6 May 2021

Review: THIS SIDE MURDER, John Bonett

  • Format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • ASIN : B01N4V5KEI
  • Publisher : Lume Books (February 1, 2017)
  • First published 1967
  • File size : 1362 KB
  • Print length : 154 pages
  • Inspector Borges #3

Synopsis (Amazon)

Gilbert Tarsier, successful newspaper columnist, is sent by his paper to Spain on a mission: to ferret out gossip about the guests at the new luxury hotel in Cala Cristina…

This quickly arouses the hostility of several distinguished hotel guests, so when the self-assured Tarsier shows up dead, the lack of sympathy is unsurprising.

Unfortunately for the gentle Inspector Borges, Tarsier’s unpopularity means the range of suspects is extensive. If indeed it was murder that caused his untimely death. First there’s his neglected wife Lily, plain but holding untapped potential, who is soon taken under the wing of Irene Stollman, wife of the economist Franz, one of the victims of Tarsier’s libellous pen. Then there’s Lady Poppy Dauntwood, currently on her fifth husband, her vivaciousness belying a sad past and another guest suffering the slurs of Tarsier.

When it is revealed that Tarsier had penned a defamatory biography of the Victorian novelist Matthew Egremont, grandfather of the artist Arbelle and her brother Ralph Egremont, the pool of suspects grows even larger. Does this incriminate their nephew and architect of the Cala Cristina, Philip Egremont too? Surely his relations with the lovely ballerina Judy Shafto, on holiday with her Uncle Quintin, means his thoughts are occupied by romance and not murder?

The Inspector must sort through numerous and often conflicting statements and alibis to discover the truth behind Tarsier’s demise…

This Side Murder is a mystery filled with colourful characters and gripping suspense, and is the third Inspector Borges mystery.

My Take

Another enjoyable read in this series.  The plot is quite complex and after the death of the very reprehensible Gilbert Tarsier, the first thing is to decide whether his death was an accident or murder. There are plenty of reasons for thinking murder but then who had the motive or the opportunity?

You will have noticed that these novels are relatively short, so quite a lot happens in a small space, and yet the character development is very good.

I do recommend this series, but read them in order please. Available on Kindle very cheaply. However, published over 50 years ago, so probably not available now in hard copy.

My rating: 4.5

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1 comment:

LJ Roberts said...

Thanks, Margot. I'll have to give these a try. Your observation about a lot happening in a few pages made me think of the early Ed McBain books. He was a master at that.


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