Sleeping Sickness – A Tyler Buchanan Mysteryby Jay Warton

The first Tyler Buchanan Mystery by Jay Warton is out now!

Book blurb

Tyler Buchanan is trapped, battered and bruised, on his way home from a brutal, classified assignment, and forbidden to fly until the US government can debrief him.

All he wants is a few days of quiet rest, with a friend, in the historic and beautiful university town of Cambridge. Instead, he finds himself in the midst of an impossible murder.

The Cambridge University Sleep Center is a luxuriously appointed research facility in one of the older colleges. It is locked up tight from 10pm to 7am, to protect the sleep of the patients within.

So, when one of the residents is found dead, in a room that no one could possibly have entered, suicide seems to be the only possibility.

But not for Buchanan. He knows it was murder. Can he unmask the killer before his bosses recall him and he has to leave the country?

Sleeping Sickness is a contemporary take on the classic locked room mystery. One victim. Six suspects. One murderer. And only Tyler Buchanan to find the solution.

My thoughts

Tyler Buchanan is in the employ of the US Government staying over in the U.K. for a few days before being debriefed from his last assignment he’s arranged to visit an old friend in Cambridge.

His friend has arranged accommodation in the Sleep Centre, part of the University of Cambridge, where currently seven people are also residing in the hope of finding help with their sleeping sickness and getting well.

Tyler finds the place or, rather, some of the residents disquieting and finds their dynamics initially amusing but really somewhat disturbing. Still he’s only there for a couple of nights. So he dresses for dinner and meets up with his friend.

Tyler just makes the ten o’clock curfew and after viewing the setting sun and having a drink with the other residents retires for the night.

The next morning Tyler gets more than he bargained for when off for coffee he comes upon the tragic scene of what appears to be a suicide. One of the woman has slit her wrists. There’s something odd though and Tyler realises this is not suicide but murder.

So Tyler, his friend and the police officer in charge – once they are in agreement that this is murder – set out to find the murderer. Surely it can only be one of the residents as no one can get in or out of the centre between 10 pm and 7 am. And that, of course, includes Tyler!

What a great premise eight residents, locked in, one death who could possibly have committed this murder? Why would they want this young women dead?

Follow along with this well paced investigation. Pop on your detectives hat and see if you can work it out as the trio work to figure out what really took place in the sleep centre that night.

The characters are well drawn each given sufficient substance to carry the story along and be plausible. I liked Tyler Buchanan it was a little strange that he ‘left the scene’ for a while to go and get debriefed but his pal and the police detective carried the story along well enough and he kept in touch – ! – and got back in time for the big reveal. That was a little, well quite a bit, protracted but the explanation sufficed and, actually I liked the quirkinesses and the explanations they gave the book an original feel.

Combining his love for the golden age of detective fiction, his love of Cambridge – which shines out and is a wonderful setting – and his love of writing thrillers Jay Warton has come up with a novel idea which plays out in a truly Christie-style ending.

An enjoyable and entertaining read.

Book: Purchased.

Read the Let’s chat post with Jay Warton.

Gift idea!

I think that this would be a lovely treat for a special day and at only £1.99 a very affordable present for the readers in your life.

This is my 3rd book in the #20BooksofSummer20 so just 17 remain! You can find out more about this challenge by popping over to Cathy’s blog you’ll find of other wonderful book stuff there, too!


Jay Warton’s local bookshop is Heffers, in Cambridge, who have stocked Leave No Trace and may have a few copies available. As things open up including local bookshops they will also, hopefully, be selling Sleeping Sickness.

For now Sleeping Sickness is kindle only and, unless Heffers or AmazonSmileUK have a few copies, that will be the case for Leave no Trace too.

Buy: AmazonSmileUK


Jay Warton says about himself: ‘I’m an English author who has lived and worked in Cambridge for over 20 years. I write predominantly crime thrillers and mysteries, and yes, that probably is me in the corner of the pub reading or writing.’

Follow Jay on Twitter @JoeDoeBooks or check out Jay’s website

Sign up for Jay’s newsletter and get two Joe Doe microstories for free!


As well as Sleeping Sickness, Jay has written Leave No Trace, a Joe Doe Thriller which is available now in paperback (The Oleander Press, 22 Feb. 2019) and on kindle.

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