It’s my stop today on this Random Things Tour!
Thanks so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for my invite onto the blog tour and to the author for my copy of the book.
This series follows amateur sleuths Major Alasdair Charters and the
Honourable Melissa Charters as they inadvertently muddle their way
through many investigations but always arrive at the truth.
Alasdair was blinded in the First World War and uses his special skills
to gain ‘insight’ into the crimes. The Honourable Melissa, who likes to
think she is a socialist, has a large family and set of friends who always
seem to run into problems.
The books are set both in England and abroad.
Having a husband who is blind, author Vicki Goldie likes to explore
perceptions about this disability and push the boundaries.
In 1923 flushed with the success of their last sleuthing escapade Major
Alasdair Charters, a blind WW1 veteran and former intelligence officer
and his aristocratic wife The Honourable Melissa, accept an invitation to a
country house party on Somerset Levels in Winter.
There they find a dysfunctional family all living in a huge old house on
a hill. Overnight the storm brings with it the flood waters and the house
becomes surrounded and cut off from the rescue just as a murderer begins
to stalk the residents.
An exciting murder mystery in the Golden Age tradition.
Will our sleuths discover hidden secrets and unmask the murderer
before anymore else is killed?
Set in the winter of 1923, this country house mystery features the Honourable Melissa Charters and her husband, a war veteran previously in the Secret Intelligence Service and blinded in active service, Major Charles Charters. They have been invited by Melissa’s friend Davinia Gauntlet to her remote but large house in Somerset. The book opens with a fantastic description of them arriving by train, while a large storm grows outside. Hurried off the train at the station, they must make it to the house before the water levels rise and they are cut off from their destination.
On arrival, along with Thomas their Valet and Sheba, Charles’ guide dog, the reader along with Melissa and Charles are introduced to the household and guests also staying that weekend. (A helpful list is included at the start of the book).
Daviinia has also asked her friend to visit for another reason. In the previous book, Blind Witness, Charles and Melissa become amateur sleuths and solve the murders that take place at Melissa’s aunt and uncle’s house in the New Forest and Davinia wants them to put their skills to use once more and look into the death of her grandmother. However, it’s not long before there is more than one death to contend with and as the moat surrounding the house becomes flooded, they are cut off from the village and a proper locked room, golden age murder mystery begins.
This book is very evocative of it’s setting and everything from the house’s decorations, to clothes worn by Melissa, to food prepared by the chef add greatly to the feel of this novel. With many time specific refences this series of books have been well researched.
The author’s own husband is blind and her personal experience of this is evident in her writing. She uses Charles’ blindness in the novel to great effect by having Melissa explain many things to him, like room layout and silent nods of agreement, thus allowing the reader to learn of these things at exactly the same time and with great detail. The difficulties this causes Charles and also the ways he is learning to overcome them are thoughtfully explained and make him a slightly different kind of fictional detective.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vicki lives in Poole Dorset with her blind physiotherapist husband. She
has a lifelong fascination with the Art Deco period and with books of
the Golden Age of Crime. This led her to envision a series featuring a
blind detective set in the 1920s. Blind Pool is the second in the series.
She is a co-pioneer for a reading charity Read Easy Bournemouth
and volunteers at The Russell Cotes Museum in Bournemouth.
She is currently writing book three in the series Blind Haven set in