What's it all about ...
The second in the Hampstead Murders series opens with a sudden death at an iconic local venue, which some of the team believe may be connected with an unsolved murder featuring Cold War betrayals worthy of George Smiley. It soon emerges that none other than Agatha Christie herself may be the key witness who is able to provide the missing link.
My thoughts about it...
I first discovered this author’s work when I read Death in Profile which is the first in the Hampstead Murders series of crime novels. That novel sets the scene for future books, and introduces us to characters who I am pleased to say make a welcome return in Miss Christie Regrets.
The story opens with a murder, the consequences of which will have a bearing on a subsequent, and seemingly unrelated, macabre discovery, and which will stretch the Hampstead police's investigative team's tenacity and resolve to their very limits. The secret at the heart of the novel has more than enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing, and the added inclusion of Miss Agatha Christie to the novel adds an element of charm and old fashioned mystery to what is in effect a modern-day murder investigation.
As always, the author spends time explaining both plot and malice. His turn of phrase and fine attention to detail always leaves the reader in no doubt that this type of detective story harks back to the golden age of detective investigation and to, perhaps, a more erudite way of tracking down a potential murderer.
There is an element of continuity in this second book which I liked, particularly in the way that certain characters have been allowed to develop more fully. It was good to meet up again with DS Kate Willis and her psychologist boyfriend, Peter Collins, and to ponder anew over the ambiguity of DS Willis’ relationship with her colleague, DI Bob Metcalfe. The dynamics of a functioning investigative team is maintained with all the appropriate ‘office’ politics that goes on behind closed police doors, which is fascinating to observe.
Miss Christie Regrets is a good continuation of the series and it's fair to say that whilst this story sits comfortably on its own merits, as with all series it’s probably best to start the series from the beginning. I am also pleased to note that there is to be a further continuation of the Hampstead Murders in the next installment, A Whiff of Cyanide, which is due to be released in Summer 2017.
Best Read With..A glass of a crisp Italian white and a few bite sized nibbles..
About the Author
Guy Fraser Sampson is an established writer best known for his Mapp and Lucia novels which have been featured on BBC radio and optioned by BBC television.
Follow on Twitter @GuyFSAuthor
My thanks to the author and also to Urbane Publications for my review copy of this novel.