Nicholas Blake, nom de plume of Sir Cecil Day-Lewis, wrote a series of mysteries featuring Nigel Strangeways. I read someone’s review of this one and bought it on that basis and have now read it. It’s the 11th one, so he’d certainly already learned his stuff by this point. Nigel and his good and great friend Clare Massinger, sculptor, are off on a Greek cruise. They depart from Athens and meet a selection of passengers who all become involved in the crime committed about halfway through the book. Melissa Braydon, rich, sexy, youngish widow; her apparently unstable sister, Ianthe; the semi-fraudulent Greek expert Jeremy Street; the ebullient Nikki, your cruise director; a pair of twitchy twins, Faith and Peter; an annoying child spying on them all; a seemingly friendly but actually also spying on them all grown man, and a Bishop and his wife. It reads very much like a Christie. Simple, clean style. Limited group. She often had people from other countries, but these are all Brits. I was enjoying this, the only trouble (and is it a trouble?) I knew what had happened as soon as it did. Then it was just a matter of wading through 100 pages for everyone to catch up with me. And Blake did stretch it out as long as he could. A short book, it probably could have been a bit shorter. I will read some others to see if they are always that guessable (or was I just super-intuitive today?)
Honestly, my reviews, if you can call them that, keep getting shorter and shorter. Probably there is something more to say. Maybe reading books so quickly isn’t good for the reviewing of them. I liked Blake’s characters. I can’t say much about the mystery having the solution in my head almost immediately. Were there enough clues? Were there too many? Did he telegraph the whole thing? Maybe he did. In the end it seemed like a daft way to do things, but I can’t really say more than that without spoiling something.
I’ve obviously gone off-liste. They were too long. Had to go for shorter works. I may have said that already. So for Follow the Clues, which I seem to have failed to post my last one which was Fog of Doubt, I can’t really use this. I can’t think of anything they have in common. All righty then. Never mind.