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Philip K Jones reviews The 1895 Murder by Dan Andriacco

12 Mar

“This is the third in the author’s series featuring Jefferson Cody and Sebastian McCabe.   To my taste it seems the best in the series of four.  Events center around the wedding of Jeff Cody and Lynda Teal.  As is customary, we meet again with old acquaintances and run into a group of new ones.  This time we learn more about old friends and meet even more interesting new ones than is usual.

Although the upcoming wedding permeates the entire book, this is because the narrator is the groom.  He is, quite naturally, preoccupied with his bride-to-be and is only marginally aware of the mystery around him.  An old acquaintance of Professor McCabe has decided to resurrect the abandoned Odd Fellows Hall as the Lyceum Theater and to stage a play as its reopening extravaganza.  McCabe has volunteered to write a play for the opening and has adapted “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans” as the foundation of the play, “1895,” along with elements of “The Empty House” and other Canonical tales to round-out the script.  The story begins on opening night, which is two weeks before the wedding is supposed to take place.

Opening night jitters are everywhere and everyone is preoccupied.  A troubled young man, a protégé of Sister Mary Margaret McBride (Polly or “triple M”) helping as a stage hand, steps out for a forbidden smoke and finds a dead body.  Hetexts the Police Chief, who arrives with siren screaming to upset the audience at the end of the play.  Murder enters the scene and steals the show.  According to the Police Chief, when the text sender disappears during the crime scene investigation, he becomes the prime suspect.  Sister Polly protests and asks McCabe and Cody to find what really happened.

From this point on, suspects turn up everywhere, motives abound and no one is who or what they seem.  Jeff and Lynda stumble on to the solution at about the same time Sebastian manages to figure it out.  All in all, it is a good mystery, with many interesting, complex characters and a fun plot.”

The 1895 Murder is available from all good bookstores including in the USA  Amazon and Barnes and Noble, in the UK Waterstones and Amazon, and for everywhere else Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is KindleNookiPad and Kobo.

1895 murder

 

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