I have just finished reading The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards. It is very difficult to write about crime fiction without spoiling the book for other potential readers, so I try not to read reviews and I certainly won't be offering one here. What I will say is that I loved it.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I bought four Martin Edwards novels and started to read The Cipher Garden until Nan commented that I should read The Coffin Trail first. This was excellent advice because I now feel I know the characters and their background and I will enjoy the other Lake District stories more because of that.
I am not a regular reader of crime fiction but I do enjoy a well-written, intelligent mystery story, especially if it is set in beautiful surroundings. So I like Colin Dexter, P D James and Ruth Rendell and now Martin Edwards is added to my limited list. Anyone who grew up with the Arthur Ransome stories will love reading these books; I was whisked away to the Lakes and can't wait to pay my next visit when I go back to finish The Cipher Garden tonight.
I am deliberately avoiding reading reviews of the rest of the series of books but I am making the assumption that a tiny area of the Lake District has more than its fair share of murders. I was considering the likelihood of the average person ever encountering a murderer, or being involved in a murder investigation when I recalled the coincidence of the two unrelated murders that took place in South Hill Park, Hampstead in 1955. I visited the Magdala pub, where Ruth Ellis shot David Blakely and discovered that four months earlier Styllou Christofi had murdered her daughter-in-law in a house just a few yards away.
Then I remembered that I have met a convicted murderer and I am a very ordinary person, so perhaps crime writers don't have to stray too far into the world of fantasy for their plots. I'll save that story for another time.