RogerBW's Blog

Angel Death, Patricia Moyes 02 August 2023

1980 mystery, fifteenth in the series about Superintendent Henry Tibbett. Henry and Emmy are back in the British Seaward Islands for a boating holiday. But people have been disappearing…

Even Moyes nods. Drug smuggling is a major plot point, in particular the psychological effects of PCP; and while I can believe that she wrote what she was told by her medical advisors ("I would like to take this opportunity to express my most sincere thanks to Helen and Charles Marwick for the time and trouble that they took to research the medical data for this book."), it's just not consistent with people I've known who've taken the stuff. Ah well.

Apart from that it's rather good. We have various people appearing under various names, a complex smuggling scheme taking advantage of the vagaries of small-island formalities, intercepted radio messages, and a great deal of uncertainty about who may be working for the criminals. Not much of a murder mystery exactly, more of a "how do we catch them before they pull off their big plot", but there's a lot for Emmy to do when her husband is out of action.

There's also some lovely touristic writing about being on the ground when a hurricane passes by, with lots of little details about preparations and recovery. This sort of thing declined in the 1970s and 1980s when actually going to exotic places became more accessible to many people, but I find it pleasing because of the personal context laid on top of the bare facts.

Awkward, but still good.

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Previous in series: Who is Simon Warwick? | Series: Henry Tibbett | Next in series: A Six-Letter Word For Death

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