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A cosy mystery with many a twist – set in YORKSHIRE

20th September 2023

Unnatural Ends by Christopher Huang, a cosy mystery with many a twist – set in Yorkshire.

Sir Lawrence Linwood is found murdered in his study, bludgeoned to death by a medieval mace. His three adopted children hurry back to the family house in Yorkshire to grieve and to hear the reading of the will. Which of them will inherit the country estate? Each had, at various times, received hints from Sir Lawrence that Linwood Hall would be coming to them. The will was read by the family solicitor, and it was a surprise. Had Sir Lawrence died of natural causes then the estate would be split equally three ways (after a lifetime allowance for his wife). But had he been murdered, then the estate would pass to whichever of the three children, Alan, Roger, and Caroline, could solve the mystery of who carried out the act. The three were all very different – Alan was a successful archeologist (just back from deepest Peru), Roger was an engineer (obsessed by cars and planes), and Caroline was a journalist (working in Paris). The police, represented by Detective Inspector Clarence Mowbray, were unimpressed by this development. Inspector Mowbray saw it as interference in his enquiries.

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The three children work partly together and partly independently in their investigations (Sir Lawrence had brought them up to be competitive…).  They soon realise that the answer to the mystery may somehow be tied up with the circumstances of their own births and subsequent adoptions. There is much intrigue, discovery of events not being exactly as they were painted, and uncovering of bizarre facts, until the mystery is finally solved.

Unnatural Ends is a really good read. Obviously reminiscent of Agatha Christie and, yes, it is ‘cosy’ and for me it had a significant depth. The plot is very carefully progressed and the ending is somewhat unexpected (though pretty logical when you think it through).

Definitely one to add to your list.

Tony for the TripFiction team 

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Catch the author on Twitter @misericordius

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