16 July 2009

Forgotten Book: WOBBLE TO DEATH, Peter Lovesey

This week's contribution to Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books.

Peter Lovesey is one of my favourite authors, and has been since 1970 when I read his first published novel which had recently won a prize.

WOBBLE TO DEATH is the first in his Sergeant Cribb series.
From Lovesey's site:

Drawing on my interest in the history of athletics, I set this first novel in the Agricultural Hall, Islington, in 1879, where a bizarre six-day endurance race takes place. “Wobbles” became popular on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1880s.

A strange collection of so-called “proven pedestrians” starts at 1am on a November Monday morning. By Tuesday one of them is dead. Tetanus from infection of a foot blister is suspected at first, but when Sergeant Cribb from Scotland Yard is called in he discovers that strychnine was being given as a stimulant. This is only the first of a series of revelations.

Winner of the Macmillan/Panther First Crime Novel Prize, 1970

Until then Peter Lovesey was a teacher, and at that time I felt I had a lot in common with him.
WOBBLE TO DEATH was a beautifully written book, crime fiction set in an unusual and rather bizarre location, and somewhat of a departure from my usual Christie-like fare.

When I was first setting up this blog, I identified Peter Lovesey as my first "favourite author".
I still haven't yet managed to read THE HEAD HUNTERS, even though I've had it in my sights for well over a year. All my Peter Lovesey tags.


Vanda Symon said...

Another author to add to my must read list. So many books - so little time...

pattinase (abbott) said...

One of the greats.

BooksPlease said...

I remember watching a series of plays on TV featuring Sergeant Cribb years ago. Maybe this was one of them - anyway I hope my library has a copy. I could do with a change from Christie.

Martin Edwards said...

A very good book from a superb entertainer. The Headhunters is a really good read too.

Booklogged said...

"Wobble to Death" - what a great title! Thanks for the great review and drawing my attention to this author.


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