21 February 2011


Publisher: Severn House Publishers 2008
ISBN 978-1-84751-084-6
236 pages
Source: My local library

Publisher's blurb
A Charlie Woodend Mystery his first . . - DS Charlie Woodend has a murder to solve. Trouble is, nobody seems to want him to solve it not Eddie, a Liverpudlian thug sent to threaten him; not DCI Bentley; not Deputy Commissioner Naylor, whose word is law in Scotland Yard; not even the dead girl's mother herself. But Woodend cares. He will find the murderer, he promises himself, even if that means putting his career and perhaps even his own life on the line.

My take:

First of all, a warning: don't be deceived like I was, by the title, into thinking I was reading the first title in the Charlie Woodend series. In fact you are tackling the last in the series.
It is June 1973 and Chief Inspector Charlie Woodend is about to retire after 25 years in the job, to hand over to Monika Paniatowski (whom I met in THE RING OF DEATH). Monika has been his protege and Charlie decides to tell her one last story, that of his first case, the one that very nearly ended his career in the police force before it had even got off the ground.

I should have read the blurb on the back which quotes Kirkus Reviews:
    Woodend fans should cherish this finale, which rounds out the professional career of Lancaster's famous subversive.
There are 20 titles in the Woodend series, and I have the first of the Paniatowski series (which follows) on my shelf from the library. Will I go back and read more of the Woodend titles? I'm not sure, because as you know, I like to read books in series order. But perhaps I'm not yet stymied and I could even now pick up an earlier Woodend title.

Certainly there's enough encouragement in the quality of the writing, a nice solid police procedural, a good read.

My rating: 4.4

I'll be adding this to my count for the British Books Challenge


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this review; I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Interesting, isn't it, how we get our minds all ready for something and we get surprised.

Maxine Clarke said...

I read and reviewed one of the earlier ones in the series for Euro Crime a couple of years ago, and enjoyed it. It did not seem to make any difference that it was about 17th in a series! I usually do not read blurbs on book covers (I have learnt from bitter experience that they summarise far too much of the book's contents, including spoilers, to make the book then worth reading), so I would have been fooled like you this time.

A slight non-sequitur, I have not checked this out, but I did hear that this author is one of those very rare male authors who uses a female nom de plume (usually it is the other way round, or ambiguous eg initials, or same-sex).

Kerrie said...

I had been going to add some info about the author in this review Maxine and then forgot. I thought it was interesting that he had chosen Sally for the name. I can't think of too many other authors (in fact at this stage none at all) called Sally


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