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Alan, Ray - 'A Game of Murder'
Hardback: 224 pages (Aug. 2008) Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd ISBN: 0709086504

Lady Fiona Pace-Warren holds a buffet supper with games, including a murder game for ten of her friends. Her wealthy property husband Reggie is not interested in the games, preferring to work in his study. The players are picking playing cards to determine who is the murderer, victim and detective and are hiding until the murder victim is revealed, when the housekeeper makes a shocking discovery, Sir Reginald is dead.

The police are soon involved and Inspector Bill Forward and Sergeant Dick Marsh realise that the man has been murdered. The police ascertain that the deceased had many extra-marital affairs and some of the guests had a problem with him. The situation is clouded also by an old admirer of Fiona appearing. This all makes Forward and Marsh's investigation more complex. There are other investigations going on and some interlink until Forward gets to the truth.

This is an old fashioned whodunit, including the murder in the study of a large house but this one is hardly remote as its location is Chelsea! The dialogue is simple and the characters are straight out of an Agatha Christie novel, but it is thoroughly entertaining and is an easy, enjoyable read. This is the second Bill Forward novel, the first being DEATH AND DECEPTION, and Mr Alan is currently working on the third.

What a surprise to find that the author is the one time magician and ventriloquist, and the creator of Lord Charles! Now nearly 80 he holds the record for appearances on BBC TV's the Good Old Days and has written for both tv and radio including sketches for Morecambe & Wise and the Two Ronnies.

Geoff Jones, England
October 2008

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 5/10/2008 15:53