The fourth Stephens and Mephisto mystery from the author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series.
What do a murdered Brighton flower seller, the death of Cleopatra and a nude tableau show have in common? Read the most dangerous case yet for Stephens and Mephisto and find out.
Christmas 1953. Max Mephisto and his daughter Ruby are headlining Brighton Hippodrome, an achievement only slightly marred by the less-than-savoury support act: a tableau show of naked ‘living statues’. This might appear to have nothing in common with DI Edgar Stephens’ investigation into the death of a quiet flowerseller, but if there’s one thing the old comrades have learned it’s that, in Brighton, the line between art and life – and death – is all too easily blurred…
Set in 1953 in Brighton it is approaching Christmas – the lights and decorations are going up and the snow is falling. Max Mephisto and his daughter Ruby are starring at the Hippodrome. Ruby is engaged to DI Edgar Stephens. Edgar is looking forward to seeing the show when a call comes through – a young women, Lily Burtonshaw, has been found dead, strangely posed in her room at a Hove boarding house. He and his team, Sergeants Emma Holmes and Bob Willis are on the trail of a murderer.
As Edgar, Emma and Bob investigate connections emerge to the artistes at the Hippodrome, two were residing at the same boarding house, and then there are more murders which appear to strengthen the links.
Elly Griffiths evokes a wonderful picture of the 1950s and of Brighton her characters have the maturity of a fourth book in the series and are very believable, their personal hopes are part of the storyline but don’t distract from the main plot. The story line has it’s twists and turns. There are several murders and they have to be solved one way or another. This is no cozy mystery nor is this book grisly but it is a murder mystery and it is about detective work. Very well written Elly Griffiths leads you through the maze of misdirection bringing you to a tense and thrilling conclusion.
I thought this was a terrific read and would certainly recommend it.
With thanks to Quercus Publishing via NetGalley who provided me with an e-ARC in return for an honest opinion.
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Quercus (2 Nov. 2017)