Off the Record: A Jack Haldean Mystery

Dolores Gordon-Smith, Author
Dolores Gordon-Smith, Severn, $28.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-6974-6
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-84751-304-5
Open Ebook - 152 pages - 978-1-78010-001-2
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-0-7278-9888-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-95773-1
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Set in 1924, Gordon-Smith's fifth Jack Haldean mystery (after 2010's A Hundred Thousand Dragons) gets off to a sluggish start, but the later, near-manic pace more than compensates. When the butler and chauffeur of entrepreneur Charles Otterbourne, whose company is about to manufacture a machine that will record and play sound electronically, hear a gun shot, they rush to their master's study, where they find him dead on the hearthrug, with Alan Carrington, the machine's eccentric inventor, kneeling nearby, gun in hand. When Carrington later commits suicide in prison, the case appears closed. But an alarming number of murders all somehow connected to the Otterbourne family deeply troubles Scotland Yard's Insp. Bill Rackham, who turns for help to his friend and confidant, detective fiction writer Jack Haldean. Haldean's impish wit, charming manner, and imaginative flights of fancy bring cohesion and sparkle to a busy plot at risk of drowning in a sea of red herrings. (Apr.)
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