fredag den 19. november 2010

Laura Wilson, Stratton´s War (2007)

This historical crime novel is the first in the Ted Stratton Series. It takes place in London in the summer and autumn of 1940.

The former actress Mabel Morgan is found dead, impaled on the railings beneath her windows. It looks like suicide, but Detective Inspector Ted Stratton is not so sure. Neither is young, gay Joe Vincent whose flat Mabel lived in. Soon after Vincent is beaten up by some gangster types who are searching for something in the flat.

Another plot line deals with young, beautiful Diana Calthrop who is married to a drip and working for the War Office which she finds much more interesting. She is trying to infiltrate a right wing club, and at the same time handsome and mysterious Claude Ventriss decides to infiltrate the bored wife – quite successfully.

I enjoyed the setting; the peculiar sense of gaiety while the Londoners were waiting for the invasion. Children were sent off to the country, but adults seized the day, never certain another one would come while homosexuals struggled to keep their preference secret. On the other hand the Diana Calthrop vs Claude Ventriss plot annoyed me. I have never been very fond of the ´dangerous, yet irresistible man´ whom no woman can ward off.

Ted Stratton is the old-fashioned policeman who has not lost his integrity and struggles hard to solve his cases under fairly hopeless circumstances while the MI5 officers seem more interested in sweeping embarrassing truths under the carpet. 

An intriguing and very satisfying mystery, and of course I will have to read more about the likeable Inspector Stratton. I think I bought the book myself, but it could be a gift or a win.

11 kommentarer:

Maxine Clarke sagde ...

I'm glad you liked this book, Dorte, I liked it very much. I think that Diana is very much a woman of her time, and the Diana/Claude story reflects prevalent attitudes in those irritating but probably quite realistic! I have read the next two in the series and have enjoyed them all very much (though I do not usually read historical fiction). I did not get your "bait" post about the railings, even though I've read the novel and on reading your review am reminded of how it opens!

Anonym sagde ...

Dorte - A fine review! Thanks! I really like historical mysteries, and this particular period is fascinating. I had to smile when I read your views about the Diana/Claude sub-plot and Maxine's response. It must be hard for a writer of historical fiction to "get it right" about attitudes of a particular time. On one hand, certain attitudes can be irritating. On the other, if they are authentic they can add to the story.

Dorte H sagde ...

Maxine: I am really impressed by Laura Wilson, and I know that the Diana-Claude story does happen all the time. Still, if only she would realize she is bored and *wants* to be seduced, it would be easier for me to accept it :D

Margot: generally I prefer stories from before or after WWII, but knowing how well Laura Wilson writes, I had to read this one. And I don´t think she got it wrong; I just loathe those women who have nothing to do so spend their time falling for the wrong guy.

Beth F sagde ...

I like historical mysteries too. This sounds like an author I should keep on my radar.

Elizabeth Spann Craig sagde ...

Sounds like a great read! I'll look for it. Might roll my eyes during the girl-falling-for-the-wrong-guy stuff, though. :)

Unknown sagde ...

This is the type of book I love to read. On my TBR list.


Kelly sagde ...

I enjoy historical mysteries and have read other books from this time period, so I think I would like this.

I also get somewhat exasperated by women/men like you've described, but unfortunately many of that type exist!

R/T sagde ...

Novels, Stories, and More is returning!

Mason Canyon sagde ...

Oh this does sound like an intriguing read.

Thoughts in Progress

Joanne Ganley sagde ...

This sounds great, something I'd like to read. Also on my Mt TBR pile.

Dorte H sagde ...

I am glad you like the sound of this one. Laura Wilson deserves to be read!

RT: welcome back.