Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Waxman Murders by Paul Doherty

Corbett is sent to Canterbury to deal with the murder of a local
merchant. His wife stands accused but as a ward of the King she
has been able to claim assistance from the King in the form of
Corbett. As well as this murder, Corbett has a pressing meeting with
two local merchants on behalf of the monarch to discuss a treasure
map. Yet when one of these merchants and his entire family is found
murdered in an inexplicable set of circumstances Corbett is drawn
into a web of intrigue that spans 30 years. Can Corbett solve all the
riddles before the killer reaches him? This is the 15th book in the
Hugh Corbett series.

I have read a couple of the books in this series. Unfortunately not all
and not in any particular order so I don't have a good grasp on the
background of the central characters and the events that have lead
up to this point. I did feel that a conscious effort was made to flesh
out the character of Corbett, particularly in reference to his religious
leanings and love of music. The story itself was fairly mediocre and
didn't really stretch the imagination. I'd worked out who the main
suspect was likely to be early on based on his cloying nature. I do
admit though that I didn't see one of the main twists in the tale til it
was revealed. On the whole though this murder mystery did little for
me. It was a light read to pass the time.

Perhaps I might have felt a bit differently about this book if I had
read the others in the series, in order, first. I would suggest that
anyone  who feels like trying this series should start with the first
book, 'Satan in St Mary's'. If you want to see the entire list of Corbett
books  and see which order they come in visit the Fantastic Fiction
website  page on Paul Doherty. I do quite like Paul Doherty's work in
general but prefer the Ancient Rome series and the Brother Athelstan
series.  The new Mathilde of Westminster series isn't bad either (the
first  book in this series is The Cup of Ghosts which I reviewed in
May 2006).

Like some of the books I've read recently I would consider this an ok
read but not necessarily one that I'd run out and recommend to all
my friends and family. The characters were not too bland and a
couple of the mysteries were intriguing enough to keep the reader
occupied. If you have a passion for historical murder mysteries,
particularly those set medieval England then give this series a try.

*2 and a half stars*

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