Title: The Herring in the Library
Author: L.C. Tyler
Publisher: Felony & Mayhem Press
If you bloody well love British humor, then the third Ethelred and Elsie mystery will be a perfect late summer beach read. L.C. Tyler pulls together the classic components of a courtly mystery in this clever who-done-it: An English estate, murder victim in a locked room, bungling detectives, and rich but rather seedy characters. The scene of the crime is a stately mahogany library with a secret door and you have another Tyler winner.
Tyler has had a fair share of Edgar nominations, but this one makes you laugh out loud. And for readers who are also writers, an agent paired with a not- so-talented writer, gives the amateur sleuths a twist that makes your lips curl with envy. She manages to sell his books between chocolate fixes and he just can’t get on with the next page of his work in progress. Together they stumble and bumble to uncover a chapter full of clues that professional detectives have been eager to ignore.
If I had reason to fault the plot line, I’d question the story within the story…but you’ve got to read the quirky book first to appreciate the critique. The prose is Monty Python priceless. Example of a disinterested fellow: “He was looking at the floor as if he had developed a sudden interest in faded, moth-eaten carpets.” Or the not- so- sad murder: “She and Dave Peart confirm they were together in the kitchen when Shagger popped his clogs.” Popped his clogs?
So why not pop your fanny in a comfy spot on the lawn, open The Herring in the Library, have an umbrella ready in case the London wets return, and read how Shagger Muntham and his un-titled wife end their dismal marriage. Murder isn’t always fun but it sometimes leads to happy endings.