RogerBW's Blog

Death and the Dutch Uncle, Patricia Moyes 13 September 2022

1968 mystery, eighth in the series about Chief Inspector, now Superintendent, Henry Tibbett. A minor criminal is shot in a pub toilet; nobody in the private bar next door saw anything, particularly not his fancy girlfriend. But there's more to it than a falling-out among thieves.

It seems at first as though it'll have to be written off as an unsolved tawdry gangland murder, since nobody's saying anything; but then Tibbett runs into the brother of someone from a previous book, a bumptious young man working for a minor international bureaucracy, and he mentions how funny it is that two of the people working on a particular border dispute happen to have died lately. Completely accidental of course. But it doesn't seem to be entirely unconnected…

She laid the papers down on the desk and went back to her own office, closing the door behind her.

Henry looked at Trapp and they both smiled. "She is, isn't she?" said Gordon. "Funnily enough, she is also very nice and very bright, an astonishing combination. I think I shall probably marry her."

"Shall you, indeed? Have you mentioned it to her yet?"

"Dear me, no. My technique is to keep them guessing."

There's a fair bit of investigative footwork, one of the strengths of this series on the rare occasions when it allows Tibbett to be in his native London. The crooks – and it's clear who at least some of them are – make only very minor mistakes, but Tibbett is there to pounce on them. Then it becomes clear that a particular person will become a target, and the action moves to rural Friesland; Moyes is certainly writing with affection and from the life, but it's still a bit of a wrench as everything slows down and the exotic foreign setting is clearly an important element.

At the open door of the plane, Henry and Emmy were surprised to find themselves stepping directly into a long, upward-sloping tunnel, for their plane had taxied into position at the end of one of the giant tentacles which radiate from the main airport building.

(Yes, it's 1969 and this is new and exciting.)

Tibbett uses his wife Emmy as bait again, and once more she seems happy to go along with it. (She doesn't even manage to rescue herself once she is inevitably captured, though she does help to leave a trail.) That left a bit of a bad taste for me, but in all this is another worthy addition to a remarkably varied series.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Previous in series: Murder Fantastical | Series: Henry Tibbett

  1. Posted by Gus at 12:57am on 17 September 2022

    I didn't find the move to Friesland so much a slowing of the pace as a ratcheting of such tension as there is: it does introduce a whole new set of obstacles, logistic and linguistic. As to using wives as bait: chivalry's all very well, but possibly more annoying for the object of it than being the willing worm...

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 09:37am on 17 September 2022

    Perhaps it's that outside life is slowing down round them while they want to get on with the police work? A dissonance for me, anyway.

Add A Comment

Your Name
Your Email
Your Comment

Your submission will be ignored if any field is left blank, but your email address will not be displayed. Comments will be processed through markdown.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1