Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The Z Murders [books]

This is one of the books Gisela sent me, and you know what? This one's pretty good. Originally published in 1932, it's got a pace that a lot of novels of the same era lack. All the action takes place within a couple of days, though the hero Richard Temperley still manages to cover a good chunk of England in that time.

The preface likens this to the Paul Temple stories; I feel it could well have its roots in novels like The Thirty-Nine Steps or other adventure tales. Temperley gets drawn into the action after a train journey; he arrives in London on an overnight train disgruntled with a fellow passenger who'd been snoring throughout, but within a very short time of arriving, the other passenger is dead, and the lovely young lady who was the last person seen in the same room as him has fled. Cue Temperley chasing after the lady, trying to avoid the police (who, refreshingly in a novel of this era, are pretty sharp), and endeavouring to work out what the little 'z' symbols left at the scene of this death and the following ones mean.

Like adventure tales, it does get perhaps a bit silly, with a very odd villain and the strangest reason for the murders, but that's okay. The speed will sweep you along, even while you're tutting at the more ridiculous bits.


10 comments :

  1. Sounds like a great read. I do love a good murder mystery, although I am more into Ian Rankin these days for my hit of "crime". Those old novels have such a sense of romance that the gritty realism of modern tales lack. Not always a bad thing but a bit of escapism is good for the soul. Hope that Ziggy is making a good recover and sending love to you and Mr Robot. Bloody pets, eh! Xx

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    1. He's still in the vet, but looking much better. He really hates his drip!

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  2. Murder, high adventure, & silliness! Hurrah!

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    1. It is good indeed! So nice to get one that isn't spoiled by a sudden outburst of Attitudes Of Their Time.

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  3. Ooo, I like the sound of this one!

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    1. It's a good 'un. I'm reading another of his now, and so far, so decent...

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  4. Sounds intriguing, Mim. Been thinking of Ziggy on and off today, and I hope he makes a speedy recovery and will be able to rejoin his sister soon. xxx

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    1. Poor scrap is still at the vet full of tubes, but he's recovering, and we even got a little purr out of him yesterday. I'm sure the vets think we're mad for visiting him every night.

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  5. I think I enjoyed this one the most so I'll be interested to hear what you thought of the others.

    Glad to hear Your wee man is on the mend. xx

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  6. This does sound like a good one. I was in Waterstones yesterday looking at a big table of them, there are so many now!

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