The Ely Testament

Written by Philip Gooden

Peel: A murder mystery set in the nineteen hundreds with a side story set in the seventeen hundreds. The main story focuses on a Mr. Lye, a partner in a law firm, who may have died without writing a will. Tom goes off to investigate, and his host, Mr. Lye’s brother, is arrested for murder and the mystery begins.

There was some lovely imagery, especially in describing architecture. There were many characters in this mystery that opened up many possibilities for what may have happened. Unfortunately the author tended to close doors off rather quickly, instead of allowing the reader to build up any pet theories. The side story keeps up suspense while the main develops slowly, and one gets to imagine possible connections between the two.

I prefer my mysteries to have a rather intelligent protagonist, so that one must actively think to figure out the mystery. I found many connections stated bluntly, that I would have liked to establish and mull over. I didn’t find the characters that likable, and the only likable one, Helen, was flawless and had every male chasing after her. Though there is a melodramatic twist at the end, the killer’s identity could be figured out via process of elimination. All in all the book was written well, but not my cup of tea.

Nibble: “Mute was a first-rate pseudonym for a contributor to the magazine since it not only described a paid mourner at a funeral but also had a tinge of mystery to it.”

I would recommend this to someone who wants a lazy Sunday mystery.

My Rating: 5 out of 10 misplaced scarlet apples

I received a free electronic copy of this book from Severn House.

Philip Gooden’s Site

Get the book from Amazon


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