Miss Christie Regrets is the second novel in the Hampstead Murders series by Guy Fraser-Sampson. I had seen a lot about this book on social media and through fellow bloggers reviews and I really liked the title so was delighted to have the opportunity to review it.
‘But perhaps there’s no such thing as coincidence? She asked. ‘Suppose everything happens for a reason, everything is connected but we just don’t see it?’
As this is the second in the series it is recommended that the books are read in order although I didn’t find this impacted my enjoyment of the book. In this story, the detective team are investigating two deaths taking place in two iconic locations within Hampstead. One of these concerns the murder of Peter Howse, the manager of a gallery and the other concerns a body that is discovered in a rather unusual location. These incidents happened decades apart but there is something that connects the two and Superintendant Collison is determined to prove this is the case. And as investigations continue, it comes to light that Queen of Crime herself, Agatha Christie, is key to their enquiries. I was interested to find out more about how Christie becomes linked to a crime which took place decades after her death. Over the course of the novel, little details and clues are gradually revealed which kept me guessing until the end.
‘Here we have a classic Golden Age situation: a man murdered in a house occupied by only a small number of people, and yet we’re floundering.’
I have seen comments referencing this book which compare it to the ‘Golden Age’ of detective fiction and despite the modern day setting it certainly has a classic feel to the story. I feel it would appeal to readers who enjoy a classic ‘whodunnit’ with the focus being more on a detective, police procedural story with the characters talking through theories and suspect motives along the way. In addition to the crime solving we also get to see the lives and loves of the characters and their complicated relationships with one and other. This is perhaps where I feel I would have benefited from reading the first in the series as those who have read Death In Profile may know a bit more about the characters backgrounds and how their relationships have developed across the two novels. In terms of the writing style I found the story easy to follow and enjoy. The one thing I did pick up as I read which I wasn’t a fan of was the frequent use of descriptors attached to the characters dialogue. I felt there were perhaps a few too many but this is just my personal preference. All in all it was an enjoyable read, and something a little different from the thrillers that I am used to reading these days.
‘Miss Christie regrets,” he murmured thoughtfully. “Oh dear, how very ironic.”
Miss Christie Regrets is an enjoyable, intriguing murder mystery which blends contemporary fiction with elements of classic detective fiction. It was a story that kept me guessing up to its conclusion that had plenty of details and clues to piece together along the way.
Miss Christie Regrets was published in January 2017 by Urbane Publications. Many thanks to Guy Fraser-Sampson and Matthew at Urbane Publications for providing a copy for review.