The third volume of the bestselling Hampstead Murders sees the team become involved with a suspicious death at a crime writers' convention. Is this the result of a bitterly contested election for the Chair of the Crime Writers' Association or are even darker forces at work? Peter Collins, who is attending the convention as the author of a new book on poisoning in Golden Age fiction, worries that the key clue to unlock this puzzle may be buried within his own memories. A character called Miss Marple offers her advice, but how should the police receive this? Meanwhile an act of sudden, shocking violence and a dramatic revelation threaten tragic consequences...
A Whiff of Cyanide is the third in the Hampstead Murders series. Before this one, I hadn't read any of them but I had no problem getting used to the style and understanding everything, so I would say that it can be read perfectly well as a standalone. However with such a great cast of characters who quickly become familiar, reading the others in the series would be no hardship!
The Crime Writing Convention setting is a perfect fit for this Golden Age crime fiction and the characters that populate the novel really bring it to life.
The plot was brilliantly quirky and different from the modern books that I've reviewed. It took me back to the days of Agatha Christie but it was completely up to date. It felt reminiscent of Midsomer Murders which I particularly enjoyed!
Overall I'd give A Whiff of Cyanide 4.5 out of 5. It was intelligently written, absorbing and all in all a first class mystery.
I can't wait for the next book!
A Whiff of Cyanide is published by Urbane
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Guy Fraser-Sampson is an established writer, previously best known for his 'Mapp and Lucia' novels, which have been featured on BBC Radio 4 and optioned by BBC television. His first two books of detective fiction, Death in Profile and Miss Christie Regrets, have drawn high praise from fellow crime writers as well as from readers on both sides of the Atlantic.