Slickensides: A Derbyshire Mystery

John Buxton Hilton, Author
John Buxton Hilton, Author St. Martin's Press $13.95 (164p) ISBN 978-0-312-01091-1
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Two men, purporting to be the very detective and friend who have solved several cases used by their friend ""Sir Arthur'' as inspiration for his Sherlock Holmes stories, arrive in Walderslow, an isolated Derbyshire village, one November night in 1911. Dour Inspector Brunt, visiting the locality, runs across them in the local inn and warns them that this is a neighborhood with ``a jealous and explosive history.'' The Londoners claim they're in Derbyshire to investigateat the behest of whom, they will not saythe disappearance (hitherto unreported) of Barnard Brittlebank, heir to the local lord of the manor. When they noise it about that they have traced young Brittlebank as far as a train to Bristol, Brunt's suspicions, already roused, lead him to carry out his own investigation. In his sixth appearance, the redoubtable Brunt still reminds one of a sour bloodhound, and Hilton's evocation of the slow and secretive Derbyshire yokels and the countryside in which they dwell brings the community to vivid life. Readers will be riveted as Brunt treads his way through the minefields of village politics and the slippery tunnels of the dangerous Slickensides mine to discover who has been breaking into Septimus Durden's mine, why Mary Ann Durden is so unhappy and what, indeed, did become of young Mr. Barnard Brittlebank. (October 30)
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