Generally, I don’t read too many mystery novels or stories with the proverbial “twist-in-the-tale” syndrome. They just don’t seem to call out to me. This time, though, The Herring in the Library did call out my name and I had no choice but to read it. That’s the thing with books – they choose you and when they do, the reader in you has to oblige.
I hadn’t read any of L.C. Tyler books prior to this one. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of him. Now things have certainly changed.
The Herring in the Library is one of those mystery books that make you laugh out loud. You are not in a pensive mood, turning pages with the grim look on your face. It is quite the other way round. Your smile shows that you are cherishing the book and devouring every single word that is written.
We are presented with an unlikely duo – Elegant Ethelred – a genuine English gentleman and mystery writer and his assistant Elise, who does not think much of him. Their partnership is strange, it is funny and they solve crimes together (This I learned from the other two titles).
The action takes place at the home of Sir Robert Muntham (known as “Shagger”), where Ethelred is invited to a dinner party and of course he asks Elise to come along. Shortly before the dessert course, Shagger is found strangled in his library. His widow insists it is murder and the duo have to investigate the death in their quirky, out-of-the-ordinary fashion.
The banter between the two is worth a read and many a laugh. I loved how the writer effortlessly creates the scenes between the two protagonists. It is almost like he sees them in his mind, conversing with each other and then putting it down on paper. LC Tyler knows the art of spinning a mystery web and making you wonder about whodunit till the very last page. That’s what a good mystery is supposed to do – make the reader wonder, make you guess and leave you stunned at the end of it all.
I have been sold to mysteries and I am thankful to this book for that. A pure English Mystery in an English setting with a cup of tea is what is required on a rainy day. Highly recommended.
Reviewer for Bookpleasures.com