way they behave is well done and convincing and the book really shows how something small can turn a peaceful crowd into a riot.


I thought all the characters were convincing and believable and the examination of some of the depths of human nature was frightening and thought provoking.  The ending especially is the stuff of nightmares without being graphically described.  This is the last book in this underrated series and I would recommend the whole series to anyone who likes traditional crime novels with added psychological depth.


Read Full Post »

There is an explosion outside the block of flats where Detective Inspector Ben Jurnet lives which renders him homeless and kills his girlfriend Miriam.  Plunged into devastating grief Ben finds many suspects from his past cases who are not exactly sorry that he has suffered a tragedy.


Could the bomb have been meant for him or was Miriam its real target?  Was the attack to do with terrorism or was it personal?  There is plenty of evidence to support any of the possible theories but Ben is not in a fit state to investigate them and he feels responsible for one of Miriam’s protégées – Pnina.


I found this a very moving book.  The day to day effect of grief on an individual was very well done and I found myself getting angry and upset with Ben.  I thought the way local criminals appear out of the woodwork was extremely good and there was an element of poetic justice in some of the events related to the sub plots.  I liked the way Ben’s relationship with the Superintendent was treated to and the love/hate aspects were believable and understated.


If you want a straightforward crime novel then this probably isn’t for you as the crime is secondary to the effect it has on Ben.  It is well written and believable and I thought the section of the book set in Ireland was well done.  This is probably one of the best novels I’ve read about the effect of a violent crime on the people left behind.

Read Full Post »

Death of a Warrior Queen (Inspector Ben Jurnet 6) (Bello)Ben Jurnet is taking his girlfriend to the beach for a picnic.  Miriam has been in Israel for the last year and Ben feels as though he is in heaven now she is home.  Unfortunately the picnic results in the discovery of a body half buried in the sand dunes but even murder cannot destroy Ben’s joy in the reunion.  But this looks like being one of the most confusing cases of his career and it will be many months before it is solved.

There is also an archaeological dig in the area which is searching for Boudicca and buried treasure which is interested the locals.  The murder mystery is complex and exposes the best and the worst of human nature.  I enjoyed reading it though I didn’t think it was quite as good as some of the others in the series.  The murderer is far from obvious and I found I could not quite believe in the motive when everything was explained.  I did think in general that the characters were well done and I find Ben and his police colleagues convincing – especially his love/hate relationship with the Superintendent.

This is an entertaining series which can be read in any order and I like the Norfolk background which the author brings vividly to life.  If you like your crime stories in the classic mould then try S T Haymon’s Ben Jurnet series.



Read Full Post »

Ben Jurnet has been dragged under protest to a dinner at Angleby Castle commemorating the tercentenary of a well-known local scientist.  During the dinner a famous professor dies after drinking some orange juice meant for someone else and Ben find himself a witness to a suspicious death.


What follows is an fascinating and complicated plot involving many strange events and an equal number of strange people who may or may not be connected in some way which Ben find difficult to understand.  Then there’s his doubts about his long distance relationship with Miriam who is currently in Israel.


I enjoyed this mystery and found the academic rivalries well done and convincing.  I also liked the complex web of relationships between the suspects.  As ever the characters are well drawn and believable and Ben Jurnet’s haphazard religious conversion and doubts are convincing.


Will he eventually achieve his conversion and marry Miriam?  The jury’s out on that one though there is no doubt about his commitment to his job or his love for Angleby.  If you like classic crime novels then give this series a try – they can be read in any order.


Read Full Post »

It’s Easter in Angleby and there is a re-creation of the Crucifixion scene near the marketplace which is causing a bit of a stir as it shows three members of the pop group, Second Coming, crucified.  The group are playing a sell-out gig at the university and Ben Jurnet’s girlfriend, Miriam, wants to attend though it is not at all Ben’s scene.   Following the gig, the leader of the group, Loy Tanner, is found occupying centre stage in the Crucifixion scene – dead.


The ramifications of the case present Ben Jurnet with some tricky personal and professional challenges before the murderer is finally discovered.  I enjoyed this well written and well plotted mystery with its Norfolk background and interesting characters.  Ben’s continuing battle with Christianity and Judaism is very well done as his problematic relationship with the elusive Miriam.


S T Haymon is an underrated author in my opinion and deserves to be more widely known.  If you like Golden Age crime stories then you may well enjoy this series.

Read Full Post »

Detective Inspector Ben Jurnet is visiting Bullen Hall in the Norfolk countryside to collect some earrings which he has commissioned for his girlfriend Miriam from a jeweller who has one of the workshops on the estate.  He is invited to attend the party that evening for the departing curator and as he is at a loose end he decides to do so even though he hardly knows anyone who will be there.  After the party the new curator, Chad Shelden, is found dead in the moat and Jurnet is sent to investigate.

It is soon clear that many of the people attending the party are potential suspects in a case of did he fall or was he pushed?  Jurnet is morose and missing Miriam who is on holiday in the Greek islands and finds having met all his suspects in a social setting is something of a disadvantage.  Many secrets both from the recent and the distant past are going to come to light and more people will be dead before the mystery is solved.  Those familiar with Norfolk will have no difficulty in identifying the stately home on which Bullen Hall is based.


I enjoyed reading this well written and well plotted country house mystery and I thought the ending was exciting and atmospheric. The mixture of characters is very well handled and I really liked Percy the reformed burglar and his new found interest in literature.  The twists and turns of the Appleyard family history is well done as is the like to the long dead Anne Boleyn.  If you like classic crime novels in the tradition of the Golden Age of British crime fiction then try S T Haymon – a much underrated author in my opinion.  The series can be read in any order.

Read Full Post »

Ben Jurnet feels it isn’t really his job to investigate blasphemous graffiti in Angleby Cathedral but that is what he has been asked to do.  But when an apparently ritual murder of a choir boy leads to a political demonstration getting out of hand he finds himself in the middle of something much more serious.   Political and racial tensions in the city are coming to a head and are mirroring events which took place nearly one thousand years ago when the murder of little St Ulf polarised feelings.  To add to the tensions the grave of little St Ulf inside the cathedral is being excavated by a team of archaeologists.


I found this an interesting and well written mystery and in my opinion S T Haymon is a much underrated author.  Ritual Murder is a mystery in the classic mould with an interesting and likeable detective with an assistant who has no qualms about telling his superior if he thinks he’s making a mistake.  The background is interesting to anyone who knows Norwich on which the fictitious city of Angleby is based.


I particularly liked the characterisation in this book – the flamboyant archaeologist , Professor Mallory Pargeter and his assistants; the Rabbi who is instructing Ben Jurnet in the Jewish faith so that his girlfriend Miriam can be persuaded to marry him; the marvellously urbane superintendent who is Ben Jurnet’s boss.


The plot too is well drawn with many twists and turns and a nail biting finale.  If you like your mystery novels in the classic mould without too much on the page violence and an interesting background then give this series a try.  They can be read in any order.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »