Thursday, March 10, 2011

CBR3-13: Angel with Two Faces - Nicola Upson

No classic detective fiction aficionado will want to miss Upson's compelling sequel to 2008's An Expert in Murder, which introduced mystery author Josephine Tey (1896–1952) as sleuth. In 1935, Tey's close friend, Scotland Yard Inspector Archie Penrose, has returned on holiday to Cornwall, his childhood home, where he ends up attending the funeral of estate worker Harry Pinching, who drowned in Loe Pool, rumored to take a life every seven years. Most locals believe Pinching's death was an accident, but Penrose and Tey, who joins the inspector in Cornwall, soon pick up on ominous undercurrents in the community that suggest otherwise. As the pair attempt to uncover the truth, Penrose witnesses another death that's unquestionably murder. The subtle prose succeeds both at evoking the quiet splendor of the Cornish landscape and in capturing the tragedy and torment that plague many of the characters. The psychological sophistication will resonate with Charles Todd fans. - Publisher's Weekly
I found this book on the giveaway shelf at work and was drawn in by the setting of the book - Cornwall, England.  When I studied abroad in England back in 1999, I spent a weekend exploring the main towns & villages of Cornwall and fell in love with their charm & quaintness. I was hoping this book would capture that and transport me back to that weekend.

This book did describe the lovely landscape that is in Cornwall, but most of the action took place on a family estate.  One of the reviews on the book states that Upson captures the Agatha Christie spirit with the book.  I agree with that reviewer, this book kept me guessing about what was going to happen next.  I did have an aha moment and figured out who one murderer was based on some small details.  This book is a quick read and I definitely want to read more by this author.

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