Tyler, L C - The Herring Seller's Apprentice
The 'herring seller' is crime writer Ethelred Tressider, a phrase coined by his ex-wife due to the number of red herrings he puts into his Sergeant Fairfax series. His ex-wife, Geraldine has apparently committed suicide from a beach not far from Ethelred's Sussex home. However when the body of a woman turns up even nearer to his home, the police open a murder investigation into the death of Geraldine Tressider.
Ethelred's agent, the domineering, chocolate fiend, Elsie Thirkettle, decides that they should team up and solve Geraldine's death and even though Ethelred is unwilling and seemingly uninterested, Elsie becomes his apprentice. They discover that before her disappearance, Geraldine had scammed money off her closest friends and relatives and stashed it in a Swiss bank account. But who is the woman who has drawn the money out subsequent to Geraldine's death? Is it coincidence that Ethelred has an airtight alibi in France when Geraldine was killed? Elsie begins to wonder.
THE HERRING SELLER'S APPRENTICE is a quick and funny read, with many twists and turns - though not all the twists, I have to say are unexpected. I had a good idea of what was going on before the end. But it is very funny. I loved the humour - sometimes subtle as when Ethelred and Elsie are returning late to Ethelred's home after an investigation:
"...we agreed that one or other of us would have to sleep on the sofa, while Elsie slept in my bed"
or the more obvious, when Elsie first narrates a chapter:
"If there's one thing that gets up my sodding nose, it's starting a new chapter and finding that the poxy narrator has changed. Changing the typeface just adds insult to injury, as if the author (silly tosser) reckons the reader won't recognise it's somebody else without underlining everything and putting it in twenty-four point sodding Haettenschweiller. Or Whatever."
Reading an interview with L C Tyler, it looks like he has a few projects on the go and I look forward to reading them.
Read another review of THE HERRING SELLER'S APPRENTICE.
Karen Meek, England
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