Monday, 9 February 2009

The Herring Seller's Apprentice

It’s a long time since I’ve been amused by a detective story as much as I have been by L.C. Tyler’s debut novel, The Herring Seller’s Apprentice. It was published as part of the Macmillan New Writing programme, and I found it really good fun.

The story is told – for the most part – by Ethelred Tressider, a gloriously unsuccessful writer of detective stories featuring an uninspiring cop by the name of Fairfax. Ethelred’s marriage, to the faithless Geraldine, has long since collapsed, but the police come calling one day to say that she has gone missing – and a body has been found.

Events quickly gather momentum. Ethelred identifies the body, and is assisted (or hindered) in his quest to find out what happened to Geraldine by his literary agent, Elsie Thirkettle, who claims to enjoy neither the company of writers nor literature of any sort.

This is a clever story, and even though I spotted the main plot twist at an early stage, this did not detract from the pleasure that Tyler’s witty and intelligent writing gave me. I can thoroughly recommend this book.

5 comments:

Kerrie said...

You and maxine between you ahev convinced me to look for this book - and wonderful! my library has it!

Martin Edwards said...

Hope you enjoy it, Kerrie - and I do hope you and yours are not in any way affected by the terrible fires.

okathleen said...

I shall give this a try Martin, time to put the 'angst' tomes on hold. Witty is what we need at the mo...

www.okathleen.wordpress.com

Martin Edwards said...

Too right, okathleen. I don't really know your reading tastes, but even so, I'm pretty confident you will enjoy it.

seanag said...

I'll be looking for this one. It's not quite out here yet, apparently, but will be before too long.