Chelsea Mansions: A Brock and Kolla Mystery

Barry Maitland, Author
Barry Maitland. Minotaur, $24.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-312-60066-2
Reviewed on: 09/05/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
Near the outset of Maitland’s overwrought 11th mystery featuring Det. Chief Insp. David Brock and Det. Insp. Kathy Kolla (after 2009’s The Dark Mirror), an unknown but exceptionally strong assailant throws 70-year-old American widow Nancy Haynes, who spent the day at London’s annual Chelsea Flower Show, to her death in front of a bus. What at first appears to be a random act of violence by a disturbed man turns out to be a carefully premeditated killing in which the accomplices are afraid to talk. Soon after, someone stabs to death a wealthy Russian oligarch in a garden near the Chelsea hotel where Haynes was staying. Brock and Kolla pursue both cases, which predictably intersect. Maitland throws in academics with arcane knowledge, glamorous model wives, armchair detectives, cold war ghosts, corrupt politicians, financial wizards, illegal immigrants, and much more, but the result is more wearying than stimulating. (Nov.)