London, 1896. Madame Tussauds opens to find one of its nightwatchmen decapitated and his colleague nowhere to be found. To the police, the case seems simple: one killed the other and fled, but workers at the museum aren’t convinced. Although forbidden contact by his superior officer, Scotland Yard detective John Feather secretly enlists ‘The Museum Detectives’ Daniel Wilson and Abigail Fenton to aid the police investigation.
When the body of the missing nightwatchman is discovered encased within a wax figure, the case suddenly becomes more complex. With questions over rival museums, the dead men’s pasts and a series of bank raids plaguing the city, Wilson and Fenton face their most intriguing and dangerous case yet.
Murder at Madame Tussauds is the first of Jim Eldridge’s Museum Detective series, but it won’t be the last.
This is a very evocative portrayal of late Victorian London, complete with Hansoms and fog, and a terrible crime that needs solving.
A thoroughly enjoyable read with a fantastic conclusion.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy. I’ll be hunting down the earlier books in the series now.
“August 1940. On the streets of London, locals watch with growing concern as German fighter planes plague the city’s skyline. But inside the famous Ritz Hotel, the cream of society continues to enjoy all the glamour and comfort that money can buy during wartime – until an anonymous man is discovered with his throat slashed open.
Detective Chief Inspector Coburg is called in to investigate, no stranger himself to the haunts of the upper echelons of society, ably assisted by his trusty colleague, Sergeant Lampson. Yet they soon face a number of obstacles. With the crime committed in rooms in use by an exiled king and his retinue, there are those who fear diplomatic repercussions and would rather the case be forgotten. With mounting pressure from various Intelligence agencies, rival political factions and gang warfare brewing either side of the Thames, Coburg and Lampson must untangle a web of deception if they are to solve the case – and survive.”
Murder at the Ritz is the first book I’ve read by Jim Eldridge, but it won’t be the last.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable 1940s murder-mystery with enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing throughout the story. I loved the way the author embedded the story into the events of the time, with the threat of air bombs, and the tragedies they brought. The book felt quite claustrophobic in places, with the threat of the German invasion never far away.
The story felt very complete, and well researched – the gangsters, the British Fascist party, MI5, MI6, the Foreign Office, and that’s even without the events at the Ritz, and the murder!
Highly recommended. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy.
Murder at the Ritz is available now in ebook and hardback from here.