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Upson’s book was a bit of a pastiche on Josephine Tey and had Tey as a central character, as girlfriend to the otherworldly intellectual policeman Archie Penrose (despite Tey more than likely being gay). It suffered rather in comparison to The Man in the Queue (which we had just read) seeming rather insipid when stood side by side, so much so that while I can vividly recall the plot of Man in the Queue, I had to look on the back of An Expert in Murder to remind myself of the plot – girl mysteriously killed in train and posed with flowers, followed by several other posed with flowers murders though honestly I can’t remember why! Just had to check and it was all to do with Arthur being murdered while on active duty because he had an affair with his commander’s wife (nasty man, very abusive, characteristics passed on to the sone who went about murdering anyone vaguely connected..)
Just remembering now why I didn’t like it! Lots of plot holes, not very good characterisation, cheeky use of real people, silly ending where Josephine lets mad Marta skip town on a train. Not necessarily a bad read, but a lazy one, and incomparably below Josephine Tey on the writing front.
Publisher: Faber and Faber