Posts Tagged ‘Sloan and Crosby’

Learning Curve: Sloan and Crosby

Derek Tridgell dies accusing someone, unknown, of murdering someone, unspecified.  Is this just the result of the strong painkillers he was on or is this a genuine accusation?  Sloan and Crosby must try and investigate the dead man’s life to see if they can work out which of the deaths which have affected him over the last few years could have been murder and if it was murder, who was responsible?  The dead man’s son, Paul isn’t making things easy for them as he seems to be antagonistic and could be lying.

This entertaining mystery has quite a complex plot and I certainly didn’t work out who was responsible for the murder or who was murdered.  Taking in industrial shenanigans, people who seem to be hiding something which may or may not be connected with the crime and a positively hair raising finale this book certainly kept me reading.

I have read all the previous Sloan and Crosby mysteries and thoroughly enjoyed them and this is, in my opinion, one of the best.  I love the wry humour of the writing and the characters of Sloan and Crosby and the irascible Superintendent Leeyes who loves attending evening classes. If you like mysteries without graphic violence or bad language then this series may interest you.  They can be read in any order.

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Injury Time: Collected Mysteries (The C. D. Sloan Mysteries)

An entertaining collection of short stories including Sloan and Crosby mysteries as well as others from an earlier era. I like short stories in general and I think crime short stories must be some of the most difficult to write successfully.  Catherine Aird is one of the crime writers of today who is excellent at short stories I think.

I read one of the them twice as it sees Sloan get the better of one of his superiors and the ACC acknowledges that he couldn’t have solved the mystery on his own. This is the story entitled ‘One Under the Eight’ and the mathematics involved is very cleverly done.  This has to be one of the cleverest short stories I’ve read for a long time.

I also liked ‘Lord Peter’s Touch’ in which a group of bell ringers adopt the pseudonyms of the characters in Dorothy L Sayers’ ‘The Nine Tailors’.  This is an excellent collection to read straight through or to dip in and out of in any spare moment during the day.

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Chapter and Hearse: Collected Mysteries (The C. D. Sloan Mysteries)

This is an excellent collection of short stories.  Many of them feature Sloan and Crosby, Catherine Aird’s series detectives but others are historical.  All have the author’s trademark humour and many have a neat twist at the end just when you think you’ve worked out what’s going on.

Not all stories include a murder, though many do.  I particularly liked the last story in this collection ‘Dummy Run’ which involves Crosby in a case of trespass which proves he isn’t as stupid as he sometimes appears to be to Sloan.

Another favourite of mine is ‘The Trouble and Strife’ in which someone goes missing and the solution is not at all what it appears at first sight to be.

If you want something to read with a cup of coffee or to pick up and put down in odd moments during the day these stories are ideal as each can be read in a few minutes and will leave you with a sense of satisfaction and generally a smile at the vagaries of human nature and the way the story has worked out.

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After Effects (The C. D. Sloan Mysteries)

An elderly woman dies in hospital of heart failure.  The death isn’t unexpected but she was part of a drugs trial and her son receives an anonymous call suggesting that maybe her death was a little premature.  Sloan and Crosby are clutching at straws and not getting any sort of help with their investigations when the doctor overseeing the drugs trials is found dead in his car – an apparent suicide.  But, the pathologist, Dr Dabbe believes he was murdered.

As more patients at local hospitals die unexpectedly, Sloan and Crosby are involved in a race against time to prevent further deaths of doctors and patients.  This is a well plotted and intriguing mystery with plenty of suspects and victims and a nail biting finish.  This is an enjoyable read with plenty of humour and some likeable characters.  I recommend this series to anyone who likes crime novels which concentrate on who done it and why.  The series can be read in any order.

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A Going Concern (The C. D. Sloan Mysteries)

An elderly woman dies an apparently natural death and a clause in her will insists that the police attend her funeral. The coroner is informed and it is decided that a post mortem needs to be carried out.

In addition she has appointed a relative she has hardly ever met to be her executor.  Amelia is on holiday with friends when she is informed of her great aunt’s death and she returns to deal with her estate only to find some very strange bequests in her will and that her house has been very thoroughly searched.

What seems at first like the paranoia of an elderly woman quickly turns into a complex investigation for Sloan and Crosby who set about it in their usual inimitable fashion.  This is, as ever, a well written mystery with plenty of wry humour and some amusing dialogue as well as an intriguing plot which shows how the past can influence events in the present.

I thoroughly recommend this entertaining and well written series to anyone who likes crime novels where the mystery is the important thing.  The series can be read in any order.

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The Body Politic (The C. D. Sloan Mysteries)

Alan Ottershaw is a mining engineer working in Lasserta, a small Middle Eastern country which has deposits of a particular ore needed for a secret weapon of great importance to the British government.  Relationships with Lasserta are tricky and when Alan knocks down and kills someone in a road accident it looks like becoming an international incident and threatens the mining interests of his employer.  Alan is sent home to Calleshire and no one is more relieved than he is.

When the re-enactment of the Battle of Lewes results in a real death Sloan and Crosby are presented with one of their most complex cases yet.  In addition they have to try and find out who is threatening local MPs. Are the two things connected?  I found this book engrossing reading and I didn’t work out who the murderer was until almost the same time that Sloan and Crosby did.

This is an excellent portrait of village life and I loved the characters and the trade mark wry and ironic humour.  I can thoroughly recommend this excellent series.  If you want graphic violence, gritty inner city realism and detectives with complex private lives you want find those here – just an interesting mystery and two all too human detectives trying to bring a murderer to justice.

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A Dead Liberty (The C. D. Sloan Mysteries)

Lucy Durmast is on trial for murder but she is taking her right to remain silent to extreme lengths and refuses to say anything – even to the extent of refusing to plead guilty or not-guilty.  Her friend Kenneth died of poison shortly after eating a meal which she had cooked and served to him.

Sloan and Crosby are given the task of reviewing what seems like an open and shut case because the original investigating officer is ill.  Sloan is not convinced that Lucy is guilty but he cannot at first see who else could possibly have had means motive and opportunity.

Obscure African countries, civil engineering projects and a thoroughly ingenious method of murder makes this an interesting and entertaining read.  This is one of Catherine Aird’s excellent Sloan and Crosby series which I don’t believe I’d read before.  It is, in my opinion, one of the best in this excellent series and I defy anyone to work out who did it and why.

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