Brighton is about to host its most exciting beach party ever – with the world’s biggest name in rock music headlining the show. It seems a world away from the work of Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton. But that’s before fraudster Claude Winterbottom is beaten to death.
As Colin investigates the crime, he finds there are too many suspects. Like Manfred Crouchpenny, the fattest loan shark in the world. Or Jeremiah Clarke, leader of a band of purity campaigners. And who is the mystery woman who hides behind the pseudonym Astraea?
The climax explodes on a pirate radio ship moored off the British coast. There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and feisty girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith race against time to save countless lives at the beach party.
This is a lively, thoroughly entertaining mystery set in the 1960s and centring on a pirate radio ship Seabreeze. That’s a unique setting that immediately adds an extra sparkle of interest. (I did a bit of research and discovered that, despite internet radio being such a thing these days, there are still a few pirate stations illegally hopping onto FM. Good to know!) The three characters most closely involved with the radio station – Perry, Charles and Zena – all appear to embrace the lifestyle of turning-your-back-on-mainstream that you’d associate with such people. And yet all is not as it seems.
The action gets going for amateur sleuth Colin with the discovery of a dead body. He’s also, and principally, a journalist so from the start his occupational skills are on display. He’s sharp, cunning (always wanting to be first on a scene ahead of the rival papers calls for that) and can see connections before others. His even temperament and general unassumingness make him a likeable and reliable hero for this story, and all the others in the series.
The era is wonderfully portrayed in every detail. For journalists it was a time of always knowing where the nearest phone box was, and hoping it worked. It’s good to revisit a time before mobile phones. There’s a definite feeling of people living on their wits and being more resourceful. Today that’s been swamped by instant access to everything.
There’s a host of fascinating characters, good and bad but mainly bad, to rub shoulders with along the way. Their lives entangle, and a compelling and enjoyable (for the reader) mystery emerges that I guarantee will keep you turning the pages, either physically or electronically.
- Paperback : 282 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8689870687
- Publisher : Independently published (28 Sept. 2020)
- Product dimensions : 13.97 x 1.8 x 21.59 cm
- Language: : English
About the author
Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous – the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befits stories set in Brighton, one of Britain’s most trend-setting towns.
You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle from www.colincrampton.com.
Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.
Follow Peter on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/peterbartramauthor.